Often targeted by the media, the fans and the general public , Raheem Sterling has been through the lot. The public eye hasn’t been kind to him despite the Englishman being sharp and sensible in his walk to success. Battling racism in one hand and winning titles on another, the dazzling winger and a solid personality opens up about himself.
“I think it was when City started to buy wingers!” he laughs. “I went back to North West London, I went to see my friend and he said, ‘They’ve just bought Bernardo Silva.’ He was worried for me. And I was like saying, ‘That’s sick, man.’ He was really surprised but I thought, ‘It’s good, it’s competition and it brings out the best in me.’
“That was a massive turning point when the wingers came in to push me. It was a good thing.
“At the time, it was only me and Leroy (Sane) and I just knew that it would push me again to do better because I knew there was someone else there. When you’re in a team, it’s not about ego, it’s about raising your game to help the team.
“People had started to doubt me and I began to doubt myself as well and believe what was being said. It wasn’t about getting my belief back, but I kind of blocked people out. I was like, ‘OK, no problem, I’ll show you.’”
“In interviews, you can come across as boring, not wanting to talk. But I try to come across and give as much as I can, so people can see the exact me,” said Sterling. “I’m no different from me talking to you here when I’m talking to my family.
“That’s why I built a YouTube channel as well and give the real insight into the real Raheem. People have judged me on the image of before, and that wasn’t me.
“Sometimes it’s just about football questions and I have to be professional, because I’m talking to John Cross, being on my best behaviour! But on my YouTube channel, it gives an insight into my life. A lot of players nowadays don’t do too much, don’t want to give too much of themselves away, but I think it’s good to give insight because people will take to you more.”