Marcus Rashford has made headlines in the last year for his proactive movements for children’s free school meals and reading. The football star has now recently connected with former U.S. president, Barack Obama, over Zoom.

The conversation between the two influential people was organised by Penguin Books and was hosted by June Sarpong. The trio discussed the importance of giving back, reading, and youth empowerment- all themes in Obama’s book, A Promised Land.  Rashford and Obama have shared experiences growing up raised by single mothers and spoke on this.

“A lot of the young people I meet – including Marcus – they’re ahead of where I was when I was 23,” Obama said, “They’re already making changes and being positive forces in their communities.”

Rashford replied, “It’s quite surreal isn’t it? I’m sitting in my kitchen in Manchester, speaking to President Obama. But, immediately, he made me feel at ease. It wasn’t long before I realised just how aligned our experiences as children were in shaping the men you see today – adversity, obstacles and all. I genuinely enjoyed every minute of it. When President Obama speaks, all you want to do is listen.”

Watch the conversation below.