Football is a game of integrity, as much as it is about tactics. And the 2018 FIFA World Cup has thrown up surprises galore. But while Messi and Argentina continue to hover in the centre of the soccer world, albeit for completely contrasting reasons this time around, there are quite a few other players that are slowly leaving their indelible mark in the global sports arena.
England footballer Raheem Sterling is one of those sportsmen who has defied circumstances to showcase tremendous grit and rise to prominence with his footballing prowess and while he might as well be dropped from Sunday’s game against Panama, here is one man who surely knows how to handle all adversities even in the face of ridicule.
The 23 year old footballer recently opened up about the constant criticism he has been subjected to, right throughout his career.
Writing in The Players’ Tribune, Raheem got all candid and emotional about his life and the struggles, but also the inevitable success that followed in the backdrop of his determination and hard work.
From being trolled for a rifle tattoo on his leg to proposing his girlfriend to even shopping and buying a home for his mother, Sterling has seen it all.
But his life have been worse, with his father being murdered when he was just two years of age and he, along with his mother and sister, taking upon themselves the onus of achieving a perfectly ‘normal’ life.
Sterling revealed that he used to clean up toilets in his childhood, alongside his family and he definitely speaks proudly of his mother who’s now the director of a nursing home.
His chance meeting with a guy named Clive Ellington somehow changed his life, for he started focusing on football as his love more dearly.
Eventually he was called up by Arsenal but he went to QPR, and by his own admission,that’s probably the best decision he has ever made.
I grew up in the shadow of my dream, says Sterling. But he was destined to live his dream, and not just the hope of it. Sterling got called up to the England U 16s, and that indeed was a big moment for the kid.
But it was Liverpool that changed his life. At age 17, he made his senior England debut in November 2012 and as of 2018, he is playing in his second World Cup.
And today, the man has evolved, both as a player and a person as he does not let all the criticism get unto him, unlike in the past. And though his performance in the greatest showpiece of football on earth has not been spectacular, we sure believe that a player as convinced as his own will definitely bounce back to script one of the greatest success stories in sports history.