London (AFP) – Marcus Rashford said “emotion got the better of him” after the Manchester United forward reacted to abuse from fans following his team’s Champions League exit against Atletico Madrid.
A video posted on social media on Wednesday showed Rashford walking past supporters outside Old Trafford after Tuesday’s 2-1 aggregate defeat against the Spanish champions.
The 24-year-old, who came on as a substitute against Atletico, appeared to hear something shouted and headed towards the hecklers before being ushered away by security.
England international Rashford made a gesture with his hand to the fans as he walks away.
Rashford has endured a disappointing season with the Premier League club and he responded to the video by emphasising how much abuse he had already suffered this term.
“There are two sides to every story. A video can paint a thousand words and in this case lead to inaccurate info being shared on social media,” Rashford wrote.
“Guys for weeks I’ve been heckled, threatened, questioned and last night my emotion got the better of me. I’m a human being. Reading and hearing that stuff about yourself every day it wears you down.
“No one is more critical of my performance than me. But what you see in this video lacks context.
“I had been heckled from the minute I stepped foot outside the ground, abuse not just aimed at my football. People were looking for a reaction from me. Phones were at the ready. Of course I should have walked straight past and ignored it, that’s what we’re supposed to do right?
“I want to clarify two things. The first being what I actually said to the man throwing abuse at me which was ‘Come over here and say it to my face’ (a fact security can back up) and secondly, the fact I used my forefinger to direct the fan to ‘Come over and say it to my face’. I did not gesture with my middle finger.
“I’m not entitled. This isn’t ego. I’m upset. I’m disappointed. And in that moment it was silly but I was being human.”
Soon after Rashford posted the message, it was retweeted by United, accompanied by a heart emoji.
He has scored five goals in all competitions this season for the club and none since January.
United have crashed out of the Champions League and FA Cup in that period, while losing their place in the Premier League’s top four.
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