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Marcus Rashford has shared a statement to Twitter following England's loss to Italy at last night's Euro 2020 final.
In a lengthy post Rashford, who was one of three players to miss a penalty during the shootout, said he 'felt as if I'd let everyone down' and that he wished it had 'gone differently'.
The statement began: "I don't even know where to start and I don't even know how to put into words how I'm feeling at this exact time.
"I've had a difficult season, I think that's been clear for everyone to see and I probably went into that final with a lack of confidence.
"I've always backed myself for a penalty but something didn't feel quite right. During the long run up I was saving myself a bit of time and unfortunately the result was not what I wanted."
He went on: "I felt as though I had let my teammates down. I felt as if I'd let everyone down.
"A penalty was all I'd been asked to contribute for the team. I can score penalties in my sleep, so why not that one? It's been playing in my head over and over since I struck the ball and there's probably not a word to describe how it feels.
"Final. 55 years. 1 penalty. History. All I can say is sorry. I wish it had gone differently.
"Whilst I continue to say sorry I want to shout out my teammates. This summer has been one of the best camps I've experienced and you've all played a role in that.
"A brotherhood has been built that is unbreakable. Your success is my success. Your failures are mine.
"I've grown into a sport where I expect to read things written about myself. Whether it be the colour of my skin, where I grew up, or, most recently, how I decide to spend my time off the pitch.
"I can take critique of my performance all day long, my penalty was not good enough, it should have gone in but I will not apologise for who I am and where I came from.
"I've felt no prouder moment than wearing those three lions on my chest and seeing my family cheer me on in a crowd of 10s of thousands.
"The messages I've received today have been positively overwhelming and seeing the response in Withington had me on the verge of tears.
"The communities that always wrapped their arms around me continue to hold me up.
"I'm Marcus Rashford, 23-year-old black man from Withington and Wythenshawe, South Manchester. If I have nothing else I have that."
Rashford ended his post: "For all the kind messages, thank you. I'll be back stronger. We'll be back stronger."
Rashford and teammates Jadon Sancho and Bukayo Saka were all subjected to racist abuse after missing their spot-kicks during last night's match.
The racist abuse has been widely condemned with the Football Association releasing a statement slamming those responsible for the online hatred.
A spokesperson for England's football governing body wrote: "We could not be clearer that anyone behind such disgusting behaviour is not welcome in following the team.
"We will do all we can to support the players affected while urging the toughest punishments possible for anyone responsible.
"We will continue to do everything we can to stamp discrimination out of the game, but we implore government to act quickly and bring in the appropriate legislation so this abuse has real life consequences."
Featured Image Credit: PA
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