Netizen 24 GBR: The REAL Raheem Sterling is very different from the public portrayal

By On May 29, 2018

The REAL Raheem Sterling is very different from the public portrayal

People who write about Raheem Sterling divide neatly into two camps â€" those who portray him as a quiet, decent kid who happens to be a very good footballer, and those who trash him as some kind of 21st-century monster.

Strangely, that split falls exactly between those who have actually got to meet the Manchester City winger, and those who cower behind desks, spouting poisonous bile about someone they do not know â€" and don't care to know.

For those of you fortunate enough not to have seen it, one national newspaper today led its front page on the fact that Sterling has had a tattoo of a rifle on his right leg .

We have a US president contemplating nuclear war, we have Brexit threatening to tear the country apart, and we have a terrible crisis in the NHS.

Raheem Sterling felt the need to defend his gun tattoo

And yet it was deemed that a 23-year-old footballer having a tattoo is cause for national outrage, with some clowns calling fro him to be dropped from the World Cup squad.

Of course, this is nothing new for Sterling, who is damned whatever he does, or does not do.

He gets hammered for “flaunting his wealth” by buying a house for his mum â€" who actually did a great job of bringing him up well â€" or for spending his money on expensive cars.

But then he equally gets ridiculed for buying a Gregg's pasty, or flying on a budget airline.

He is portrayed as a vacuous, shallow, egotist with too much money, little sense and no morals.

Those of us who have taken the time to meet him know that to be the opposite of the truth.

The first time I came across Sterling, he had just signed for City and was flying out to Australia to join up with the squad in pre-season.

Pep Guardiola likes Raheem Sterling as a m an as well as a footballer

We were both in the Etihad lounge at Manchester Airport, and I was pleasantly surprised to see him clearing up after himself and carrying his used crockery to the kitchen, to give the staff a hand.

I formally met him a few days later in Melbourne, along with an English journalist and an Aussie â€" and we were all impressed by his intelligence, politeness and humility, as well as his straight speaking.

“Not at all what I was expecting,” said the Aussie.

A student journalist talks about interviewing him and being called “Sir” throughout, while Sterling remains the only footballer I can recall who says “Thank you” at the end of an interview.

Interestingly, former tabloid journalist Paul McCarthy, who knows Sterling well, today went out of his way to defend him on Twitter.

He didn't have to do it, and he will have been loath to go against an unwritten journalists' code of not att acking fellow pros.

But “Macca” said: “I really enjoyed working with Raheem Sterling for a couple of years.

Raheem Sterling with pals Kyle Walker and John Stones after lifting the Premier League trophy

“Throughout all the crap thrown at him he remains incredibly humble and devoted to his family.

“He’s a young man at the top of his profession enjoying the rewards

“But there is a section of society that utterly resents a young black kid for being hugely successful and being rewarded for that. Look at all the times there is a reference to ‘bling’ and ‘flash’ when anything is written about Sterling.

“Then ask yourself whether the same would be written about a white player? It’s not overtly racist, it’s just that insidious feeling that someone like Sterling is fair game and that he should accept this kind of treatment.

“The fact is, Sterling is one of the most down-to-ea rth young players I’ve met. He’s also as hard as nails and has fought tirelessly to get where he is today, a testament to his upbringing and family values.

“There is so much more to him than the public regularly sees or is portrayed in certain sections of the media.”

Another journalist who has actually taken the time to meet Sterling chimed in, saying he has met the player this morning and he was “as friendly as ever, buzzing for the World Cup, loving the spirit under Southgate and very funny about trying to teach Jack Whitehall to play football in his back garden.”

Brendan Rodgers still speaks highly of Raheem Sterling from their time together at Liverpool

Celtic boss Brendan Rodgers, who worked with Sterling at Liverpool, also saw a different man to the one who gets splashed across front pages: “He’s a tough boy mentally. He’s had traumas in his life, right the way through, but for me that was th e beauty of seeing him go from a young boy at 17 who would answer you back to someone I’d sit and have a conversation with in the office and out on the field. I saw him mature as a young man.”

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Pep Guardiola also rates him as highly as a man as he does as a footballer â€" that is a pre-requisite for a place in his squad. He calls him “an excellent guy” and has gone on record as saying he wants him to stay at City “as long as possible”.

Given Guardiola's intolerance of self-servers and egomaniacs, that in itself is testament to the real Sterling, not the blinged-up beast who roams the fe vered imaginations of some.

Source: Google News

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