F or a key to Raheem Sterling's brilliant career, which includes three Premier League titles, four League Cups, the FA Cup and the UEFA Euro 2020 tournament squad, listen what the Manchester City and the English striker said Thursday.
" To give me an edge, if there's a big game coming up, probably a little bit of criticism, then try to spin it, "he said. "This is one of my best traits - I mean [having] a challenge. Not necessarily something negative is saying, but maybe someone is saying: " He didn't not scored in a few games now ", and I 've got one coming up. Something like this.
At City, where Pep Guardiola demoted him to the squad's rank, and for England, when he went three years and 27 matches without scoring, this steel core was obvious. The drought in England ended with two goals against Spain in a 3-2 victory in 2018 and he scored eight more times in his next nine appearances. However, entering the European Championship, Sterlinghad lost their first-choice status at City. His response was to score the winners against the Croatia and the Czech Republic and the opener in a 2-0 victory over Germany , finishing as England 's top performer.
Sterling, however, remains focused if the The opponent is of higher or lower quality. He told the US FT Business of Sport summit on Thursday: "You might have a Champions League game midweek against one of the biggest teams in Europe, then on the weekend you might have to. be going to one of the relegation zone teams. It is having the same will and the same desire… To win and to want to win.
"In terms of state of mind, nothing changes. I know how I want to affect both games, whether it's [Lionel] Messi or whoever it is. Preparation, how do you sleep and just try to get all the extra 1% you can to be ready. "
Sterling's self-control is present in the leadership he shows regarding the racism directed against him, his fellow footballers and those in society at large. After Jadon Sancho, Marcus Rashford and Bukayo Saka missed England's final loss on penalties on goal. 'Euro 2020, all suffered abuse .
Asked about this, Sterling offers an eloquent answer. "You come to work to do your best, to try and win a game of football and to strengthen you et be counted, to shoot a penalty for your country. I don't think a lot of people would understand the pressure.
"I truly believe the boys were confident. No one likes to miss a penalty, but At the same time having that confidence and belief in yourself knowing that millions of people are watching you and then being the victim of racist abuse after doing your best for your country is disappointing.
"At the same time, my relative c Oncern was the welfare of my teammates. It is also a situation that builds character. These things happen in life and on the football field and I think it will eventually make us harder, but again, this is something we always talk about, it always happens. "
Sterling's perspective is insightful when asked what he thinks about comments from his English colleague Tyrone Mings about Home Secretary Priti Patel after the final. "As you 've probably noticed, I took a step back to talk about [racism] " he said . "I 'm trying to take more action within what I can, however I can help.
" We can ask for help once, ask for help twice - I shouldn't even say help: this should be a case where we see a situation happening and it shouldn't not be allowed to happen.
"If that was the case for comments regarding something else, I think it would be taken much more seriously. I don't think so. not that when racist abuse is mentioned it is taken as seriously as maybe any other topic. "
Sterling n 'aeStill only 26 years old and although he is open to a move away from City - possibly overseas - for more playing time, retirement is already on schedule. "This 's something I think about a lot, " he said. “I don't want to play football and make money and then go with the wind and be somewhere in Jamaica. I feel like saying: 'This is something I ' ve done and now it helps people get out of situations I was faced with when I was younger. '
He is launching a foundation to help disadvantaged young people "pursue their goals". His own goal? "Trying to get better numbers than I did last season. Keep that hunger going. Keep that in your stomach. It's the only way to get better.