Raheem Sterling: 'Footballers work extremely hard'

Sterling: 'Footballers work extremely hard'
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Liverpool winger Raheem Sterling is adamant that footballers work extremely hard to reach the highest level of the sport from a young age.

Liverpool winger Raheem Sterling has insisted that footballers work extremely hard at their craft and have done so from a very young age to reach the highest level of the sport.

The 19-year-old was criticised for complaining of tiredness ahead of England's Euro 2016 qualifier against Estonia, which resulted him being rested from the match.

However, Sterling is adamant that there is a lot of hard work that goes unseen by the public before matchday.

He told Forever Sports Magazine: "I don't think some people realise the journey that some footballers have come on. Most people have started aged seven, eight, nine or 10 and some make it to the last important step and some don't, so it's really [a] make or break [situation] initially that we're in.

"We work for it from a young age and people don't see it until we're in the public eye, so they're probably just thinking that we're born into playing football really, but it's a journey we've come on.

"We do put hours in off the field as well and try to give back as much as possible as we do on the field."

Sterling has made 14 appearances in all competitions for club and country this season, scoring three goals.

England manager Roy Hodgson (L) talks to midfielder Raheem Sterling at the A.Le Coq Arena in Tallinn, Estonia on October 11, 2014
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