• News

Raheem Sterling was a “massive” Man United fan growing up

Getty Images

Manchester City star Raheem Sterling revealed he was actually “massive” Manchester United fan growing up.

For a United supporter, Sterling has now played for two of the club’s greatest rivals in Liverpool and City.

The 24-year-old winger came through the Liverpool youth ranks and starred at Anfield until 2015, where he sealed a £44m transfer to big spenders City.

Since then Sterling has truly become a force to be reckoned with in the Premier League as his natural pace and technical qualities have proven to be a troublesome combination for defenders.

Under the watchful eye of Pep Guardiola, the England international has even managed to take his game up to a whole new level.

And this was duly noted when Sterling was crowned the FWA Footballer of the Year for his role in City’s triumphant 2018/19 Premier League campaign.

He will now be looking to help City win a treble for this season by defeating Watford in the FA Cup final at Wembley on Saturday.

But it turns out the ex-Liverpool man was in the stands at Wembley 12 years ago cheering on City’s local rivals United in their FA Cup final clash with Chelsea.

“I was at the final in 2007,” Sterling told the Daily Mirror.

“I shouldn’t really say this — not now, definitely not now! — but when I was young I was a massive United fan. I had an old United kit, from when they won the last FA Cup.”

For City’s semi-final encounter with Brighton in April, Sterling reserved 550 tickets so that students from his old school to attend the match at Wembley.

“To be in the stadium… it was incredible,” Sterling added.

“It was unbelievable and that was when I tried to give the tickets to the school. That was motivated by that — being so close to the stadium and not going there more than once.

“If two or three of the kids could be inspired, then that’s all I was trying to do. Surely, that’s how I felt at the time.

“If there was a kid who had a chance of being a footballer, hopefully, that will give them motivation or inspiration to change their dreams.”

Sterling has managed 23 goals and 17 assists in 50 appearances for City this season.

The FA Cup final between City and Watford will begin at 18:00 (CET) on Saturday.