Soccer-England must leave comfort zone against Scotland - Rashford


Soccer Football - Euro 2020 - England Training - St. George's Park, Burton upon Trent, Britain - June 15, 2021 England's Marcus Rashford during training REUTERS/Carl Recine

LONDON (Reuters) - England's players must go beyond their comfort zone against old rivals Scotland in their Euro 2020 clash at Wembley on Friday, according to forward Marcus Rashford.

Rashford came off the bench as England opened their Group D campaign with a 1-0 win over Croatia, the team that knocked them out of the 2018 World Cup in the semi-final.

Old rivals Scotland, who England last faced four years ago, will present a completely different test, said the Manchester United player who is tipped for a starting berth.

"As players, you want to play in the biggest and most historical games and this will be up there with the games that we remember for the rest of our careers," Rashford said at a news conference on Wednesday.

"The last time, I remember the atmosphere and the build-up was unique. It's going to be a tough game for sure and we will have to be good at things that are outside of our comfort zone.

"Scotland are effective in different ways so we must match them and compete and get the ball down and play our football."

Should England win, they will be favourites to top the group and could then face Portugal in the last 16 - meaning a meeting with Cristiano Ronaldo whose two goals against Hungary made him the highest scorer in the history of the Euros.

Rashford was an 11-year-old in Manchester United's youth ranks when Ronaldo left Old Trafford for Real Madrid and he says facing him would be amazing.

"Cristiano is an unbelievable player, it almost becomes normal when he defies the odds, it's just the way his career has been from the very beginning," Rashford said.

"I remember when he first started he wasn't the Cristiano you see today, he was a different player, he was always dribbling, taking people on. As time went on, his decision making changed, he turned into an animal, he was scoring, assisting.

"He's scoring goals left, right and centre now."

While England will be favourites against Scotland, who lost 2-0 to the Czech Republic in their opener, Rashford warned that they have players well used to the biggest stages, including Liverpool's Champions League-winning left back Andy Roberston and United team mate Scott McTominay.

"The Scotland team have got a lot of players in there who have won things, and you can't under-estimate that. Scott has had big moments for United in big games.

"I'm pleased for Scott and his family, we've been playing together since we were eight or nine or 10, to be playing against each in one of the biggest competitions in football is an amazing achievement."

(Reporting by Martyn Herman; Editing by Andrew Cawthorne)

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