Raheem Sterling admitted he was delighted to finally become a Manchester City player and says he excited by the prospect of playing alongside new team-mates he describes as ‘world class’.
The 20-year-old agreed a five-year contract with the Blues and the deal makes him now only behind Gareth Bale on the list of most expensive British players.
City boss Manuel Pellegrini described Sterling as “one of the best attacking players in world football”.
The England international had been under contract at Liverpool until 2017 but turned down a £100,000-a-week deal to extend his five-year stay at Anfield. He instead asked to leave the club.
Several former Liverpool players, including former captain, Steven Gerrard, have criticised the player since he told Manager, Brendan Rodgers and Chief Executive, Ian Ayre he wanted to leave the club.
Sterling, who will wear the No.7 shirt for City, said, “It’s a good feeling and this is really happy time for me and my family. I’m just glad it’s all over and done with and I can’t wait to get on the training field.
“The thing that excites me the most is the world class squad we have and knowing we have a team that is capable of winning things year in, year out. The more quality players that are around you, the more quality it brings out in you so I can’t wait to get started and play alongside them.
He revealed he’d spoken with Joe Hart recently about the Club and that the England keeper had given the Club a glowing reference.
“I spoke to Joe briefly on the last England trip,” he said. “He just told me what a really good football club this is and how nice the fans are – nothing too serious, but it was a bit of a heads up.
“It has been a long journey from QPR and I’d like to thank a few people who have helped me along the way.
“I’d like to thank Rafa Benitez for taking me to Liverpool as a 15 year-old – that was a massive step for me and a new challenge. Also to Kenny Dalglish for showing such faith in me and putting me in at such a young age.
“I want to thank Brendan Rodgers for giving me a chance and an opportunity in the first team, giving me my full debut – against City funnily enough – and giving me a real chance to cement a place in the first team and show the world my talents.
“Finally, I’d also like to thank all the people around me – my mum and sisters, my management team and Aidy Ward for helping me focus and get where I am today. I just wanted to say a big thank you to everyone.”