FIFA World Cup: 6 fascinating facts about Raheem Sterling

The football star is immensely agile

England football player Raheem Sterling is one of the team's hottest players to appear in the FIFA World Cup.

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Dubbed the team's star player and the one to watch, the 27-year-old fully justified his selection at the England match against Iran on Monday, where they secured a 6-2 victory. 

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Aside from his rapid speed on the pitch, what else can be said about the 27-year-old professional? Read on for six things you need to know about the quick-footed star...

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1. At the age of five, Jamaican-born Raheem moved from his hometown of Kingston to London, where he was raised by his grandmother and lived with his mother and three siblings. His rag-to-riches story started in a council flat in Neasden, north London where he grew up on St Raphael's Estate.

Raheem Sterling plays as a winger and attacking midfielder

The young Raheem was removed from primary school for "behavioural problems" and spent three years at Vernon House Special School, with one teacher warning him that he would either "end up in prison or play for England" by the time he was 17, if he carried on the way he was going.

Raheem moved to London at the age of five

2. Reaching that age, Raheem made his big debut and joined Liverpool as a winger on a £30,000-a-week salary in 2010. His wage is expected to more than double to £70,000 when he returns from the Rio World Cup, while his transfer value is now estimated at a whopping £30million.

3. The former Queens Park Rangers player has also represented England at under-16, under-17 and under-21 level, before he made his full national debut in November 2012.

The football star made his England debut in 2012

4. Raheem has made headlines with his personal life in the past. In August 2013, he was arrested for an alleged assault on his model girlfriend but was found not guilty the following month. Raheem had previously gone on trial for another assault on a woman earlier that year. He is also father to one daughter who was born in 2012 after a brief relationship he had.

5. Despite his new-found fame, Raheem has remained "grounded" and often goes back to visit his old school, the Copland Community School, in Wembley, northwest London.

Raheem set up a new foundation

"Raheem's always been very humble, just such a nice guy, always encouraging his team-mates," his old coach Paul Lawrence told Evening Standard. "If people picked on one of the weaker players he would always step up and defend them. He's a very kind person."

6. The sporting legend launched a new foundation in 2021 to improve social mobility for young people in London, Manchester and Kingston, Jamaica. The new charitable foundation aims to "educate, empower and inspire young people" in all three cities "to become better prepared for the future and to embrace opportunities to achieve greater social mobility". 

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