English forward Marcus Rashford released a powerful statement Monday following his disappointing finish at Euro 2020:
Rashford was subbed onto pitch in the 120th minute of the Euro 2020 final against Italy with the score tied 1-1, effectively only coming on for penalty kicks. The Manchester United player then missed his attempt while hitting only the left post.
Italy went on to win the title with a 3-2 shootout victory.
"A penalty was all I'd been asked to contribute for the team. I can score penalties in my sleep so why not that one?" Rashford said in his post. "...All I can say is sorry. I wish it had gone differently."
The three players who missed kicks for England—Rashford, Jadon Sancho and Bukayo Saka—are all Black and have each received racial abuse following the loss. England's Football Association has condemned the abuse against the players.
A mural honoring Rashford in Withington, Manchester, was also vandalized.
Rashford, meanwhile, noted he has received numerous positive messages as well and shared some hand-written letters from kids.
"For all the kind messages, thank you," he wrote. "I'll be back stronger. We'll be back stronger."
England fell short of winning its first major trophy since the 1966 World Cup, but the team should be a top contender once again at the 2022 World Cup.
Rashford has also been a key player at the club level for Manchester United, appearing in 179 Premier League matches since debuting as an 18-year-old in 2016.