Marcus Rashford grabbed a lot of headlines on Wednesday night, as his confident spot-kick in the final moments of the Manchester United-PSG encounter sent his side through to the quarterfinals of the Champions League.
The youngster hit an emphatic penalty which looked as good as unsaveable, with fans and pundits alike praising his tranquility as well as technique.
Similar to the ‘knuckleball technique’ which was made famous by Cristiano Ronaldo, Rashford appears to have come up with his own version of shooting style, which involves hyperextending his knee and striking the ball with a fully flat foot.
These kind of shots make the ball wobble and dip quite unpredictably, and are difficult for even the most experienced of goalkeepers to deal with.
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This was evident when PSG custodian Gianluigi Buffon struggled to save a venomous Rashford strike, spilling the ball in Lukaku’s path, who ended up scoring his second goal of the night.
BT Sport pundit and ex-Red Devil Rio Ferdinand spoke about the 20-year-old’s technique during the half-time of that Round of 16 clash, stating: “The way these balls moved nowadays, I was at the training ground a little while ago, last week it was, and I saw him hitting these balls from around this distance, dead balls.
“And he does make the ball move wonderfully and it makes it almost impossible for any goalkeeper on the planet to make a clean save. Buffon just tries to get his body behind the ball.”
Rashford himself had spoken about his shooting style ahead of the 2018 World Cup, when he scored a wonder-goal using the same at Elland Road in a friendly against Costa Rica.
“Everyone has their own style that they shoot and play with,” the England international had stated. “I’d say from repetitions, you just get what works best for you. I just repeated similar finishes and then you get better at it.”
When asked how he generates the power, he revealed: “I’d say it’s more about technique. Like I said before about repeating the same action, now I don’t have to put much effort into striking the ball as much as what I was used to. In terms of the power, once you get the technique you can play with it.”