Marcus Rashford has overtaken Cristiano Ronaldo as Manchester United’s sixth most frequent goal scorer in European football.
The England international scored his 27th goal of the season with a stunning long-range strike to put Erik ten Hag’s side ahead against Real Betis. Rashford, who also gave United the lead in the first leg at Old Trafford, has now scored 25 goals for the club in European competition.
This elevated Rashford above Ronaldo, who left United by mutual consent in November after a shocking interview with Piers Morgan. In January, the Portuguese star completed a stunning move to Saudi Arabian club Al-Nassr, where he is expected to earn around £173 million per year.
Ronaldo had scored two of United’s three goals this season in the Europa League, one in each leg against Moldovan club FC Sheriff Tiraspol. He had scored a penalty in Moldova before scoring from close range in his final game for the Red Devils.
Of course, the 38-year-old scored many of the club’s European goals in the Champions League. Before this season, he had 22 goals on the European stage, all of which came in Europe’s top club competition, where he is the all-time leading scorer thanks to his exploits with Manchester United, Real Madrid, and Juventus.
Despite this, Rashford has slipped to seventh on United’s overall list of European scorers, with six goals in the Europa League this season and 25 for the club across the top european tournaments.
Rashford’s next target is legendary Manchester United midfielder Paul Scholes, who is now just one goal ahead of him in the European goal scoring charts. Scholes scored 26 goals in his illustrious European career with United, two behind legendary forward Denis Law (28) who is fourth on the club’s all-time list.
Former winger Ryan Giggs is third in the rankings, but the club’s top two are far ahead; second-placed Ruud van Nistelrooy managed to score an eye-catching 38 goals throughout European competitions for United, with his erstwhile strike partner Wayne Rooney occupying the top spot with 39 goals.
That means Rashford is still 14 goals short of the top spot, but at only 25, he will believe he has plenty of time to close the gap – and will be looking for several more this season, with United progressing to the Europa League quarter-finals.
27 goals and 9 assists in 43 games with Manchester United this season.
Youngest Man United player to score 25 goals in European competitions.
Marcus Rashford 🔴✨ #MUFC #UEL pic.twitter.com/LJamIjGxxR
— Fabrizio Romano (@FabrizioRomano) March 16, 2023
Just as United seemed to be facing an incredible Betis comeback, star man Rashford offered a game-changing intervention to turn the tide in their favour. Rashford’s perseverance and brilliance shone through once more, after missing two chances before his stunning goal, with Manchester United in a stressful scenario.
Rashford’s achievement divided United supporters, with some pointing out that all-time great Ronaldo primarily scored in the Champions League. Yet when it came to applauding the England star’s outstanding form, social media was unanimous.
Rashford scored his 25th European goal, a long-ranger into the bottom corner from nowhere, to give Manchester United a 1-0 win in Spain and a 5-1 aggregate victory to advance to the Europa League quarter-finals. Moreover, of his 27 goals for United this season, 19 have come in the 24 games since the World Cup.