Cape Town - Raheem Sterling has
admitted that he has always dreamt of playing abroad since he was a
child, but is happy at Manchester City for the foreseeable future.
Sterling, who signed a contract extension committing himself to the
club until 2023 last November, is enjoying life at City so much he is
happy to put his dream of playing overseas on hold.
He said: “From being a kid I always wanted to play abroad but I’m happy at Manchester City.
"Manchester is a lovely place, even though I live pretty much near
Crewe. I love the little villages. I can go out, grab a bit of lunch and
chill with my family without needing the city centre. We’re really
happy up there."
One of the chief reasons for Sterling’s happiness is his relationship with City’s inspirational manager Pep Guardiola.
The Spaniard has taken a keen interest in Sterling’s game since
arriving at the Etihad Stadium in 2016, overseeing a development that
has seen him become one of the most important players in the country.
Sterling said: “He talks to us as a group and you take information on. You learn. If you don’t learn, you don’t play.
"He helps me along the way in terms of little details, doing things a little simpler and taking a lot more care.
"If you don’t want to improve your own game then, or don’t want to
look at yourself, then there is nothing Pep can do to help you.
"I take a lot of positives from him, purely by the way he carries
himself, the way he sets those high standards. It rubs off. That has
improved me the most – the standards he sets. It makes sure I don’t fall
from my standards."
Sterling enjoyed his most prolific season to date, with 31 goals for
club and country last term, but he feels he can still do better.
He said: "It was a good season for me, as with a lot of the boys, but it’s trying to get better as a player.
"We’re all at an age where we all want to keep getting better. There
isn’t any player (at City) who thinks they’re at their best. That is
what drives us on to go on to do big things."
Asked specifically where he feels he can improve, Sterling said: "It’s goals, goals that win matches. I thought I put in a good
contribution but there is improvement."
Sterling is determined to keep trying, even if things do not go right
at first, as was the case in the Premier League Asia Trophy in China
He said: "There are things I know I could do in a game and I’ll say,
‘I could’ve done that better,’ so I’ll get on the training field.
"Coming inside on my right foot is something I’ve been working on the
whole of last season, even though I missed against West Ham the other
"I’ve been practising my penalties and if we get another one I’ll
definitely take another one. This is what I’m doing every day and why I
was so confident (against Wolves) but missed. There are little details.
"It’s down to yourself. If you don’t know what you need to improve on it’s never going to happen."
Sterling also spoke of his happiness for his former club Liverpool
after their Champions League triumph and City’s priority this season.