MX23RW : Saturday, April 20 10:56:49| >> :600:2381087:2381087:
Mar 22, 2019 at 7.45pm UK at ​Wembley Stadium
Attendance: 82,575
England
5-0
Czech Republic
Sterling (24', 62', 68'), Kane (45' pen.), Kalas (84' og.)
FT(HT: 2-0)

Hat-trick hero Raheem Sterling - His career ups and downs so far

The Manchester City forward starred for England in their win against the Czech Republic.

Raheem Sterling scored a brilliant hat-trick as England kicked off their qualification for next summer’s European Championships with a resounding 5-0 win against the Czech Republic on Friday night.

Following a disappointing World Cup campaign, Sterling has bounced back in style this season to become a key man for both club and country.

Here, Press Association Sport looks at some of the highs and lows in the career of the Manchester City forward.

Raheem Sterling scored a hat-trick for England at Wembley on Friday
Raheem Sterling scored a hat-trick for England at Wembley on Friday (Nick Potts/PA)

LOWS

Exit from Liverpool

By April 2015, Sterling’s contract talks with Liverpool had proven an unwanted sideshow. Sterling did little to ease the situation after he participated in an an ill-advised interview with the BBC which was not sanctioned by the club. It proved a PR disaster with Sterling insisting he did not reject Liverpool’s £100,000-a-week deal because he was a “money-grabbing 20-year-old”. Sterling courted criticism from a host of former Liverpool players before moving to Manchester City in a £49million deal three months later.

Sterling endured an acrimonious departure from Liverpool in 2015
Sterling endured an acrimonious departure from Liverpool in 2015 (Adam Davy/PA)

Disappointing World Cup

Despite featuring heavily for an England side that reached the semi-finals of the World Cup for the first time since 1990, Sterling failed to hit the heights he had set during Manchester City’s Premier League-winning campaign. Sterling faced numerous calls to be axed from Gareth Southgate’s starting line-up but the England manager stood by the forward. Sterling however, failed to find the back of the net in a below-par tournament.

Sterling failed to find the back of the net for England in the World Cup
Sterling failed to find the back of the net for England in the World Cup (Owen Humphreys/PA)

Suffering racial abuse at Chelsea

Earlier this season, Sterling was subjected to alleged racial abuse from Chelsea supporters during Manchester City’s Premier League visit to Stamford Bridge. Television footage appeared to capture the fan aiming a derogatory term at Sterling as he collected the ball in front of the home supporters.

HIGHS

Reaction to Chelsea abuse

The next day, Sterling issued an Instagram post responding to the events at Stamford Bridge. He accused newspapers of “fuelling racism and aggressive behaviour” in their portrayal of young black footballers. Sterling was widely applauded for speaking up on the subject. In January, he then wrote a letter to a young City fan who said he had been racially abused. “Stand tall [and] don’t let them take your courage,” said Sterling, who also sent a signed photograph. “Keep being you, kid”, he added.

View this post on Instagram

Good morning I just want to say , I am not normally the person to talk a lot but when I think I need my point to heard I will speak up. Regarding what was said at the Chelsea game as you can see by my reaction I just had to laugh because I don’t expect no better. For example you have two young players starting out there careers both play for the same team, both have done the right thing. Which is buy a new house for there mothers who have put in a lot of time and love into helping them get where they are, but look how the news papers get there message across for the young black player and then for the young white payer. I think this in unacceptable both innocent have not done a thing wrong but just by the way it has been worded. This young black kid is looked at in a bad light. Which helps fuel racism an aggressive behaviour, so for all the news papers that don’t understand why people are racist in this day and age all i have to say is have a second thought about fair publicity an give all players an equal chance.

A post shared by Raheem Sterling x 😇 (@sterling7) on

Becoming a key man for Guardiola

Despite the wealth of star quality at Manchester City, Sterling has emerged as the go-to-guy for manager Pep Guardiola this season. With City still pursuing the quadruple, the 24-year-old has netted 19 times in an impressive campaign.

Bouncing back from the World Cup

Refusing to lie down after a disappointing summer, Sterling has bounced back with a string of match-winning displays for England. First, he scored a brace as England secured a 3-2 victory in Spain en route to the semi-finals of the Nations League before bagging a treble as the Three Lions opened their qualification campaign for Euro 2020 by hammering the Czech Republic at Wembley on Friday.

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