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Raheem Sterling and England show value of fearlessness in Spain | Eni Aluko

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The Manchester City forward looked almost carefree in Spain and Gareth Southgate’s team need to keep this up

England delivered an impressive display against Spain on Monday and it was kickstarted by a fine opening goal from Raheem Sterling. I was delighted for him. Few, if any, players have had to put up with as much negative energy from the media in recent years as Sterling and this was his way of showing that despite it all he still has what it takes to score goals for England.

A huge part of Sterling’s burden in an England shirt has been dealing with all the critics. That is part of being a professional footballer but the scrutiny on Sterling has gone too far. I’d now like to see those who have criticised Sterling about irrelevant things such as his tattoo and his Poundland purchases give him the praise that is due from a purely footballing point of view.

Related: Gareth Southgate’s young side continue adding to their list of firsts | Daniel Taylor

Related: Gareth Southgate praises Raheem Sterling and England’s bravery in Spain

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