Marcus Rashford admits his meteoric rise with Manchester United and England “doesn’t seem real”.
Rashford has traveled with the national team to their European Championship base in Chantilly, France ahead of this summer’s tournament.
The 18-year-old made his competitive debut for United only four months ago, but soon became a crucial part of Louis van Gaal’s side, winning the FA Cup in his first season.
Rashford was then a shock selection among Roy Hodgson’s 23-man squad for Euro 2016, and scored a goal on his England debut, repeating the feats he had accomplished in his Europa League and Premier League debuts at club level.
Discussing his breakthrough with the FA’s official website, Rashford admitted that it all felt just a little bit surreal.
“I think it’s a good way to end the season for me, and hopefully we get some joy in the tournament,” the striker said. “It doesn’t seem real, when you look back.
“It doesn’t seem real, when you look back at it. [At Christmas] I was actually trying to work my way into [United’s] under-21s side and all of a sudden I appeared in the first team – you have to be ready when your chance comes.
“To be honest, I wasn’t really thinking about the England set-up as much because obviously at United there was a lot of games coming thick and fast so all of my focus was on those games.
“At the end of the season you hear talk and stuff, but to be here now is just amazing. For it to be in my hands to go out and help the country is an amazing feeling.
“When I first went into the changing room and saw all of the players’ names on the back of their shirts, it didn’t seem real.
“I remember going home after and speaking to my brother about it, and he agreed with me – he didn’t think it was real either. That’s what it’s like until you get used to it.
“I tried not to think about it too much because that’s probably where the pressure and stuff starts to get to people’s heads and affect their performance.
“For me, I was just concentrating on playing how I’d been playing and all of a sudden the goal came. It was a good way to start.”