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Raheem Sterling

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Raheem Sterling
Raheem Sterling in 2014.JPG
Sterling training with Liverpool in 2014
Personal information
Full name Raheem Shaquille Sterling[1]
Date of birth (1994-12-08) 8 December 1994 (age 20)[2]
Place of birth Kingston, Jamaica
Height 1.70 m (5 ft 7 in)[3]
Playing position Winger / Attacking Midfielder / Striker
Club information
Current team
Manchester City
Number 7
Youth career
2003–2010 Queens Park Rangers
2010–2012 Liverpool
Senior career*
Years Team Apps (Gls)
2012–2015 Liverpool 95 (18)
2015– Manchester City 6 (1)
National team
2009–2010 England U16 9 (1)
2010–2011 England U17 13 (3)
2012 England U19 1 (0)
2012– England U21 8 (3)
2012– England 16 (1)

* Senior club appearances and goals counted for the domestic league only and correct as of 16:50, 29 September 2015 (UTC).
† Appearances (goals)

‡ National team caps and goals correct as of 21:30, 14 June 2015 (UTC)

Raheem Shaquille Sterling (born 8 December 1994) is an English professional footballer who plays as a midfielder for Manchester City and the England national team. He received the Golden Boy award for 2014 from a pan-European panel of sports journalists, recognising him as the best under-21 player playing in Europe. A 2015 professional study by Soccerex ranked him as the most valuable young player in Europe, with a value of €49 million.[4][5]

Born in Jamaica, Sterling moved to London at the age of seven and began his career at Queens Park Rangers before signing for Liverpool in 2010. In July 2015, following a lengthy dispute over a new contract, he was signed by Manchester City in a transfer potentially worth £49 million, the highest transfer for an English player.

He represented England at under-16, under-17 and under-21 level before being capped at full level by the national side in November 2012, and performed at the 2014 FIFA World Cup.

Club career


Early career

Sterling warming up before a game against Vålerenga in August 2011

Sterling was signed by Liverpool from the Academy at Queens Park Rangers in February 2010 by Rafael Benítez for an initial fee of £600,000, which could rise to £5 million depending on how many appearances he makes for the first team.[6][7] He made his first appearance for the first team in a pre-season friendly against Borussia Mönchengladbach in Germany on 1 August 2010.

Sterling played in the youth team, scoring his first goal in a friendly against Hibernian in a 2–2 draw. His first Premier Academy League match was a 2–2 draw against Aston Villa, his first win coming at home to Bristol City a week later. On 15 December, Sterling scored in the FA Youth Cup in a 4–0 win over Notts County. On 14 February 2011, Sterling scored five goals in a 9–0 win over Southend United.[8]

On 24 March 2012, Sterling made his senior Liverpool debut as a substitute in a league match against Wigan Athletic, aged 17 years and 107 days, becoming the third-youngest player to play for the club in the process.[9] On 1 May he made his second appearance, again as a substitute, against Fulham.[10] On the final home game of the season, he made another substitute appearance in a 4–1 win against Chelsea.[11]


Sterling playing against Gomel in 2012

In August 2012, he made his European debut for the club, coming on as a substitute in a UEFA Europa League qualifying match against Gomel, replacing Joe Cole in a 1–0 win.[12] The following week, Sterling scored his first goal for the senior team with a first-half strike in a friendly against Bayer Leverkusen. On 23 August 2012, he started his first game for Liverpool in a Europa League qualifying match away to Hearts in a 1–0 win.[13] He was given his first start in the league three days later in a 2–2 draw at Anfield to Manchester City.[14] He played the full 90 minutes in the loss to Arsenal on 2 September, and the draw with Sunderland on 15 September, where he registered one assist and was named man of the match. On 19 September, Sterling was one of the group of teenagers that traveled to Switzerland to play Young Boys in a Europa League group game. He replaced Stewart Downing in the second half as Liverpool won 5–3.[15] On 20 October, Sterling scored his first senior competitive goal for Liverpool in the 29th minute in a 1–0 league win against Reading with a strike from the edge of the box. As a result, he became the second-youngest player ever to score in a competitive fixture for Liverpool, behind only Michael Owen.[16]

On 21 December 2012, Sterling signed a contract extension, committing his future to Liverpool.[17] He scored his second league goal for the club on 2 January 2013, opening the scoring in a 3–0 win against Sunderland with a lob over goalkeeper Simon Mignolet.[18]


Sterling (left) training at Anfield with Philippe Coutinho (centre) and José Enrique (right)

On 27 August 2013, he scored his first goal of the 2013–14 season, the opening goal against Notts County in a 4–2 win in the League Cup.[19] On 4 December, Sterling scored his first Premier League goal of the season for Liverpool in a 5–1 win over Norwich City. His form in December saw him score two further goals in wins against Tottenham Hotspur (5–0) and Cardiff City (3–1).[20][21] On 8 February 2014, he scored twice in a 5–1 win against Arsenal at Anfield.[22] On 13 April, he scored Liverpool's opening goal in a 3–2 win over Manchester City.[23] A week later, he scored two goals and assisted another as Liverpool won 3–2 against Norwich City at Carrow Road.[24]

On 18 April 2014, he was named as one of the six players on the shortlist for the PFA Young Player of the Year award.[25]


Sterling warming-up for Liverpool before a match against Hull City.

On 17 August 2014, Sterling scored to help Liverpool to win their opening match of the 2014–15 season, a 2–1 win at home to Southampton at Anfield.[26] On 31 August, Sterling scored the opening goal in a 3–0 league win against Tottenham at White Hart Lane and was named man of the match.[27]

On 16 September, Sterling made his UEFA Champions League debut in a 2–1 victory over Bulgarian champions Ludogorets Razgrad at Anfield.[28]

On 14 December 2014, he made his 100th appearance for Liverpool, in a match against Manchester United at Old Trafford.[29] On 17 December, Sterling scored a brace in a 3–1 victory over Bournemouth at Dean Court in the League Cup quarter-final.[30]

On 20 December, Sterling was named as the recipient of the 2014 Golden Boy Award.[31][32]

Sterling was officially excused from Liverpool's FA Cup match against AFC Wimbledon in January 2015, with manager Brendan Rodgers aiming to prevent the player becoming exhausted. He used the time off to holiday in Jamaica.[33] On 31 January Sterling scored the opening goal in a 2–0 win over West Ham.[34]

On 4 February, Sterling scored the equaliser against Bolton Wanderers at the Macron Stadium in a 2–1 win for Liverpool.[35] On 22 February he scored the second goal for Liverpool in a 2–0 win over Southampton.[36]

On 13 April, Sterling opened the scoring in a 2–0 win over Newcastle United.[37] He was named the team's Young Player of the Season on 19 May, and when receiving the award was booed by fans due to his rejection of a new contract;[38] he was also booed on 7 June, while playing for England in Dublin.[39]

On 16 April 2015, for the second consecutive year, he was named as one of the six players on the shortlist for the PFA Young Player of the Year award.[40]

Contract dispute

On 9 February 2015, Brendan Rodgers claimed Sterling had been offered “an incredible deal” to stay at Liverpool, rumoured to be a new contract worth £100,000 a week, but he also stated Liverpool were "certainly not a club that is going to give way, way above what a player is worth at a certain time in their career."[41] However, on 20 March, Rodgers claimed Sterling’s contract situation would not be resolved until the summer at least.[42]

On 1 April, Sterling gave an unsanctioned interview with the BBC, where he confirmed he had turned down a new deal, but denied that this was for reasons of money. He had two years of a £35,000 per week contract remaining and said that he would not negotiate a new contract until the end of the season.[43] Four days later, manager Brendan Rodgers slammed Sterling's advisors (Aidy Ward) on the interview saying, "You are not a 20-year-old boy and you pick up the phone and ask to speak to the BBC. You don't do it. Him in particular. But, of course, if he is asked to do that by other parties then that is what he'll do."[44]

On 21 May, amid rumours that Sterling intended to leave the club his agent, Aidy Ward, gave an interview to the London Evening Standard saying, “I don't care about the PR of the club and the club situation... He is definitely not signing. He’s not signing for £700, £800, £900 thousand a week."[45]

On 11 June, Liverpool reportedly rejected an initial bid of £30 million from Manchester City. One week later they reportedly rejected a second bid from City for £40 million, with Liverpool valuing Sterling at £50 million.[46] Following news that Sterling had reportedly asked to be left out of Liverpool's preseason tour to Asia, and missed two days of training through illness, was met with widespread criticism from former Liverpool players, including Steven Gerrard, Jamie Carragher, and Graeme Souness.[47][48]

Manchester City

On 12 July 2015, a deal was agreed for his transfer to Manchester City for an initial £44 million, with a further potential £5 million in add-ons, subject to personal terms and a medical, which would make him the seventh most expensive transfer of all time.[49][50] On July 14, Sterling officially joined Manchester City, signing a five-year deal.[51] He made his debut for Manchester City against Roma in the pre-season 2015 International Champions Cup on 21 July, and scored inside three minutes.[52] His competitive debut came on 10 August, starting as City began the season with a 3–0 win at West Bromwich Albion.[53]

International career

Sterling's international career coincided with the introduction of the "home nations agreement". It was not until September 2009 that FIFA agreed to the proposals by the English, Northern Irish, Scottish and Welsh Football Associations to update the agreement, allowing players who were educated in their nation for five years or more to become eligible for their national team.[54] Sterling first represented England at under-16 level in November 2009 in a match against Northern Ireland.[55] When speaking of the possibility of playing for Jamaica, Sterling said: "When it comes to that decision, that is when I will decide, but if Jamaica calls for me, why not?"[56]

Sterling was selected to play for England for the 2011 U-17 World Cup. He scored a long-range goal in England's opening 2–0 win against Rwanda in Pachuca.[57] He also scored against Argentina in the second round in a game where England won 4–2 on penalties.[58] On 10 September 2012, Sterling was called up to the senior England squad for the first time for a 2014 World Cup qualifying match against Ukraine, where he was an unused substitute.[59][60] In early October he was called up for the first time to the England under-21 squad and made his debut as a substitute during a match against Serbia on 16 October.[61][62] He scored his first goal for England U21 on 13 August 2013, in a 6–0 win against Scotland.[63]

Senior team

He made his senior debut for England on 14 November 2012, starting in a friendly away to Sweden.[64] On 5 March 2014, Sterling earned his second cap and was named man of the match as England beat Denmark 1–0 in a friendly match at Wembley Stadium.[65][66]

2014 FIFA World Cup

On 12 May 2014, Sterling was named in England's 23-man squad for the 2014 FIFA World Cup.[67] In a pre-tournament friendly on 4 June, against Ecuador in Miami on his fourth cap, Sterling slid into Antonio Valencia, who reacted by grabbing Sterling's neck; both received red cards for their actions.[68][69] Valencia later apologised for his reaction.[70][71]

On 14 June, Sterling started in England's opening group match, a 2–1 loss to Italy in Manaus, and was rated as the team's best performing player by the BBC.[72]

UEFA Euro 2016 qualification

On 27 March 2015, Sterling scored his first senior goal for England in a 4–0 UEFA Euro 2016 qualifier against Lithuania at Wembley Stadium.[73]

Style of play

Sterling plays as a winger, attacking midfielder or striker.[74][75][76][77][78] Barcelona midfielder Xavi said in November 2014 that Sterling is good enough to play for the La Liga club, praising his physical and technical qualities.[79][80] In April 2015, BBC Sport columnist Phil McNulty wrote that Sterling was "very good with the potential to be outstanding" but remained a "work in progress" due to inconsistent performances.[81]

Personal life

Sterling was born in the Maverley district of Kingston, Jamaica and spent his early years there.[82][83] At the age of seven he emigrated to London, England with his mother,[82][83] and attended Copland School in Wembley, north-west London.[84] He has one daughter, Melody Rose, born in 2012 after a brief relationship.[85] His absent father was murdered in Jamaica when Sterling was 9 years old.[86][87]

On 8 August 2013, Sterling was arrested for an alleged common assault on his former girlfriend, a model. He was found not guilty at Liverpool Magistrates Court on 20 September, when the complainant was unable to offer consistent evidence.[88][89] A few months earlier on 20 May 2013, a charge of common assault on a different woman was dropped just as the trial was set to start, when the two witnesses failed to appear and the prosecution offered no further evidence. Sterling's legal fees in the earlier case were paid for by the court.[90]

In an interview with the Daily Mail in 2013, Sterling stated that he is a Christian and the faith is an important thing for him.[91]

In April 2015, Sterling was photographed by the Sunday Mirror allegedly smoking a shisha pipe, and by The Sun allegedly inhaling nitrous oxide for recreational purposes. Manager Brendan Rodgers said "I don't think it is something you should be doing, it's as simple as that...Young players make mistakes. As long as they learn from them, that is what is important".[92]


In 2012, Sterling signed a sponsorship deal with American sportswear and equipment supplier, Nike. He appeared in an advert for the new Nike Green Speed II alongside Mario Götze, Theo Walcott, Eden Hazard, Christian Eriksen and Stephan El Shaarawy in November 2012.[93][94] In January 2013 he modelled the new Nike Mercurial Vapor IX.[95]

Career statistics


As of 28 September 2015.
Club statistics
Club Season League FA Cup League Cup Europe Total
Division Apps Goals Apps Goals Apps Goals Apps Goals Apps Goals
Liverpool 2011–12[96] Premier League 3 0 0 0 0 0 3 0
2012–13[97] Premier League 24 2 1 0 1 0 10[a] 0 36 2
2013–14[98] Premier League 33 9 3 0 2 1 38 10
2014–15[99] Premier League 35 7 5 1 4 3 8[b] 0 52 11
Total 95 18 9 1 7 4 18 0 129 23
Manchester City 2015–16[100] Premier League 6 1 0 0 1 1 1 0 8 2
Career total 101 19 9 1 8 5 19 0 137 25
  1. ^ Appearances in UEFA Europa League
  2. ^ Six appearances in UEFA Champions League, two in Europa League


As of match played 14 June 2015.[101]
International statistics
National team Year Apps Goals
England 2012 1 0
2014 12 0
2015 3 1
Total 16 1

International goals

Score and result list England's goal tally first.[102]
No. Date Venue Opponent Score Result Competition
1. 27 March 2015 Wembley Stadium, London  Lithuania
UEFA Euro 2016 qualification




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External links