Raheem Sterling Explains Just How Much Unnecessary Abuse And Coverage Has Affected Him
Raheem Sterling tries to put on a brave face and concentrate on his football but the England man has revealed that the level of abuse and disgraceful media coverage he has received has taken its toll on him.
Sterling was used as the scapegoat during England's miserable Euros two years back, starting with the 1-1 draw with Russia.
The Manchester City forward was crucified for his performance in the game, even though he didn't feel as though he played that bad.
"I remember my first game at the Euros, I thought I did all right," Sterling is quoted as saying in The Times.
"Got past my opponent a couple of times, got a couple of balls in and you just get caned. Now I am constantly thinking, 'If I do this, something bad will come of it.'"
As we know, a couple of newspapers in particular have had it in for the former Liverpool man on a regular basis.
Immediately after Euro 2016, there was the infamous 'Obscene Raheem' headlined plastered on the frontpage of one paper after Sterling showed what a horrible person he really is by purchasing a new house for his mother, who has pretty much raised him on her own.
Certain sections of the media have also taken a weird interest into the fact that Sterling has been spotted at Poundland and having Greggs, not to mention him travelling on a cheap flight.
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More recently he did the unspeakable and had breakfast the day after the PFA Young Player of the Year award went to his teammate, Leroy Sane.
And of course, the utterly stupid focus on his 'gun' tattoo - his way of marking the death of his father when he was just two, was the final straw.
Detailing of how it's caused him anxiety when going out and about, in addition to how his mum, Nadine, has been affected by it all despite being stronger than him, he added:
"[I am thinking] if I go out tonight, something bad is going to happen. Anything that happens my mum is always on the phone. She is more the one who is stronger than me.
"The will tell me how to get through, not to pay attention, but there have been times when she is close to breaking.
"Until football is finished I will try and stay in as much as I can, watch TV and no one can say nothing."
It's pretty heartbreaking stuff to be honest but we can only hope that Sterling continues his sensational 2017/18 form into the World Cup - and that is the story everyone is focusing on.
Leave Raheem alone and let him do his thing.