Kylian Mbappe was among those who sent a message of support to Marcus Rashford following his miss in England’s penalty shootout defeat to Italy in the Euro 2020 final.
Rashford was the first England player to miss their spot kick as his effort hit the post, while Jadon Sancho and Bukayo Saka both had their penalties saved by Italy goalkeeper Gianluigi Donnarumma.
Mbappe, meanwhile, went through similar heartbreak at Euro 2020 as his decisive miss in a penalty shootout sent France crashing out to Switzerland in the round-of-16 stage.
And the France striker has now reached out to Rashford to offer his support to the Manchester United and England forward.
According to The Athletic, Mbappe was one of the first people to privately message Rashford following his miss in the shootout.
The report claims that Mbappe referenced his miss against Switzerland in his message to Rashford and told the England forward to ‘stay positive’.
In a statement on Monday evening, Rashford admitted he felt he had ‘let everyone down’ and says the mural set up in Withington ‘had me on the verge of tears’.
‘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,’ Rashford wrote on social media.
‘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 run up I was saving myself a bit of time and unfortunately the result was not what I wanted.
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 quite describe how it feels.
‘Final. 55 years. One penalty. History. All I can say is sorry. I wish it had gone differently.
‘Whilst I continue to say sorry I want to shoutout to 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 decided 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 never apologise for who I am or where I came from.
‘I’ve felt no prouder moment than wearing these three lions on my chest and seeing my family cheer me on in a crowd of 10s of thousands. I dreamt of days like this.
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 years old, black man from Withington and Wythenshawe, South Manchester. If I have nothing else I have that.
‘For all the kind messages, thank you. I’ll be back stronger. We’ll be back stronger.’