Sterling picks England over Jamaica

Last Updated: Thursday, December 27, 2012 - 13:39

London: Liverpool`s teenage winger, Jamaican-born Raheem Sterling, has pledged his international football future to England, despite still being eligible for his place of birth.

The 18-year-old, who recently signed a five-year contract extension with the English club, won his first senior England cap last month in the 2-4 friendly defeat to Sweden, reports CMC.

He could still have opted to play for Jamaica, where he lived until he was six, and the country`s FA have continued to court the player.

"I`ve got Jamaican roots but no-one tried to put any pressure on me," said Sterling, who has represented England at every level from under-16 upwards.

"I couldn`t turn my back on England because I`ve grown up through the English youth system and progressed from there. I want to keep driving on and do a bit more."

Sterling`s decision, though hardly a surprise, will be a blow to Jamaica, whose football chief Horace Burrell held talks with the player in October.

"I couldn`t just switch over," said Sterling, currently a Liverpool regular under Brendan Rodgers and a firm fan favourite at Anfield.

"So it was a good thing for me to be called up and make my debut. It`s 100 percent going to be England from now on."

Sterling`s elevation from the fringes of the Liverpool first-team squad under Kenny Dalglish (Liverpool`s former manager) last season was rewarded with a lucrative new deal last week.

IANS



First Published: Thursday, December 27, 2012 - 17:18

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