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It’s quite simple. If England want to guarantee qualification to the last 16 in this year’s World Cup, they need to beat rivals Wales. Although Gareth Bale’s side will (famous last words) probably be heading home after the final whistle, bringing England along with them will take the edge off their early exit. England can’t afford to take it easy. When it comes to matches like this, form, experience and even talent go out of the window. It’s about who wants it more.

Manchester United’s Marcus Rashford has had a solid start to this campaign. Despite starting on the bench for both their opening matches against Iran and USA, he’s come on twice and scored with almost his first touch against Iran, which has led many pundits to claim he’s looking back to his best.

There’s no doubt, should England prove victorious tonight, he will have more of a role to play as the World Cup progresses. He’s too good a player to be silenced. Here, he talks to Men’s Health about his passion for football, coping with failure and how he manages his mindset.

On… Commitment

My whole day revolved around football. My life was just football, football, football. I enjoyed going out on the streets and finding ways to challenge my skills and improve. I played until it was too dark to see the ball; that was time to go home. On a school trip, I would wake up at 6.30am and the first thing on my mind was, ‘What can I learn today, football-wise?’ Everyone else was up at 9am on that school trip but I thought, ‘I’ve got two and a half hours here to develop my skills.’”

On… Football and Opportunities

“At first, I didn’t even know footballers got paid! I honestly didn’t. I just loved football. I could see myself getting better and better, and I didn’t want that to stop. It wasn’t until I was 13 and realised that footballers were paid good money that I saw it as a way to get my family out of the situation we were in. By that stage, I was fully in love with the game and there was nothing that could take me away from it. But hearing that there were large amounts of money involved, the first thing I wanted to do was buy my mum a house, and then my sisters, my brothers – even before I got a house myself, I made sure everyone else had a house. It was just the way I did things.”

On… Dealing with Critics

“There’s a lot of jealousy and a lot of hate out there. People don’t like to see young black people being successful. I just believe that I’ve found a way to channel it. Like, if people don’t want me to be successful, it makes me want to be successful even more. It’s nothing to do with what I am doing off the pitch. On the pitch, I am a completely different person. I do what it takes to win for the club and for the manager. It’s two different mentalities. I don’t know how I manage to do it, but I do.”

On… Drive and Mentality

“Something I’ve always told myself is: never lose sight of where you came from, and never lose sight of the journey that got you to where you are. That drives me in football, because my mentality on the pitch is to just improve, improve, improve. Concentrate on scoring goals and making assists. You have to be relentless. And the skill set needed to have a good campaign is similar to what I need on the pitch, in terms of mentality. Going between the two is genuinely not a problem for me.

On… Teammates

For me, yeah. I love football. I love the game, and I see my teammates as my family members. If you’re on the same team as me, we’re fighting for the same things. We have a go at each other sometimes, we snap at each other. But don’t let that fool you. We are on the same page. We all want to win trophies, and that’s the important thing.”

On… What it Takes to be the Best

“I would probably say, ‘How much are you willing to lose?’ To be at the very top, you have to learn to sacrifice a lot and you have to be OK with sacrifices. For example, I left home when I was 11 years old. That was me leaving my family behind, my friends behind. All to follow my dream of football. That was my first massive sacrifice. After that, I used to come home every weekend and go to see all my friends – not just the close friends I have now, like Jamie [Hendley] and Ashley [Leather], but all my friends together. And some of them were up to no good. When I talk about sacrifice, it’s also about making decisions. That’s why I’m so close to Jamie and Ashley, because if they knew someone was going off in a direction that could put us in a sticky situation, they would have me home straight away. Just like that. We would get on our bikes and I would be home. They have been like that from the beginning for me. So, that’s my way of looking at it. How much you are willing to lose determines how great you can be.”

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