- Raheem Sterling has the potential to become the world's best player claims Gareth Southgate
- The England boss feels Sterling can overtake Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo
- Both Messi, 32, and Ronaldo, 34, are now entering the last years of their careers
Raheem Sterling, England and Man City star, has received the backing of his manger Gareth Southgate to challenge Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo for world's no. 1 footballer.
Interestingly, Sterling showed qualities as one of the game’s outstanding players with a decent first 45 minutes for England in Tuesday's 5-3 in over Kosovo, netting his eighth goal alongside boasting of three assists for the Three Lions in many international games.
At the moment, the pair of Messi, 32, and Ronaldo, 34, are heading towards the end of their football career, but the race to replace them as world's best already taking a different dimension.
And Southgate is drumming support for Sterling to rise up to the occasion.
“In terms of can he fulfil it, he'll give himself every chance of doing that. There are obviously some outstanding players around, the [Eden] Hazards, the [Kevin] De Bruynes, Messi and Ronaldo. But he's got the drive, he's got the professionalism, he's got the ability. He's physically and mentally strong for such a small statured lad,” the England boss noted.
Sterling's emergence as arguably England's most influential player illustrates a remarkable turnaround in his international career.
At 21, the forward branded himself as 'the hated one' during Euro 2016, limping out of England’s defeat to Iceland.
But after three years the wilderness he’s now England fans’ favourite.
“For me it's lovely to see the shift in the public opinion of him. We have always picked him. There have been times where he has not played well and we have taken him off and that has been the right thing, but he has always been integral to the way we want to play.
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“I can only imagine [how low he was after Euro 2016]. Everyone wants to be liked, don't they?
“He's a player that has always given his all. It's lovely to see a young man establishing himself, at the real top table in the game. We feel very lucky to have him as one of ours,” Southgate submitted.
Legit.ng reported earlier that Lionel Messi, Barcelona captain, can leave Nou Camp whenever he decides claims club’s vice-president Jordi Cardoner moment after admitting there’s a special clause in his contract.
According to Mirror citing Marca, Cardoner noted it is only Messi that can tell the time is right, even as talks surrounding his future has become a major issue of discuss among football fans.
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