‘I’m about 15 goals off where I want to be’: Man City star Raheem Sterling insists he should be scoring MORE as he hunts down records held by Ryan Giggs, Luis Figo and David Beckham
- Raheem Sterling believes he should have scored more goals this campaign
- The England star has broken the 20-goal mark for a third successive season
- Sterling wants to push those numbers further as he looks to surpass greats
- He looks at the standards set by the likes of Luis Figo and Arjen Robben
Manchester City star Raheem Sterling has admitted to being 15 goals shy of where he would like to be this season.
He’s already broken the 20-goal mark for the third consecutive campaign but that is not enough these days.
Scoring every other game is not deemed prolific enough, and Sterling wants to push those numbers further in pursuit of entering the pantheon of world-class goalscoring wingers. Given his trajectory over recent years, it is a target that is eminently attainable.
Raheem Sterling has admitted to being 15 goals shy of where he would like to be this season
The Man City star has already broken the 20-goal mark for the third consecutive campaign
He looks at the standards set by the likes of Luis Figo, Arjen Robben, Franck Ribery and Ryan Giggs. Surpassing their records is certainly achievable for someone still only 25.
Days during this lockdown have been spent banging balls at a net in the back garden of his Cheshire mansion with his children, waiting for an opportunity to challenge himself again.
For him, running away to celebrate 35 times in a season enhances the odds of Manchester City lifting more silverware. The trophy haul under Pep Guardiola is currently six, a Champions League medal the only one missing to complete the set.
Sterling wants to emulate the likes of Luis Figo who shone for Real Madrid among others
Ryan Giggs, pictured celebrating his goal against Bolton Wanderers in 2004, is another player Sterling wants to emulate
‘I would say probably I’m about 15 goals off where I want to be,’ he said. ‘Those are the targets, to try and create good numbers but at the same time not just have numbers to have numbers.
‘At the end of the day you want to have trophies to back up that season because 10 years from now you can score a lot of goals, but if I can’t look back on those goals as being important for my team and having a great value then those goals were pointless. It is one of those, to try and contribute as much as I can but at the end of the season have some medals to show for it.’
The role of a winger has undoubtedly changed over time, and even been tweaked during Sterling’s spell under Guardiola. Now he is inverted from the left rather than attacking crosses off the right. City have attempted to attack teams in different ways, the classic Guardiola tap-in from a byline cutback not seen quite as often over the past year. Sterling relishes the left, a position that offers additional angles to score.
David Beckham pictured kissing the FA Carling Premiership in 2001 while playing for United
His luck in the final third has been out since December, however, and this could well have been a campaign that he flew past 30 club goals for the first time after such an astonishing start. He began with 14 goals in his first 16 appearances.
Sterling’s career total for club and country to date is 124 and his comparison to some of the greats is favourable. Giggs plundered 180, Figo 165, Beckham 146. The late George Best managed 260.
More recently, and offering a clearer measure, Ribery – now in his twilight at Fiorentina – has 174 goals, while Robben amassed 247. Eden Hazard, four years Sterling’s senior, has 193 with a few good seasons left yet. The anomalies are clearly Cristiano Ronaldo, who has spent more than enough of his career out wide to be included, and Neymar.
It is little wonder commercial giants are falling over themselves to tie Sterling down to new deals, with a tussle continuing between Nike and Puma as to who secures the next boot contract. The laudable social responsibility Sterling owns is such an important element to those offers but the goals gave him the platform. And if he continues racking up the numbers, we could be witnessing the blossoming of one of history’s greatest ever wide men.
Sterling has often praised manager Pep Guardiola (right) for helping him improve his game
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