When he’s not making a huge difference to the lives of those less fortunate, Marcus Rashford can probably be found honing his elasticos.
Manchester United could be forgiven for feeling a little left out this weekend as the 2020-21 Premier League campaign got underway without them, having been given extra time to prepare following their European exploits last term.
On the day their fierce rivals Liverpool and Leeds United were playing out a helter skelter 4-3 classic at Anfield, United travelled to Birmingham to play out their only pre-season friendly against Aston Villa.
Villa came out 1-0 victors thanks to a goal from new signing Ollie Watkins, but we all know friendlies are ultimately not about the result. Instead, they’re about blowing off any cobwebs, working your way back to full match sharpness and, in Rashford’s case, getting in one final practice at how to humiliate opposition defenders.
So spare a thought for another Villa new boy in Matty Cash, who might be wondering what he’s let himself in for after stepping up from Championship outfit Nottingham Forest only to be tormented by a Rashford elastico before his season has even begun.
— utdreport (@utdreport) September 12, 2020
We’ve been here before with Rashford. In fact, we’ve been here so often we’ve already taken it upon ourselves to anoint him the new elastico king. But that doesn’t make it any less fun whenever it happens again.
We love the elastico so much we even charted its history and lineage all the way back to a little-known Japanese player called Sergio Echigo.
And the pure joy of the trick is there for all to see in the way Cash, having bought Rashford’s feint to the right, ultimately has to turn the full 360 degrees to once more be able to face the forward.
If Rashford is pulling this off less than two minutes into a pre-season friendly, then opposition defenders best prepare themselves for a long and difficult season of trying to stop him.