England international Raheem Sterling on Wednesday became Chelsea’s first signing since Todd Boehly’s consortium bought the club, ending his successful spell at Manchester City.
The 27-year-old forward signed a five-year contract for a fee reported to be £50 million ($59 million).
“England star Raheem Sterling has joined Chelsea from Manchester City on a five-year contract,” said the buying club in a statement on their website.
Sterling had pre-empted his move earlier on Wednesday by posting a goodbye message on social media saying he left City as a “man” having arrived from Liverpool as a 20-year-old.
However, once the signing became official Sterling — who is with Chelsea on their pre-season tour of the United States — turned his attention to what he hopes to achieve under Thomas Tuchel.
“I’ve obviously achieved a lot in my career so far, but there is still so much more to achieve and I’m really looking forward to doing that in a Chelsea shirt, under Thomas’s management,” he said in a statement.
“London is my home and where it all started for me, and it’s amazing I now have the opportunity to play in front of friends and family week in, week out at Stamford Bridge.”
Sterling, capped 77 times and won four Premier League titles among nine major trophies since joining City from Liverpool in 2015.
A key player in the early years of Pep Guardiola’s reign at City, Sterling scored 131 goals in 337 appearances for the English champions.
However, his regular place in the starting line-up at City came increasingly under threat from the signing of Jack Grealish for a Premier League record £100 million last year, plus the emergence of Phil Foden from the club’s academy.
Raheem Sterling scored his 100th Premier League goal as the Manchester City forward’s penalty fired the leaders to a 1-0 win against 10-man Wolves on Saturday.
Sterling netted from the spot in the second half at the Etihad Stadium to clinch City’s sixth successive league victory.
City’s cause was aided by a needless first half red card for Wolves striker Raul Jimenez, who was dismissed for failing to retreat the required 10 yards before a free-kick he had been booked for conceding seconds earlier.
Sterling’s landmark goal ensured City capitalised on Jimenez’s blunder as they survived an average display to get back on track after the midweek Champions League defeat at Leipzig.
After struggling to get into Guardiola’s starting line-up at times this season amid talk of a potential transfer, Sterling is finally showing signs of recapturing the scintillating form that made him such a dangerous force.
Pep Guardiola’s side are four points clear of second placed Liverpool, who can close the gap if they beat Aston Villa at Anfield later on Saturday.
Kyle Walker was dropped to the bench after City’s right-back was criticised by Guardiola following his red card at Leipzig.
Guardiola made eight changes from the Leipzig game, with Phil Foden, troubled by an ankle problem, and Kevin De Bruyne, recovered from the coronavirus, named as substitutes.
Bernardo Silva had scored six goals in his previous eight league appearances and the City playmaker was inches away from adding to that total when he bent a curler just over the bar in the opening minutes.
Joao Cancelo’s lung-bursting breaks from right-back were a constant threat in the first half and he advanced again for a low strike that tested Wolves keeper Jose Sa.
Wolves duo Max Kilman and Ruben Neves needed lengthy treatment after a nasty clash of heads that left Kilman with blood pouring from a cut.
Jimenez, the victim of a fractured skull in a collision with David Luiz at Arsenal last season, was quick to check on his team-mates, who were both able to continue playing.
It was Jimenez who didn’t make it to half-time as the Mexican saw red in needless fashion.
Booked for a tug on Rodri, Jimenez stupidly stuck out a foot to block the resulting free-kick without retreating 10 yards, earning his second yellow card 48 seconds after the first.
Jimenez ripped off his protective headband and swung it around in frustration, but he could have no complaints about his self-inflicted exit.
With the numerical advantage, City monopolised possession after the interval.
Ilkay Gundogan met Cancelo’s pin-point cross with a looping header that Conor Coady nodded off the line.
Silva and Sterling got in each others way as they failed to finish off Oleksandr Zinchenko’s cross.
City’s pressure finally produced a goal in the 66th minute.
Joao Moutinho blocked Silva’s cross with a raised arm and, although the ball appeared to hit the midfielder’s armpit, VAR confirmed Jon Moss’s decision after a check.
Sterling stroked the spot-kick down the middle for his fifth goal in his last eight City appearances.
Jack Grealish poked wide from close range and Jesus was denied by Sa in the closing stages.
City had done just enough but Ederson had to tip over Kilman’s header before the points were secured.
Raheem Sterling will complete a remarkable journey from vilified scapegoat to England legend if the forward inspires his side to victory in Sunday’s Euro 2020 final against Italy.
Sterling has been England’s most influential player during their historic run to a first major final in 55 years.
Gareth Southgate’s side are one win away from clinching England’s first European Championship title and their second major prize after the 1966 World Cup.
If England are to make history at Wembley this weekend, they need Sterling to unleash his pace and trickery on the Italians.
The 26-year-old was the catalyst for England’s 2-1 semi-final win against Denmark on Wednesday.
He forced the own-goal equaliser from Simon Kjaer, then, with England labouring to break down the Danish defence in extra time, it was Sterling who took the fight to them with his incisive raids.
Sterling’s persistence eventually drew a foul from Joakim Maehle, earning the penalty from which Harry Kane netted the winner after his initial effort was saved.
Sterling had already scored England’s first three goals in the tournament and provided the assist for Kane’s quarter-final opener against Ukraine, repaying Southgate’s faith after a difficult season with Premier League champions Manchester City.
When Sterling started England’s first group game against Croatia, there were some who claimed it was a mistake to pick him instead of Jack Grealish.
The critics pointed to Sterling’s tame display in City’s Champions League final defeat against Chelsea and his long spells on the bench for Pep Guardiola’s team.
But Southgate is a firm believer in Sterling’s “incredible resilience and hunger” and the forward rose to the occasion with England’s winner against Croatia.
It was his first goal in a major tournament after some wretched experiences on the biggest international stages.
His lowest ebb came at Euro 2016 when England fans turned on him after a series of lacklustre performances, culminating in the humiliating exit against Iceland.
– Fearless and eloquent – On social media, Sterling branded himself the “hated one” during that tournament and he had to deal with negative stories in the press about his perceived lavish lifestyle.
The backlash could have ruined someone with a more fragile personality, but Sterling’s tough upbringing prepared him for football’s slings and arrows.
Sterling was born in Jamaica and was just two years old when his father was shot dead in Kingston.
Aged five, Sterling and his sister moved to London to be reunited with their mother Nadine Clark, who left Jamaica shortly after their father’s death.
Life was hard in Brent — where he lived just a stone’s throw from Wembley — and Sterling recalls: “My mum was working as a cleaner at some hotels to make extra money so she could pay for her degree.
“I’ll never forget waking up at five in the morning before school and helping her clean the toilets at the hotel.”
Gang culture on St Raphael’s estate was another potential pitfall but Sterling ignored street life to focus on football.
Sterling had to ride three buses across London to reach his training sessions with QPR as young teenager.
That commitment reaped its reward when Liverpool signed him before his 15th birthday in 2010.
Sterling has been one of English football’s most captivating figures ever since, both on the pitch and off it, where he has emerged has a fearless and eloquent voice in the fight against racism.
After his problems with City, Sterling has found comfort in the warm embrace of the empathetic Southgate, while his proximity to his old home in north London clearly inspired his England performances.
“There are a lot of different reasons I haven’t scored for my club and that’s totally irrelevant now,” Sterling said pointedly earlier in the tournament.
“I’m here with England, I’m enjoying my football and that’s the most important thing.”
Paying homage to his past, Sterling has Wembley’s iconic arch tattooed on his arm.
If Southgate’s side lift the trophy on Sunday, Sterling’s standing as an England great will be etched indelibly in the hearts of the fans who once disowned him.
Manchester City forward Raheem Sterling has been racially abused on Instagram less than 48 hours after the Premier League’s social media boycott ended.
Sterling suffered the abuse following City’s Champions League semi-final second leg victory against Paris St Germain on Tuesday.
A spokesperson for Facebook, which owns Instagram, said: “The racist abuse sent to Raheem Sterling is unacceptable and we do not want it on Instagram.
“We have removed the comment and taken action against the account that posted it.
“As part of our ongoing work in this space, we’ll soon be rolling out new tools to help prevent people seeing abusive messages from strangers.
“No single thing will fix this challenge overnight but we’re committed to doing what we can to keep our community safe from abuse.”
Premier League clubs and players stayed off social media over the weekend in protest at the barrage of abuse suffered by top-flight stars in recent years.
Sterling has been the target of abuse on social media on several occasions in the past.
A study commissioned by the Professional Footballers’ Association published last October looked at social media posts directed towards 44 players during the ‘Project Restart’ period of last season.
It found more than 3,000 explicitly abusive messages were directed at those players publicly via Twitter, with 50 per cent of those messages aimed at just three players — Sterling, Crystal Palace’s Wilfried Zaha and Wycombe’s Adebayo Akinfenwa.
Sterling said at the time: “I don’t know how many times I need to say this, but football and the social media platforms need to step up, show real leadership and take proper action in tackling online abuse.
“The technology is there to make a difference, but I’m increasingly questioning if there is the will.”
Manchester City secured a much-needed win to keep their Premier League title challenge alive as Raheem Sterling’s goal earned a hard-fought 1-0 victory at fourth-placed Southampton on Saturday.
City slipped to 11 points behind leaders Liverpool prior to kick-off, albeit with two games in hand on the champions, and once again had to rely on a solid defensive display to edge up to fifth in the table thanks to a seventh clean sheet in eight games.
Pep Guardiola’s men were again guilty of not being ruthless enough in front of goal with the few chances they did create, but one moment of quality that saw Kevin De Bruyne tee up Sterling separated the sides.
Southampton had lost just once in their previous 10 league games to start the day four points and six places ahead of their illustrious visitors.
But the loss of top scorer Danny Ings on top of the defeat dealt a blow to their quest to qualify for Europe.
In a bright City start, Joao Cancelo forced Alex McCarthy into a flying save and Rodri saw an effort ruled out for offside before the only goal arrived on 16 munites.
Southampton’s daring approach to press high backfired as it afforded City the chance to counter-attack that very few sides offer Guardiola’s men.
Bernardo Silva fed De Bruyne down the right and his inch-perfect cross was swept home by Sterling for his seventh goal of the season.
Southampton, though, reacted well to falling behind as Theo Walcott forced Ederson into his first save of the day.
Jannik Vestergaard’s threat from set-pieces has been a big part in Southampton’s success this season and twice the giant Dane will feel he should have done better as his first weak header was easily claimed by Ederson before his second more powerful attempt flew over the bar.
Ruben Dias’s own goal cost City two unexpected dropped points in a 1-1 draw with West Brom on Tuesday and the Portuguese centre-back narrowly escaped another goal at the wrong end after Che Adams just failed to connect with a dangerous cross from Kyle Walker-Peters.
The home side suffered a major blow just before the break when Ings had to be replaced with a muscle injury.
City soaked up plenty of pressure from the Saints in the second half, but again lacked the killer instinct upfront to kill the game off.
Ferran Torres flashed an effort across goal before Silva should have provided the finish Sterling did to another brilliant De Bruyne cross.
De Bruyne was also guilty of not taking a big chance on the counter-attack when he fired too close to McCarthy and the Southampton ‘keeper than made an incredible save high to his right to deny Ilkay Gundogan.
Cheered on by 2,000 fans in one of the few Premier League venues allowed to host supporters, due to stricter coronavirus restrictions in other parts of England, the home side pushed until the end.
But City always looked the more likely to score if there was to be a second goal and Riyad Mahrez left Guardiola with his head in his hands after blazing over a glorious opportunity in stoppage time.
Raheem Sterling’s last-minute penalty salvaged England from another embarrassing result against Iceland as Gareth Southgate’s men survived going down to 10 men and Birkir Bjarnason also missing a late spot-kick to start their Nations League campaign with a 1-0 in Reykjavik on Saturday.
Four years on from one of English football’s most embarrassing nights in losing 2-1 to Iceland at Euro 2016, the Three Lions were far from the free-scoring force that romped through Euro 2020 qualifying in their first match for 10 months.
Harry Kane had an early goal wrongly ruled out for offside before Kyle Walker was sent-off for two bookable offences 20 minutes from time.
All of Iceland’s good defensive work was undone in the 89th minute when Sverrir Ingason was also harshly dismissed for a second booking when he blocked Sterling’s shot with his arm.
With Kane having been replaced by Mason Greenwood, Sterling took responsibility from spot, but the drama did not end there.
Straight from kick-off, Joe Gomez was adjudged to have bundled over Holmbert Fridjonsson inside the area, but Bjamason blazed the resulting penalty over.
Southgate handed an international debut to Manchester City midfielder Phil Foden, while Southampton’s James Ward-Prowse started for the first time in a competitive fixture for his country in an experimental line-up.
However, there was still plenty of enough experience and promise in a front three of Kane, Sterling, and Jadon Sancho for England to have had a far more comfortable afternoon in Reykjavik.
Kane had the ball in the net for what he thought was his 33rd international goal inside six minutes when he bundled in at the back post.
However, the England captain was wrongly flagged for offside and with no VAR in operation, the visitors were denied.
Sancho has been linked with a move to Manchester United from Borussia Dortmund for more than £100 million in recent months and the 20-year-old was England’s most dangerous weapon early on as he eased past his marker before teeing up Declan Rice, who miscued his shot with the best chance of the first half.
Arnor Traustason curled a free-kick wide with Iceland’s only attempt on goal until stoppage time, but the move leading to that effort still proved costly for England as Walker picked up his first yellow card.
Southgate’s men continued to enjoy the vast majority of possession in the second period, but the closest they came to breaking the deadlock before the dramatic finale was when Iceland’s Kari Arnason flicked Kieran Trippier’s free-kick onto his own post.
Moments later Walker’s ill-judged lunge to break up an Icelandic counter-attack left his side a man down.
A breakthrough did not look like coming until Sterling collected an overhit corner and the ball struck Ingason’s arm in his attempt to block the shot.
Sterling coolly rolled his penalty straight down the middle and how Bjarnason wish he had showed the same composure as his wild finish let England off the hook.
England forward Raheem Sterling said on Tuesday that “now is the time to act” against racism.
Sterling has been speaking out amid the worldwide Black Lives Matter protests that followed the death of George Floyd while in police custody in the United States.
The BLM protests have also led to renewed debate about the lack of black coaches and administrators within British sport.
Sterling said that black people are “tired” and want to see meaningful action.
“I feel like I speak for most black people, everyone is tired. With the protesting that is going on you see what is happening in America transferring to the UK,” Manchester City star Sterling told Sky Sports.
“A lot of people have been in silence and is using this opportunity as a moment to be one and try to get not just answers but changes to society.
“It is something that is coming up a lot more which is a good thing. I truly do believe that now is the time that we have to act. I am doing my bit behind the scenes.”
Sterling’s latest comments came a day after UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson announced a government review into “all aspects of inequality” following a wave of anti-racism protests in Britain.
But David Lammy, justice spokesman for the main opposition Labour party said the review, one of several in recent years, was simply a device to delay meaningful action and appeared to have been “written on the back of a fag (cigarette) packet yesterday to assuage the Black Lives Matter protest”.
Manchester City star Raheem Sterling has urged English football to use the global anti-racism protests to initiate debates and find solutions regarding the lack of black representation in top leadership positions in the sport.
Calling for racial justice, thousands of protesters have rallied across the UK, joining a wave of demonstrations sparked by the death of African American George Floyd at the hands of US police last month.
England forward Sterling, who has previously been prominent in calling out racism in both the domestic and international game, is the latest sports star to lend his support to the protests.
“The protest is a great starting point, to make your voice be heard. But just protesting alone is not going to make a change in this country,” Sterling said Monday in a BBC TV interview.
“It’s how we move on from here. It’s about highlighting things, the society that needs changing, and then acting upon it. We’ve done a lot of talking, and it’s time now to act.”
“This is a time to speak on these subjects, speak on injustice, especially in my field,” he added.
Sterling pointed a finger at the long-running disparity between the number of high-profile Black, Asian and minority ethnic players and the dearth of those who go on to hold significant managerial, coaching or administrative jobs.
“There’s something like 500 players in the Premier League and a third of them are black and we have no representation of us in the hierarchy, no representation of us in the coaching staff. There’s not a lot of faces that we can relate to and have conversations with,” he said.
“With these protests that are going on it’s all well and good just talking, but it’s time that we need to have conversations, to be able to spark debates.
“But at same time, it’s coming together and finding a solution to be able to spark change because we can talk as much as we want about changing and putting people, black people, in these positions that I do feel they should be in.”
– ‘Give equal chances’ –
Sterling contrasted the managerial paths of Steven Gerrard and Frank Lampard, who have landed top roles at Rangers and Chelsea, to equally experienced black players who have been compelled to start much lower down the ladder.
“The coaching staff that you see around football clubs: there’s Steven Gerrard, your Frank Lampards, your Sol Campbells and your Ashley Coles. All had great careers, all played for England,” said Sterling.
“At the same time, they’ve all respectfully done their coaching badges to coach at the highest level and the two that haven’t been given the right opportunities are the two black former players.
“The change is being able to speak to people in Parliament, people at the hierarchy at my football club, football clubs across the country, people at the national team of England, to implement change and give equal chances to not just black coaches but also different ethnicities.
“I feel like that’s what’s lacking here, it’s not just taking the knee, it is about giving people the chance they deserve.”
A Manchester City supporter has received a five-year ban from football matches after racially abusing Raheem Sterling.
Ian Baldry, 58, made a racist comment towards the City and England winger as he celebrated scoring a goal in a Premier League game against Bournemouth at the Etihad Stadium in December 2018.
The defendant from Yorkshire pleaded guilty in September to causing racially aggravated intentional harassment, alarm or distress.
On Friday, he was sentenced at Manchester Magistrates’ Court and also ordered to complete 200 hours of community service and pay £170 (222 dollars) court costs.
In a witness statement against the defendant another supporter present at the match told police “it was disgusting in this day and age that this was going on.
“I was shocked and offended and felt sick to my stomach when I heard it.”
In another case of racism at a football match England’s Euro 2020 qualifier in Bulgaria was twice stopped due to racism in the stands earlier this season and Gareth Southgate’s team encountered the same issue in another match in Montenegro.
Last season a banana was thrown at Arsenal striker Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang by a Tottenham fan, while Sterling was subjected to alleged racist abuse in a match at Chelsea.
Numerous football fixtures in Italy have also been marred by racism.
Raheem Sterling said he allowed his “emotions” to get the better of him leading to a brief altercation with Liverpool’s Joe Gomez that resulted in the Manchester City player being dropped for Thursday’s Euro 2020 qualifier against Montenegro.
Sterling admitted on Instagram on Tuesday he and Gomez “had words” when they met up at the England camp the day after Liverpool’s 3-1 win over defending champions Manchester City which left the latter nine points adrift of Jurgen Klopp’s side.
“Both Joe and I have had words and figured things out and moved on,” Sterling said.
“We are in a sport where emotions run high and I am man enough to admit when emotions got the better of me.
“This is why we play this sport because of our love for it — me and Joe Gomez are good, we both understand it was a five to 10-second thing… it’s done, we move forward and not make this bigger than it is.
“Let’s get focus on our game on Thursday,” Sterling added.
The Daily Mail reported that Gomez and Sterling had to be separated by teammates on Monday after a “physical confrontation.”
The pair had also clashed on the field towards the end of Sunday’s match.
– ‘The best statesman’ –
England manager Gareth Southgate moved quickly to deal with the issue — arguably one of his achievements during his time in the post has been to erase the rivalries between members from different clubs which plagued previous England squads.
The likes of former star defender Rio Ferdinand have spoken about how when they used to join the England camp he and Manchester United players would stick together and find it hard to mix with Chelsea or Liverpool stars.
In a statement prior to Sterling‘s Instagram post issued by the Football Association, Southgate alluded to that.
“We have taken the decision to not consider Raheem for the match against Montenegro on Thursday.
“One of the great challenges and strengths for us is that we’ve been able to separate club rivalries from the national team. Unfortunately the emotions of yesterday’s game were still raw.
“My feeling is that the right thing for the team is the action we have taken. Now that the decision has been made with the agreement of the entire squad, it’s important that we support the players and focus on Thursday night.”
Sterling has been one of the stars of England’s qualification campaign, scoring eight goals in six games.
A draw against Montenegro at Wembley will be enough to guarantee England’s place at Euro 2020.
Sterling has enjoyed a makeover in his image in the past year with less biting observations of his bling-bling image in the press and more positive headlines regarding his public stance against racism.
Six Chelsea fans were banned — one for life — after racially abusing him during a league game last season and along with England team-mates he also suffered abuse in their Euro qualifiers against Bulgaria and Montenegro.
The 24-year-old silenced the critics over having a rifle tattooed on his leg by revealing it was his pledge never to touch a gun following his father being shot dead in Jamaica in front of his own father when the star was just two.
He has been hailed by London Mayor Sadiq Khan for his campaigning against racism.
“I’d go as far to say he’s the best statesman we have (for fighting racism),” Khan said in September this year.
Manchester City closed the gap on Premier League leaders Liverpool to three points as Raheem Sterling inspired a 3-0 win over Aston Villa on Saturday.
Pep Guardiola’s side survived a tame opening period as second half goals from Sterling, Kevin De Bruyne and Ilkay Gundogan put Villa to the sword.
City’s second successive league victory lifted them above Leicester into second place and put pressure on Liverpool to beat Tottenham in Sunday’s clash at Anfield.
The only frustration for Guardiola was a red card for Fernandinho, who was dismissed after earning a second booking when he tugged at Keinan Davis in the 87th minute.
City were upset by Wolves in their last league fixture at the Etihad Stadium, but Guardiola had never lost back-to-back home league games as a manager and Sterling was key to ensuring that impressive record wasn’t ruined.
Sterling’s latest virtuoso display came just days after his second hat-trick of the campaign in City’s Champions League demolition of Atalanta.
The England winger has made a convincing case to be regarded as genuine superstar over the last 18 months and Villa had no answer to his intelligent movement, sublime skills and predatory finishing.
City have scored 32 league goals this season, 11 more than Liverpool, and their firepower was clear to see as they saw off Villa with their record scorer Sergio Aguero on the bench.
Gabriel Jesus made consecutive Premier League starts for the first time since December, but he squandered a chance to put City ahead when he dragged his close-range shot wide from Sterling’s pass.
No fewer than 11 City stars have suffered injuries this season, with Oleksandr Zinchenko and Rodri the latest to be sidelined for several weeks.
Route one City
Guardiola admitted he was “a little bit concerned” about how City would cope, yet with Sterling in his side, anything is possible.
Sterling appealed for a penalty when his shot cannoned off Bjorn Engels’ arm, then glanced a header just wide.
John Stones was back in place of Rodri at the heart of City’s defence, but the England international looked rusty in his first start since September.
He gifted possession to Villa and Douglas Luiz almost took advantage when he tangled with City keeper Ederson, who narrowly avoided conceding a penalty in the melee.
Moments later, Stones threw himself in front of a Trezeguet shot, surviving a penalty appeal after the ball deflected onto his hand.
Despite their lack of rhythm in the first half, City should have been ahead at the break when Sterling teed up David Silva, only for the Spanish midfielder to shoot inches wide of the far post.
Usually firmly dedicated to Guardiola’s passing principles, City finally broke Villa’s stubborn resistence with a goal straight from the route one handbook.
A huge punt forward by Ederson was flicked on by Jesus into the path of the unmarked Sterling, who took one touch before shooting under Tom Heaton for his 13th goal in 14 appearances in all competitions this term.
City should have doubled their lead when Engels gave the ball away to Sterling and he picked out Jesus, but the Brazilian’s shot was brilliantly cleared off the line by Tyrone Mings.
It made no difference as Guardiola’s side were in the groove and they killed off Villa with two goals in five minutes.
In the 65th minute, De Bruyne swung in a cross that evaded Silva and Sterling before bouncing into the net.
A long VAR review followed to check for offside but the goal was given.
Gundogan put the result beyond doubt in the 70th minute with a clinical finish after Villa failed to clear.