Winger Raheem Sterling reiterates that winning trophies are the main driving force behind his career decisions…
The dust is hopefully finally beginning to settle on the protracted and acrimonious departure of Raheem Sterling from Liverpool FC.
With his £49m transfer to Manchester City officially ratified yesterday evening, all that really remained was for the 20-year-old England international to speak about a move which many fans and pundits have questioned the thinking behind.
Unsurprisingly the former Queens Park Rangers trainee said nothing about his new £200k-per-week pay packet or the various reported antics, which included twice skipping training through illness and refusing to go on tour, that helped to facilitate the move over the past week.
Instead, as he had done in an unsanctioned interview shortly after the rejection of a new contract offer from Liverpool at the beginning of the year, Sterling maintained challenging for major honours was the main motivational factor in his career choices.
“It’s a good feeling and a really happy time for me and my family,” remarked the Jamaican-born star to the official City website. “I’m just glad it’s all over and done with and I can’t wait to get on the training field…
“The world-class players are here and a squad capable of winning things year in, year out.
“The more quality players that are around you, the more quality it brings out in you so I can’t wait to get started and play alongside them.”
With regards to Liverpool, Sterling did at least acknowledge the part the club have played in developing his skills and experience.
“It has been a long journey from QPR and I’d like to thank a few people who have helped me along the way,” he remarked.
“I’d like to thank Rafa Benitez for taking me to Liverpool as a 15-year-old – that was a massive step for me and a new challenge.
“Also to Kenny Dalglish for showing such faith in me and putting me in at such a young age.
“Finally, I’d like to thank Brendan Rodgers for giving me a chance and an opportunity in the first team, giving me my full debut – against City, funnily enough – and giving me a real chance to cement a place in the first team and show the world my talents.”
On the matter of the fee – a record for both City and an English footballer – Sterling added: “You don’t think about things like that when you’re that age but things have come really fast in the last couple of years.
“I’ve just had to learn to take it all in my stride but I never imagined I’d be at this point at the age I am now and breaking a British transfer record fee.”
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