‘He’s the person we looked to’: Raheem Sterling is fast becoming England’s ‘national hero’ after his matchwinning display against Germany, says Rio Ferdinand, who insists he’s been one of the ‘top players in world football for the last two years’
Raheem Sterling is grabbing his chance to cement his status as England’s Euro 2020 hero with both hands, according to Rio Ferdinand.
The Manchester City winger scored the all-important opening goal at Wembley on Tuesday evening to put Gareth Southgate’s men in front against bitter rivals Germany in their last-16 tie.
The winger latched on to Luke Shaw’s low driven cross to stab home beyond German keeper Manuel Neuer, sparking wild scenes inside the ground and across the country.
Raheem Sterling produced another defining moment for England against Germany
The Manchester City forward stabbed home Luke Shaw’s cross to put the Three Lions ahead
It was Sterling’s third goal in four games for the Three Lions during the tournament, after grabbing the winner against both Croatia and the Czech Republic in the group stages.
And BBC pundit Ferdinand was quick to praise the 26-year-old, insisting he has been in the bracket of top performers in the world for some time.
‘We said before the game this is an opportunity to become a national hero. He’s got three goals, when he needed that moment to lift us, he’s the person we looked to, Ferdinand said at full-time.
‘[He’s a] fantastic kid and human, what a professional and hard worker. The courage is what I love about him.
‘He has the ability to scare you. He wants to turn and face you at all times. He’ll be someone you can’t read, he jinks about his trickery, he’s producing moments, deciding games.
Rio Ferdinand believes Sterling is among the top players in the world based on his current form
‘When you talk about the top players in world football, I believe this kid has been there at that level in the last two years.’
Sterling’s inclusion in England’s starting line-up has come in for some criticism on occasion, with some believing his performances in the colours of his national team jersey have never been on a par with his scintillating performances for the Premier League champions.
Manager Southgate has stuck with him, however, and Alan Shearer praised the Three Lions boss for sticking by his man.
‘The manager deserves credit for sticking with him,’ he said. ‘[There was] lots of criticism before the tournament. You have to go and perform [and] no one has performed better than him, he’s been their go-to guy.
Alan Shearer described the No 10 as England’s go-to guy after guiding them into the last eight