Raheem Sterling, or Raheem Shaquille Sterling to give him is full name, was born in Kingston Jamaica on the 8th December 1994.
Until the age of five he lived in the Maverly area of Kingston, before moving to England and the St Raphael’s Estate in Brent, London. He recently returned to his place of birth to give something back to the community, and possibly give them a chance to convince him to play for Jamaica rather than England!
Raheem played his youth football for Queens Park Rangers where, according to Jamaican newspaper The Gleaner, he took youth football by storm. His displays at youth level lead to interest from a host of top clubs in England including Manchester City, Manchester United, and Arsenal, but it was Rafa Benitez who convinced him to sign for Liverpool after showing Sterling and his mum around the club and it’s training facilities, with a bit of help from Liverpool legend Steven Gerrard. He was told he’d be viewed as a first team player in the making, rather than just another member of the youth team.
Sterling made his Liverpool debut on 24th March 2012, when Kenny Dalglish brought him on in the 84th minute to replace Dirk Kuyt in a 1-2 defeat to Wigan Athletic at Anfield.
In the following season he was fast tracked to the first team under manager Brendan Rodgers, who saw in Sterling a young player with a great tactical awareness of the game to go alongside his natural technical gifts. He became a regular starter at the start of the 2012/13 season, and his performances were so impressive that he made his full England debut on the 14th of November in a friendly against Sweden. As this game was only a friendly he is still able to switch allegiance to Jamaica, but it seems likely he will play for the country where he developed as a footballer.