Raheem Sterling thanks England fans after reaching 'dream' World Cup semi-final

Ross Houston
July 11, 2018

Vinne Jones has slammed Raheem Sterling and claimed he would be playing for a club like Exeter City if he did not have pace.

He might divide fans at home but Croatia coach Zlatko Dalic picked out Raheem Sterling as one of England's most risky players ahead of Wednesday's World Cup semi-final. "His work ethic is fantastic as well." he said. Power, positioning and precision - three traits seem to define any striker of calibre according to European sports media, but Sterling is neither of those and still offers much more than just those three traits - probably why the Englishman is often on the receiving end of relentless, jarring criticism.

"He has quality in possession, links the play, makes runs in behind and off the ball his work-rate is incredible". It's so clear to see if you were to watch back our games, the importance he has to the team.

"They showed from the games I've seen so far that they play direct football and they are very fast".

Back then England had just been dumped out of Euro 2016 by Iceland and had seemingly lost any hint of goodwill from most sections of their fan-base. "We know what we want to do but we have to focus on our preparation and control the controllables".

While Croatia and Belgium were driven by their golden generation of midfielders, England men's team's incursion into a semi-final for the first time since 1990 took many by surprise.

"We have put everything in place, we have learnt from our mistakes, which is the most important thing, and we have made things right".

Asked what it would mean to defeat England, Dalic said: "It's already a great achievement for us to be in the last four because some big teams are already swimming on their vacation - Argentina, Brazil, Germany and so on".

"They are two fantastic players, world-class players in their position", he said.

"They dealt with Sweden relatively easily so we know they are going to be a hard opponent and we respect them", he said.

"I think Raheem Sterling is an important player because he is fast and risky alongside Harry Kane", said Dalic ahead of Wednesday's clash in Moscow.

Other reports by iNewsToday