‘It hasn’t been on my mind at all’: Raheem Sterling insists he did NOT let the racist abuse he received at Stamford Bridge in 2018 affect his perception of Chelsea after joining the Blues this summer from Man City
- Raheem Sterling has discussed the racist abuse he received at Chelsea in 2018
- Sterling, 27, was playing for Manchester City at Blues ground Stamford Bridge
- The England star insists the incident does not affect his perception of Chelsea
- Sterling joined Thomas Tuchel’s side from City this summer in a £47.5m transfer
Raheem Sterling insists he never had any doubts about joining Chelsea because of the racist abuse he suffered at Stamford Bridge a few years ago.
The England international was playing for Manchester City when targeted by a supporter during a Premier League match in December 2018.
Three and half years on, he has joined Thomas Tuchel’s side in a £50million move.
Speaking to the media for the first time since his arrival, Sterling claimed the incident never played a role in his decision.
‘I saw a short thing about it yesterday (Wednesday), that was the first time I remembered it,’ the 27-year-old said.
‘It wasn’t something that played on my mind at all. I can’t let an incident from individuals change my perception of the club.’
Raheem Sterling (pictured) has admitted the racist abuse he encountered at the hands of Chelsea fans in 2018 while at Manchester City does not affect his perception of the club
Pictured: Chelsea fans seen aiming abuse at Sterling at Stamford Bridge in December 2018
The England star forward joined Chelsea from City in a £47.5million transfer this summer
Sterling had other options after deciding to leave City. But he chose Stamford Bridge as it ‘was more tailor-made for my personal goals’.
‘For my family, it makes a lot of sense and with the direction, the club is going in. If you look at Chelsea in the last couple of years, I think it’s four of five finals they’ve been in, it’s a team that is competing and is only going to get better,’ he said.
After more than a decade away, the forward has returned to London. Now, at Chelsea, Sterling is determined to take on more of a leadership role.
‘I feel like it’s my full journey. Going up to Liverpool and manifesting what I wanted, going to City and living the dream, and now coming back to London as a grown adult, being in the football game and I feel like I’ve got my head on my shoulders.
‘I know exactly what I what from my life and football. So it’s a perfect time to have a new challenge,’ Sterling added. ‘I want to be more involved in dressing room decisions, being more vocal and trying to drive the team on.’
That involves nurturing younger players in the way Steven Gerrard helped him.
‘It’s one of my traits that no matter how old you are, it’s good to try to nurture younger people in whatever profession it is. You don’t want a hostile environment for them to come into, you want it to be one they can flourish.
‘When I was young, I had someone like Steven Gerrard around me. When I went into the national team, he had his arm around me and that makes you a lot more relaxed around the camp so you can do your best. That’s all I ever try to do.’
RAHEEM STERLING’S STATEMENT IN DECEMBER 2018
‘Good morning I just want to say, I am not normally the person to talk a lot but when I think I need my point to be heard I will speak up.
‘Regarding what was said at the Chelsea game as you can see by my reaction I just had to laugh because I don’t expect no better. For example you have two young players starting out there careers both play for the same team, both have done the right thing.
‘Which is buy a new house for there mothers who have put in a lot of time and love into helping them get where they are, but look how the newspapers get there message across for the young black player and then for the young white payer. I think this is unacceptable both innocent have not done a thing wrong but just by the way it has been worded.
‘This young black kid is looked at in a bad light. Which helps fuel racism an aggressive behaviour, so for all the news papers that don’t understand why people are racist in this day and age all I have to say is have a second thought about fair publicity an give all players an equal chance.’