'He is a man with principles' - Tottenham manager Mourinho congratulates Rashford for free school meals campaign
Jose Mourinho praised Marcus Rashford after his successful free school lunch campaign and described the Manchester United striker whom he knows as a "man with principles".
Rashford's lobbying with the United Kingdom government led to a U-turn as the voucher program for vulnerable schoolchildren was extended beyond schooling, and the issue was dear to the player due to his own childhood experiences.
The 22-year-old, who spoke of his own addiction to free school meals and food banks in his childhood, had already helped the FareShare charity achieve its goal of providing three million meals to those in need by the end of June.
Mourinho worked with Rashford while responsible for United and, as he prepared to face his former employers on Friday, stood up for the England international for his off-field work.
"He did surprisingly well, I congratulate him," the Spurs boss told the media before the Premier League game.
"It is a bit strange for me that a soccer player can do it, and if it happens it is because the government realizes that it is the right thing to do. The government should not wait for a player to come out publicly and which one sets in. " Pressure on them to make that happen.
"The 18-year-old child I met a few years ago is now a man and a man with principles. Fighting for children who are very similar to him as a child is something very nice from Marcus."
Rashford's focus on Friday will hit his old boss hard as Spurs tries to regain the United gap in the table.
Mourinho's team - reinforced by Harry Kane's return after an injury - still have nine games in a Premier League season delayed by the Coronavirus pandemic despite facing a battle for the Top 4.
United is fifth ahead of the crucial clash at Tottenham Hotspur Stadium, three points behind fourth-placed Chelsea. Spurs are now eighth and run the risk of missing the qualification for the Champions League next season.
"The battle for the top four would be amazing if we all started with the same number of points, but unfortunately that's not the case," said Mourinho.
"It's a strange struggle, but it's a challenge on the road, motivation. I'll try not to pay attention to this difference. I honestly can't tell you the difference in points. We have to look at this incredible challenge how we have to do it. " it.
"In every game we have to try to win. At the end of the nine games we will see what we and our opponents have done.
"We don't normally depend so much on our exact opponents in this fight, but let's focus on one game at a time. Tomorrow is Manchester United and the points are there to fight for."
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