Raheem Sterling: I am not a role model – but I have opened a door to get to work


Raheem Sterling talks about turning points.

When things changed for him, on and off the field.

When people have a better understanding of what he is about, not just as a football player, but the personality who has seen him, becomes one of the most important people in Britain.

Sterling is sharp, funny and self-devaluing. He has always been. It is just now that we are seeing how 24-year-old Manchester City and England look ahead.

He laughs at the idea of ​​being a role model, even though someone is called because it makes his mother proud.

There is also the turning point from when it changed for him as a player. When he stopped worrying about what people were saying about him and began to realize his full potential.

Our John Cross met the REAL Raheem Sterling – sharp, funny and self-devaluing

"I think it was when City started buying wingers!", He laughs. "I went back to northwest London, went to my friend and said: & # 39; They just bought Bernardo Silva. & # 39; He was worried about me. And I said: & # 39; That's sick, man. & # 39; He was really surprised, but I thought: & # 39; It's good, it's competition and it brings out the best in me. & # 39;

"That was a huge turning point when the wingers came in to push me. It was a good thing.

"At that time I was alone and Leroy (Sane) and I just knew it would push me back to do it better because I knew there was someone else. When you are on a team, it's not about ego, it's about it increase your game to help the team.

"People started to doubt me and I also started to doubt myself and to believe what was being said. It wasn't about getting my faith back, but I kind of blocked people. I was like, & # 39; Okay , no problem, I'll show you. & # 39; "

Sterling could have been disgusted when City Bernardo signed Silva, but he took it as a challenge

Two titles and two League Cups later, Sterling now looks at the first domestic Treble in English football history when Manchester City wins the FA Cup on Saturday.

But Sterling has also taken his game to another level in those two seasons, both for club and country.

And that is the core of his personality.

He likes a challenge, changed perceptions and made optimum use of his platform as a football player.

Now not only football fans look up to him, but an entire generation.

He made us all think with an Instagram message about racism, his voice was heard and next week he will give a lecture on the problems in New York. He has also set up his own YouTube channel to give people even more of an idea of ​​what he is doing, because he likes to be different from the average football player.

The forward direction of England has become a key figure in the struggle of football with fan racism

"In interviews you can come across boring, not want to talk. But I try to run into it and give as much as I can, so people can see exactly," Sterling said. "I'm no different than talking to you here when I talk to my family.

"That's why I also built a YouTube channel and provided real insight into the real Raheem. People rated me on the image of the past, and I wasn't.

"Sometimes it's just about football questions and I have to be professional, because I talk to John Cross because I feel good, but my YouTube channel provides insight into my life." Many players nowadays donate not too much, do not want to give away too much of themselves, but I think it is good to give insight because people will take you more.

The move to City has seen Sterling blossom as a scorer, with 18 league goals last season and 17 this time

"I don't want them to see me as & # 39; Raheem Sterling, playing for Manchester City & # 39; I want them to see Raheem Sterling in full flow, jokes and laughter. I want them to see if I have good jokes or not. & # 39;

But Sterling still doesn't know for sure if it's a role model.

"People keep saying that," he said. "I don't want to say a role model because I don't see myself as one.

"It gives my mother pride, I'll tell you.

"I don't think I've changed anything, but I've opened a door to get to work. That's what I like about this country. People always listen, people want to do the right thing and I certainly see it as something that has been done positively.

Sterling and the Blues celebrate back-to-back titles – and can write history on Saturday

"I love this country because the people here are so loving and so willing to listen to try to do things right. I'll give a speech in New York next week … I'm afraid! No, I really look looking forward, a little nervous, but … "

Sterling spent much of his childhood growing up in the Wembley area in north-west London and would ride his bike past the national stadium while hearing the noise of the crowd on competition days.

He never went there to a match until the 2007 FA Cup final between Chelsea and Manchester United, when his school handed out tickets as a reward for students who were the best in the sport.

That was his motivation behind buying 550 tickets for his old school for the semi-final against Brighton last month.

Somewhere in the crowd while Didier defeated Drogba & # 39; s goal United was a young Raheem Sterling

He likes going to the stadium, still visiting his school friends – he visited five of his best friends "to chill and eat something" on Tuesday – and never lost that connection.

"I was at the final in 2007," he recalled. "I shouldn't really say this – not now, certainly not now! – but when I was young, I was a big fan of United. I had an old United kit from when they won the last FA Cup.

"To be in the stadium … it was incredible, it was incredible and that was when I tried to give the tickets to the school, that was motivated by – being so close to the stadium and not going more than once .

"If two or three children could be inspired, that's all I was trying to do. Pure, that's how I felt at the time. If there was a child who had the chance to become a footballer, hopefully it would give them motivation or inspiration to change their dreams. "

Sterling lives up to his dreams in his own unique style.

read more

Mirror football top stories