Chelsea and England forward Raheem Sterling has hit back at his critics following a disappointing start to the season by insisting that it actually ‘drives’ him.
Following a £47.5m transfer from Manchester City, Sterling hasn’t scored a Premier League goal since August. He has also scored just twice in an England shirt since Euro 2020 and not at all in his last five international appearances heading into the World Cup.
But Sterling is adamant that people telling him he cannot do things makes him want it more.
“What’s made me the person I am today is all the setbacks I’ve had, all the ‘can’t’ - you can’t do this, you can’t do that, you’re not good enough. Those sorts of things always drive me,” the 27-year-old told the Daily Mail.
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Even at just 27, Sterling is one of the most experienced players in the England squad that will be aiming to being the World Cup home from Qatar.
It is already the fifth major international tournament of his career, first going to the World Cup in 2014 as a teenager. He is the most capped player in Gareth Southgate’s 26-player squad, with 79 appearances under his belt, and only Harry Kane has scored more.
Sterling is expected to start when an England side without a win in their last six outings since beating Ivory Coast in March face Iran on Monday.