Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp has heaped the plaudits on Marcus Rashford for his campaign for free school meals and showing the way where Boris Johnson and his Government is failing.
Klopp joked it might be a bad move and “tricky” to speak so highly of the 22-year-old England striker. That’s due to his connection with arch-rivals Manchester United.
However, Klopp admits some things go beyond football and says the work Rashford is doing in “incredible”.
Rashford has been waging a high-profile campaign to ensure the poorest children in the country do not go hungry outside of term time. His efforts saw him awarded an MBE earlier this month for his work.
Earlier this week the Government voted against a Labour motion to extend the scheme, leaving Rashford to pledge to continue the fight backed by many celebrities and politicians.
“I am not sure I can find any better words than much smarter people have said. But what Marcus has started there is absolutely incredible, it is so nice,” said Klopp.
“And with all the rivalry between the clubs, in these moments we are as footballers and as human beings always united.”
While no politician himself, Klopp did take a veiled dig at Rashford doing what the Government are not.
“It’s just nice to show in a time when obviously a lot of people who are really in charge of something don’t show any sign of proper leadership. He is a boy grown up in difficult circumstances and blessed with sensational talent, obviously. But he never forgot his roots and where he is coming from. It’s just a shame that he has to do it.
“It is a bit of a shame but it is wonderful as well. I hope his mother is really proud of him. I don’t know him but even I am proud of him.
“And he plays for United which makes it really tricky! I’ve heard about Liverpool and Manchester United (rivalry) years and years ago.
“But yes that just shows that football can be really wondrous in moments. It shows that the subject is really really serious and that is why everybody puts the rivalry aside and thinks about the more important things in life.
“So I am really happy that Liverpool can show this solidarity in these moments.
“Now he is a role model for that and it is truly great. It won’t distract him from his football things.”
Pogba plaudits for Rashford
It’s been a great week for Rashford on a sporting level too.
He scored the winner in Paris as United claimed a morale-boosting 2-1 Champions League win over PSG.
The England forward already scored the winning goal from the penalty spot the last time the sides met two seasons ago.
And Mbappe knows all too well just how good he is after revealing Pogba can’t stop talking about the attacker.
“He’s one of the most dangerous forward players in England,” said Mbappe.
“Paul Pogba has spoken about how special he is and he doesn’t talk about players in such a way often.
“When you take a penalty in that situation, how much practice you have put on the training ground doesn’t matter. It’s about confidence and he’s a player who plays with so much confidence.”