FIFA World Cup, Raheem Sterling to return home: Here's why
England's Raheem Sterling will return home from the ongoing 2022 FIFA World Cup in Qatar to deal with a "family matter". According to British media reports, armed intruders broke into his home while his family was inside the property. Sterling has been pivotal to England's success over the years. The 27-year-old has represented England in 81 matches. Here are further details.
Family should come first: Gareth Southgate
"The priority is for him to be with his family. We're going to support that and leave him to have as much time as he needs," said England manager Gareth Southgate. "At the moment it's a situation he needs time with his family to deal with. I don't want to put him under any pressure with that. Sometimes football isn't the most important thing."
Second England player to leave
Sterling is the second England player to leave after Arsenal defender Ben White, who returned to the UK last week for personal reasons. According to BBC, some burglars targeted homes in England in 2018. It included a break-in attempt at Sterling's then-home in Cheshire.
Sterling starred in England's 6-2 win over Iran
Sterling starred in England's 6-2 win over Iran in a crucial Group B match at the 2022 FIFA World Cup. He struck a superb volley from Harry Kane's cross before halftime. Sterling fetched his 20th goal for the Three Lions and his maiden goal at the FIFA World Cup. He also featured in the 0-0 draw against the United States.
Sterling has been vital in major tournaments
England manager Southgate has used Sterling's services during major tournaments in the past. Notably, the latter started in all seven of England's matches at the Euro 2020. He finished the tournament with three goals.
FIFA WC: England to take on France in quarters
England blanked Senegal 3-0 in the round of 16 at the FIFA World Cup 2022. Jordan Henderson gave England the lead in the 38th minute before Harry Kane added a second in added first-half extra-time. Bukayo Saka added the third in the second half as England reached the quarters and will now take on defending champions France.