Raheem Sterling played a prominent role during the European Championship which fans of the national team expected the players to win for the first time in the history of the tournament.
The Three Lions of England were so privileged that they play most parts of the tournament at Wembley Stadium in London. Even before the tournament kick-started, fans of the team were campaigning for the team to bring the Championship trophy home.
The players almost did so as they were able to cruise to the final of the tournament which was held at the Wembley Stadium on July 11, 2021.
Unfortunately for England, they met Italy in the final. Italy was so strong in the tournament that they didn’t record any defeat throughout the tournament.
England could not beat Italy during regular time and in extra time. Hence, the final was determined via penalty shootouts which Italy won, thanks to misses from Jadon Sancho, Bukayo Saka, and Marcus Rashford.
As for Raheem Sterling, the Manchester City fast-paced winger played 641 minutes of the tournament. In those minutes, he scored three goals and provided an assist.
Despite not winning the tournament, Raheem Sterling said there was both pride and regret in what the Three Lions of England achieved in Euro 2020.
“You still have people saying congratulations or something and it’s like… there’s not much to congratulate as we didn’t win,” Sterling told Sky Sports.
“That’s the great thing within the squad, we’re not happy with doing well and putting on a show for the country, we genuinely wanted to come home with that trophy and that’s the mentality in the squad now.
“It was class we went to the final but we want to win, we want to make history and I think that’s the message since day one when Gareth (Southgate) came in.”
The Three Lions of England is filed with established Premier League players who play for the league’s rival clubs. Whenever the players leave their clubs for international duties, they are expected to play as one.
Aside from the players that come from different rival clubs to play for the national team, the British media is perceived to always be on the neck of the national team players.
“I feel like when I first went into the camp, it was very much them versus us, the media versus the players,” Sterling said.
“When Gareth came in, he made it very clear what his intentions were, they were to make England challenge on all fronts, make us challenge at Euros and World Cups.
“If we were to do that, we had to change the perception in the media, public and us the players – we all had to be one if we wanted to achieve something with the national team.
“From the moment he [Southgate] came in – he tried to work on building that relationship with the media and the fans and I think he’s done a fantastic job at doing that.”
Raheem Sterling has been playing for the Three Lions of England since November 14, 2012. He started playing for the team when he was 17-year-old.
Since then, the 26-year-old winger has made 70 international appearances in which he has scored 18 goals including three in the last European Championship.