Raheem Sterling may have signed a new long-term deal at Anfield last week and become a senior England international this season, but that doesn’t stop the 18-year-old’s mum from giving him some advice.
The forward has excelled under Brendan Rodgers in 2012-13, making 26 appearances already since the Northern Irishman promoted the youngster into the Liverpool first team back in August.
But far from getting carried away with the sudden fame and profile, Sterling remains down-to-earth and level-headed thanks to his mum — who also has the odd football opinion too.
“My mum wouldn’t let my feet get off the ground anyway,” the Reds’ No. 31 explained to reporters. “She is really inspirational in my life and I thank her for that.
“She thinks she knows a lot about football. She tries to tell me what I can do better and some of the things the manager is telling me she is telling me as well, like about getting into the box.
“‘You’re never in the box,’ she says to me, but she must have a point because the manager is saying it as well.”
Born in Kingston, Jamaica but raised for much of his life in England, the former QPR star had a choice with regards to international football, but said there was no doubt on which decision to make.
“Obviously I’ve got Jamaican roots,” he continued. “I was born there and my mum and family are from there but no one tried to put any pressure on me, which was the good thing.
“I couldn’t turn my back on England because I’ve grown up through the English youth system and progressed from there, so I couldn’t just switch over.”
After being included among the senior squad by Roy Hodgson in September, Sterling received his first cap two months later during a friendly with Sweden.
The teenager described the occasion as a “dream come true” and pledged to progress further for the Three Lions.
“It was a good thing for me to be called up and make my debut. That was obviously a dream come true,” Sterling added. “As a 15-year-old I can remember sitting at home and praying to get an U-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.
“So obviously I want to keep driving on and do a bit more. It’s 100 percent going to be England from now on.”