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Raheem Sterling Opens Up On Tabloid Criticism And Living His Dream

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Raheem Sterling Opens Up On Tabloid Criticism And Living His Dream

Raheem Sterling has spoken out against the treatment that he receives from the British tabloid press in a revealing article in The Players' Tribune.

Sterling is often singled out for criticism by the media, criticism that he has usually responded to with a dignified silence.

Now, by writing this article, he has opened up on some of the struggles of his childhood, his sacrifices to make it to the top and the reality of his lifestyle away from the pitch.

"So can I trust you?" he begins. "Can I tell you my story, and will you really listen? If you read certain papers, maybe you already think you know me. Maybe you think you know my story, and what I care about. But do you really?"

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Credit: PA
Credit: PA

Addressing the complaints in the media regarding his rifle tattoo, Sterlin wrote: "When I was two years old, my father was murdered.

"That shaped my entire life. Not long after that, my mum made the decision to leave me and my sister in Jamaica and go to England so she could get her degree and give us a better life."

Raised by his single mother, he lived in poverty in London. "I didn't realize it at the time, but my mum was hustling in her own way, trying to make a better life for us.

"When I was five years old, we moved to London to be with her, and that was kind of a tough time because the culture was very different from what I was used to and we didn't have much money.

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Credit: PA
Credit: PA

"I'll never forget waking up at five in the morning before school and helping her clean the toilets at the hotel in Stonebridge."

Growing up in the shadow of Wembley Stadium - which he also has tattooed on his body - he dreamed of playing there.

"I grew up in the shadow of my dream," said Sterling. "Literally."

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"I watched the new Wembley stadium go up from my back garden. One day, I walked outside and I saw this massive arch in the sky. It was rising up over the top of the housing estates like a mountain."

"I used to kick about in this green right by my house, and I could take a shot on goal and then turn round to celebrate and the Wembley arch would literally be right above my head. It was like you were there. I was really like, I can play there. I can do it."

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Sterling pays enormous tribute to his mum, who stood behind him and helped him to acheive his dreams.

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"If people want to write about my mum's bathroom in her house, all I have to tell you is that 15 years ago, we were cleaning toilets in Stonebridge and getting breakfast out of the vending machine," said the England midfielder in response to criticisms of his purchase of a fancy house for his mum.

"If anybody deserves to be happy, it's my mum. She came to this country with nothing and put herself through school cleaning bathrooms and changing bed sheets, and now she's the director of a nursing home.

"And her son plays for England."

Well said, Raheem.

Featured Image Credit: PA

Topics: Football, Raheem Sterling

Mike Wood
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