Sterling has Wembley under his skin

Wednesday, 18, June, 2014
Sterling faces Italy in Brazil

Raheem Sterling has told how his Wembley tattoo drove him to achieve his dream of playing at the national stadium.

The Liverpool and England star has an image of a 10-year-old boy clutching a football and looking in awe at the iconic arch inked on to his left forearm.

The winger wanted the tattoo to be constant reminder of his childhood dream.

"I've got a tattoo of a young boy with a football in his hands, looking at the stadium, saying 'it's a dream', he said.

"Wembley was literally around the corner. I used to ride my bike round this little car park that was by the stadium. It's something that I've always wanted: to play for England and be the best I can be as a footballer.

"I used to say to myself 'one day, I'd like to play there, hopefully I could do that' and I am really grateful to be given that opportunity.

The 19 year-old winger is living that dream at the moment as, following his second Wembley appearance against Peru in May, he travelled to Brazil with Roy Hodgson’s squad where he has already made his presence felt.

But Sterling admits it took all his composure not to be overawed by the magnitude of the occasion when he started for the Three Lions against Italy in Manaus.

"For any young lad to make an appearance in such a big tournament was a dream come true but when I was on the pitch I just tried to think of it as a normal game," said Sterling.

"To play in such a big tournament and to start made me feel a bit nervous at the time but I thought it was a great opportunity to go out and show the football world what I can do. Hopefully by the end of the game I showed some glimpses.

"I tried not to really think about the importance of the game and tried to express myself and do my best for the team - but we were really disappointed not to get the win.