Loading...
Loading Live Scoring...
*All times CAT (GMT+2)

Football | England

Sterling commits to England over Jamaica



Liverpool's teenage winger Raheem Sterling has pledged his international future to England, despite still being eligible for his place of birth, Jamaica.

The 18-year-old, who recently signed a five-year contract extension with Liverpool, won his first senior England cap last month in the 4-2 friendly defeat by Sweden.

"It was a dream come true," Sterling told the British media of playing for England in Stockholm. "As a 15-year-old, I can remember sitting at home and praying to get an under-16 call-up.

"To be getting a senior call-up a few years later was one of the best things that ever happened to me."

After making his full England debut, he could still have opted to play for Jamaica, where he lived until he was six, and the country's FA have continued to court the player.

"I've got Jamaican roots but no-one tried to put any pressure on me," said Sterling, who has represented England at every level from under-16 upwards.

"I couldn't turn my back on England because I've grown up through the English youth system and progressed from there. I want to keep driving on and do a bit more."

Sterling's decision, though hardly a surprise, will be a blow to Jamaica, whose soccer chief Horace Burrell held talks with the player in October.

However, it provides a boost to England boss Roy Hodgson, giving him more options as he plots the national side's course to the 2014 World Cup in Brazil.

"I couldn't just switch over," said Sterling, currently a Liverpool regular under Brendan Rodgers and a firm fan favourite at Anfield.

"So it was a good thing for me to be called up and make my debut. It's 100 percent going to be England from now on."

Sterling's elevation from the fringes of the Liverpool first-team squad under Kenny Dalglish last season was rewarded with a lucrative new deal last week.

"The contract was never about finance," said Sterling, referring to the protracted talks leading up to the signing of his contract.

"When people were asking why I wasn't signing it was at a time when we hadn't even started negotiating."

Shop

Gerrard: My Autobiography
Steven Gerrard is a hero to millions, not only as the inspirational captain of Liverpool FC, but as a key member of the England team.
R161.00
Rafa: My Story
Revelatory memoir from the greatest sportsman in the world today.
R182.00
Mitre Monde Soccer Ball - White
Voted as one of the UK's favourite match balls
R219.00


Comments

More expert analysis and opinion from Sport24
The opinions expressed by Sport24 experts and bloggers are theirs alone, and do not necessarily represent those of SuperSport

Event Streaming

Channel Streaming

Other Live Streaming

Event Streaming

Channel Streaming

Sports Talk



Segun Odegbami
The real Afcon fireworks can begin
The boys are now being separated from the men. As a result, I have also lost my bet about who will...

John Dykes
The beginning of the end
Saturday’s Showdown at the Bridge has been described as being either the start of this season’s...

Neil Tovey
Bafana hit speed bump
I kept hearing that Bafana Bafana could win Afcon 2015. From the first whistle, I guarded against...

Emeka Enyadike
Mali, Guinea and the curse of Mongono
“We now need to respect the rules, we don’t have choice. We are going to shake before the draw, as...

Carol Radull
TIAF - This is African Football
I love big competitions because before they start everyone has something to say about how the...

Calvin Emeka Onwuka
The football hasn't been great thus far
It is easy for some of us who are proudly African and who were brought up on Afcon tournaments down...