Sterling eager for World Cup chance

24 May 2014 03:02

Raheem Sterling was eating pizza with friends when Steven Gerrard scored England's opening goal of the 2010 World Cup, so it is surreal for the winger to imagine playing alongside him on that stage this summer.

The Three Lions endured a miserable time four years ago in South Africa, despite Fabio Capello's men getting off to a wonderful start as Gerrard netted after four minutes against the United States.

The match eventually ended 1-1 and England crashed out in the second round, leading to reduced expectations for this summer's edition in Brazil.

Sterling was only 15 during the 2010 edition but has seen his fine season with Liverpool rewarded with a place in the 23-man World Cup squad.

"I think I was at home eating some pizza with friends when he scored the opening goal," the winger said of Gerrard's opening goal. "It was a good feeling.

"I have to pinch myself every day at Liverpool, playing with the like of Steven, Luis Suarez and Daniel Sturridge.

"Sometimes I go home now playing FIFA with them but at the same time it is a dream come true, really, and I am just looking forward to playing with the likes of Steven in this World Cup."

Sterling is one of several youngsters included in Roy Hodgson's squad and a player which former Liverpool and England winger John Barnes has urged to keep the pressure off.

He believes his fellow Jamaican-born dribbler should be utilised with hope rather than expectation - a mind-set it sounds like the 19-year-old is embracing.

"I just want to train hard on the training pitch to show the manager I am capable of working for the team and to show I am a real team player," Sterling said.

"Hopefully I can go out there and show what I can do. Hopefully if I get a chance to go on the pitch, I will not overdo it at all. I will just try to play my normal game and hopefully then I can kick on."

Source: PA