The former England captain and record goalscorer also backed Sterling to be in the frame for Premier League Player of the Year
Wayne Rooney has hailed Raheem Sterling and praised Pep Guardiola for his influence on the Manchester City star’s career.
Sterling has been in outstanding form for City over the past few years and, for many people, has been the standout player in the Premier League this term.
Raheem Sterling has scored 15 Premier League goals and registered nine assists for title-chasing City And Rooney is delighted to see his former England teammate doing so well.
He told in an exclusive interview: “He’s been fantastic. You need to give Pep Guardiola a lot of credit.
“Raheem has always had the talent and the ability but one thing he’s improved on massively is his knowledge of the game and tactically he’s a lot better from working with Guardiola.
“Raheem, to get his head down and work on that, is fantastic. I’m really pleased for him.
“He’ll be up for Player of the Year this season.”
Rooney heaped praise on Sterling Sterling has received widespread praise for his exploits both on and off the pitch, scoring goals for fun and calling out English football’s persistent problem with racism.
However, the 24-year-old was the subject of much media condemnation earlier in his career.
Gary Neville has previously recalled how the England star approached him during Euro 2016 due to ‘vicious’ criticism from fans.
And Rooney, England’s record goalscorer, admits it was confusing for him and the rest of the squad.
“He is a great person. At times he got a lot of stick which it was baffling for us as players as to why it was happening. We didn’t really understand it.”
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Rooney has endured his fair share of criticism in the media throughout his career, and the former Manchester United star admits it can hurt.
“It’s not nice for anyone,” he added.
“Not just yourself, but your family and your parents. People who were close to the player, it’s not nice. But one thing we know how to do is play football.
Rooney in action during England’s victory over the USA “When you go on that pitch, that’s where you belong. As a player you just want to be on the pitch regardless of what’s being said.
“With social media and the coverage football gets now, it’s part of the game.
“I’m sure players at different clubs will get taught how to deal with it.”
FULL INTERVIEW: Wayne Rooney on his Everton regret, Raheem Sterling, England and why Liverpool title win would be a nightmare