Published: Wed, July 11, 2018
Sports | By Brooke Harris

Croatia fear England’s Sterling in World Cup semi-final

Croatia fear England’s Sterling in World Cup semi-final

Beckham and Sir Geoff Hurst, though, defended Sterling's displays after the quarter-final win against Sweden. England's World Cup campaign has been a definite success so there is no need to make unnecessary changes to a side that is on such a role.

Vinne Jones has slammed Raheem Sterling and claimed he would be playing for a club like Exeter City if he did not have pace.

"To reach the semi finals of a world cup. WOW!"

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England survived a penalty shootout against Colombia in the last 16 whereas Croatia emerged through extra-time and spot-kicks against Denmark before going through the same ordeal again against Russian Federation in Saturday's quarter-final. "Of course he hasn't scored the goals he would have liked to score but for myself and the players he has been a crucial part of the way we have been playing".

He said on Twitter: "Today, I want to thank all that have and continue to support England as a team, this has helped us achieve what can only be described as a dream!"

In his second season under Pep Guardiola, Sterling bagged a career-best 23 goals in 46 appearances as Manchester City stormed to the Premier League title.

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"He had an excellent game against Sweden, running into space and stretching the defence", the former Arsenal striker added. Off the ball his work rate is incredible. Sterling offers this in abundance.

Forget the cutbacks across the goal amidst a crowded penalty area or the clever runs behind the defence to create goalscoring opportunities, Sterling's tactical intelligence makes him the flawless candidate for the situations when England want to press high up the field - whether he puts the finishing touch himself or selflessly sets up a teammate, Sterling threatens to produce moments of magic every time he receives the ball and that is a quality to be heralded, not ridiculed.

Sterling is yet to net a goal in the World Cup despite being in the team in four matches out of five and has also been missing goal-scoring opportunities in the tournament on a regular basis.

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The flak Sterling receives doesn't bother him as much anymore, in his own words, the youngster focussing on his duties instead. Every player deserves to be applauded.

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