Coronavirus lockdown: Man United's Rashford admits he's 'sad about not playing football' in reply to young fan's letter

With almost all football postponed indefinitely because of the coronavirus pandemic, star players have found themselves at a loose end.

With many training grounds off-limits, clubs have sent footballers home, where they're adhering to an isolation period for the next few weeks. How are they passing the time?

ESPN will be keeping a daily eye on what the world's best are up to, as well as how clubs are keeping busy by battling in online competitions against each other.

Marcus Rashford

Manchester United striker Marcus Rashford went out of his way to make a young fan's day by replying to his letter about missing football during the lockdown.

Rashford, 22, was contacted by 6-year-old Alex as part of a homeschool project. After introducing himself, the young United supporter asked Rashford if he "felt sad that football is finished" and enquired if his hero was "staying safe."

Alex also wrote: "I am missing playing football on the weekends with my team Harefield United."

Rashford was quick to reply after being sent the letter on social media by Alex's mum, Lucy.

"Hi Alex, thanks for your lovely note," the England international wrote. "I am staying safe thank you. Working hard, reading lots. I'm a bit sad about not playing football too.

"I hope you're keeping up with your school work. Loving your PJs! Be a good boy for your mum and get to bed buddy."

Lucy thanked Rashford and said Alex would be "chuffed to bits" when he saw that his hero had responded.

Rashford has thrown his support behind several charities that support vulnerable kids, most notably Fare Share UK, for whom he has helped raise hundreds of thousands of pounds. And, as he told ESPN last year, he recently spearheaded a campaign to help people living homeless in Manchester.

He's a good egg, that lad.

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- A letter from the great quarantine: Missing football, pasta and friendship

Rodolfo Pizarro

Inter Miami's Rodolfo Pizarro has demonstrated that a little kindness can go a long, long way as people around the world continue to struggle through the COVID-19 outbreak.

It began with Pizarro ringing through a takeaway order from a local restaurant via a delivery app.

However, instead of exchanging details with his delivery person, the Argentine midfielder simply donated the entire order to her and her family as a gesture of gratitude.

"You are an angel in disguise," she replied. "Thank you so much."

Amid these difficult times, it's reassuring to know that there still so many little acts of kindness and generosity going on out there.

Lovely stuff.

Romelu Lukaku

Romelu Lukaku was trying to conduct an Instagram Live interview with Thierry Henry when he was rudely heckled by one of his former teammates.

The Inter Milan striker was busy chatting with one of his idols when Nemanja Matic popped up in the comment section.

- Stream ESPN FC, 30 for 30 Soccer Stories and much more on ESPN+
- A letter from the great quarantine: Missing football, pasta and friendship

"Shut up, Romelu," came the abrupt quip from Matic. Safe to say that the Manchester United midfielder's input wasn't entirely constructive, but it didn't seem to derail the session.

Still, looking at Lukaku's expression in the screenshot, you have to wonder if it has captured the exact moment he, too, noticed the comment.


Neymar has launched a social media challenge in which contestants are tasked with performing as many "round the world" keepy-uppies as possible.

The Brazil star kicked things off by challenging his mates, though, perhaps unsurprisingly, he made mincemeat of them.

Tasked with a target score of five, Neymar racked up 16 circumnavigations, even finishing on a stylish double to complete the rout.

With a brand-new total to aim at, he then laid down the gauntlet directly to Sean Garnier, two-time world-champion freestyle footballer.

We've got a funny feeling Garnier might provide a little sterner test if and when he gets round to filing his attempt.