Childhood & Early Life
Raheem was born Raheem Shaquille Sterling in Jamaica on December 8, 1994. He, along with his mother, moved to London when he was just five years old. Raheem’s father chose to stay back in Jamaica. Raheem and his family underwent many hardships to manage their expenses. His mother somehow managed to make both ends meet. When Raheem turned eight, his father was murdered in Jamaica.
Raheem was then a student of Copland Community School in Wembley, North West London, and was playing for the school’s football team. Post his father’s sad demise, Raheem managed to turn his anger and frustration into positive energy and channelized it to improve his soccer skills. His selection into the ‘Queens Park Rangers Football Club’ turned out to be his turning point. Raheem was now prepared to officially start his football career.
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Raheem played for ‘Queens Park Rangers Football Club’ from 2003 to 2010. This seven year-long span helped him a lot in shaping his career. At the end of his tenure with the club, Raheem was already a star player. By then, he had managed to grab the attention of many including veterans and legends of the game. Though Raheem played at multiple positions, most of his amazing performances came when he was playing as a natural winger. He quickly became popular for his speed and low center of gravity.
In February 2010, Raheem signed a contract with ‘Liverpool’ and was initially offered 600,000 Euros. The then ‘Liverpool’ coach Rafael Benítez promised to pay him more provided he plays most of the matches for Liverpool’s youth team.
Raheem made his debut for the team in a friendly match against ‘Hibernian F.C’. Next, he played against ‘Aston Villa’ at the Premier Academy League. Both the matches ended in a draw.
Raheem registered his first victory against ‘Notts County F.C’ while playing in the Football Association Youth Cup. After a few more remarkable victories, Raheem was promoted to the senior team of Liverpool. He initially played as a substitute. The first goal that he scored for the senior team was against ‘Bayer Leverkusen’. His first man of the match award came on 15 September 2011 when his team won against ‘Sunderland’.
Raheem was selected to play for the ‘Young Boys’ team at the UEFA Europa League. He played well and handed Liverpool a victory. On 20 October, Raheem became the second youngest player ever to score a competitive goal for ‘Liverpool’. The goal came against ‘Reading F.C’ in a dramatic fashion.
Raheem played exceptionally well in the 2013–14 season. With a streak of back-to-back goals against teams like ‘Norwich City F.C’, ‘Tottenham Hotspur F.C’, ‘Cardiff City F.C’, ‘Arsenal F.C’ and ‘Manchester City F.C’, the wonder boy registered his name in the list of the contenders for the ‘PFA Young Player of the Year’ award which he eventually won. Along with that, he was also named as the Liverpool Chartered Player of the Month for April.
Raheem continued to deliver terrific performances in the subsequent years. He was once again given the ‘Player of the Month’ award after winning over ‘Southampton F.C’ and ‘Tottenham Hotspur F.C’.
Towards the end of the year, Raheem debuted in the UEFA Champions League and registered a 2–1 win against ‘Ludogorets Razgrad’. A match against ‘Manchester United’, hosted at Old Trafford, was his hundredth match for ‘Liverpool’.
Raheem’s tremendous hard work and immense talent paid off when he was awarded the 2014 ‘Golden Boy’ award. Raheem was then asked to take a break as his manager Brendan Rodgers wanted to keep him fresh for the Liverpool's FA Cup. According to him, Raheem deserved a break as the previous matches had him drained.
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Raheem looked revitalized after the break and came up with some power packed performances. He once again won the team's ‘Young Player of the Season’ and ‘PFA Young Player of the Year’ award.
Raheem then decided to play for ‘Manchester City’ after signing a five-year contract worth 44 million Euros. The first match that he played for the club was against ‘A.S. Roma’ at the 2015 International Champions Cup. Raheem then scored his first career hat-trick against ‘A.F.C. Bournemouth’ and contributed to a 5–1 victory over the team.
Raheem’s shift to ‘Manchester City’ was highly criticized, especially by his fans. Many of them even said that this decision was taken mainly due to the money that was offered by the club. But Raheem had taken the decision, for he thought that playing for a popular club like ‘Manchester City’ would help his career in a big way. He eventually got himself into a long contract dispute which was later settled.
Raheem was injured while playing a match against ‘Manchester United’ and his team eventually lost the match. He was restricted from playing further and was asked to recover completely. Raheem’s absence had a huge impact on the club as it lost almost all the matches thereafter.
Raheem made his comeback in 2016 and played in the following season. His comeback helped the club in a big way and restored its lost glory. Once again, Raheem won the ‘Premier League Player of the Month’ for August 2016.
Raheem made his international debut when he played in the 2011 U-17 World Cup. He then got selected to play for the senior team and represented England in the 2014 World Cup qualifying match which was played against Ukraine. Raheem became the team's best performing player after a 2-1 victory over Italy in FIFA 2014.
Raheem was signed as the brand ambassador for the limited edition series of Nike Mercurial Vapor IX. He was also featured in an advertisement for the Nike Green Speed II edition.
Raheem had a troubled childhood as his family had to fight poverty. He lost his father early in his life and he himself became a father at a young age. His daughter, Melody Rose, was born in 2012 when he was just 18.
In 2013, Raheem was charged with cases of physical assault - one by his ex-girlfriend, while the second came from an unknown woman. In both the cases, Raheem was given a clean chit due to lack of evidence.
Raheem was attacked by an unidentified man on 16 December 2017. The incident unfolded at the Manchester training ground where the attacker made some nasty racial comments against him. A few days later, the man was identified as Karl Anderson and sentenced to 16 weeks in prison. He was also slapped a fine of £100.