Marcus Rashford was subjected to more racial abuse on his social media accounts following Manchester United’s Europa League final defeat in Gdansk.
The England striker said he had received “at least 70 racial slurs” on social media in the wake of United’s penalty shootout loss to Villarreal.
It is not the first time Rashford has been the target of social media abuse. In January, Greater Manchester police investigated racist comments sent to the 23-year-old and a number of other players. At the end of April, English football united for a four-day social media boycott to protest inaction over racial abuse on social media.
“Yes I’m a black man and I live every day proud that I am,” Rashford wrote after receiving abuse in January. “No one is going to make me feel any different. So sorry if you were looking for a strong reaction, you’re just simply not going to get it here.”
Rashford scored his spot kick in the shootout before David De Gea’s miss – after 21 straight successful efforts – handed the Spanish club the trophy. The United forward said a runners-up medal – his second this season after United finished behind Manchester City in the Premier League – was no consolation.
“In the league we finished second. Second doesn’t count for nothing,” Rashford told BT Sport. “Manchester City win the league, we finish second, it doesn’t mean nothing. Villarreal win the Europa League, we finish second, for us it means nothing.
“I don’t want to hear, ‘they were so close’. It doesn’t mean anything. There is one winner and one loser and today we lost. We have to find out why and make sure next time we don’t lose.” Despite the disappointment, Rashford insisted United would return stronger next season.
“The feeling inside is difficult to explain because we came here to win,” he said. “We have been working so hard all season and this was the opportunity to win a trophy and it didn’t happen for whatever reason. We have to get rid of the disappointment and after that we need to look back at the game and see what we’ve done wrong and where we can improve.
“All I can say is the team will not give up, there is no chance this team gives up. The manager will not give up, he will not allow us to give up. We will come next season with a bigger desire. We have everything to compete at the highest level. We just have to show it to the world and show it to ourselves.”