Sterling pledges future to England
Liverpool’s teenage winger Raheem Sterling has pledged his international future to England, thereby calming fears he was considering a switch of allegiance to Jamaica.
The 18-year-old holds dual-nationality as he was born in Jamaica to Jamaican parents, but he has represented England at every level from under-16 upwards and made his senior debut in the 4-2 friendly loss to Sweden in November.
The fact that the game in Stockholm was non-competitive means that Sterling could still opt to play for Jamaica, but he told several British newspapers yesterday that he was committed to playing for England.
“It was a dream come true (to play against Sweden),” he said.
“As a 15-year-old, I can remember sitting at home and praying to get an under-16 call-up, so to be getting a senior call-up a few years later was one of the best things that ever happened to me.
“I want to keep driving on and do a bit more. Obviously I’ve got Jamaican roots, but no-one tried to put any pressure on me, which was the good thing.
“But I couldn’t turn my back on England because I’ve grown up through the English youth system and progressed from there.
“I couldn’t just switch over. So it was a good thing for me to be called up and make my debut. It’s 100 per cent going to be England from now on.”
Liverpool announced last Friday that Sterling had signed a new long-term contract with the club.
The former QPR player only made his Liverpool debut in March, but he has quickly become an integral component of manager Brendan Rodgers’s side.