In a recent match against San Marino, Manchester United’s rising star, Rasmus Hojlund, faced a relentless barrage of tough tackles from his opponents, who seemed hell-bent on disrupting his game, often with seemingly deliberate and dangerous intent.
Hojlund was the catalyst for Denmark’s 2-1 victory, scoring the opening goal just minutes before halftime. However, this moment of triumph was quickly overshadowed by a series of ruthless challenges by San Marino’s defenders.
The most egregious foul occurred in the 88th minute when Roberto Di Maio kneed Hojlund from behind with no intention of playing the ball. Hojlund was left fuming, convinced that the San Marino players were out to jeopardize his career.
Reflecting on the match, the United frontman expressed his frustration, saying, “The last duel had nothing to do with football. It ended up being laughable in the end. Such a duel must not just turn into a yellow card.
It’s a knee in the back – straight red card if you ask me.” He stood firm against the apparent intimidation tactics.
Hojlund’s goal celebration was met with offense from San Marino’s Alessandro Tosi and Filippo Fabri, but he maintained that the reaction against him was unwarranted. “I think it is disrespectful that they hit and tear,” Hojlund responded.
“I can’t say much other than that I think they are the ones who started, and then the game just went on. They took it to the next level because they have nothing to lose. They thought: ‘Well, fine enough, we might as well try to destroy the career.'”
Denmark’s captain, Simon Kjaer, shared Hojlund’s frustration and drew parallels between Di Maio’s challenge and an infamous incident from the 2014 World Cup when Colombia defender Zuniga took down Neymar from behind, causing Neymar to miss the remainder of the tournament.
Kjaer vehemently argued that the tackle on Hojlund warranted a red card, emphasizing its deliberate nature.
Kjaer even claimed to overhear San Marino players discussing how to target Hojlund. He pointed out the danger of such actions and urged the referee to take action.
“It’s dangerous, and they are right next to it,” he added. “After all, I told him [the referee] right on the pitch that now they are going after his knees after the situation down there.
I also said to the referee ‘do you want me to translate now?’ We also have VAR. You can see all the way down from behind that he is doing it 100 percent deliberately.”
Rasmus Hojlund’s resilience in the face of such adversities showcased his determination to overcome challenges both on and off the field.