Raheem Sterling has today been named the best young player in Europe, winning the Golden Boy award over a 40-man shortlist that also included Lazar Markovic and Divock Origi. He is the second English player to be named Europe's best youngster after Wayne Rooney, who won the award in 2004.
"It's a great achievement to win such an award," Sterling told the club's official website. "It's a really happy feeling for me and my family, of course. Something I've always wanted to do is to work hard playing football and try to be recognised. I'm grateful that people have shown me this recognition."
The award, which was first handed out in 2003, has been claimed by the likes of Lionel Messi, Cesc Fabregas, and Sergio Aguero. There have also been a few relative misses, like the 2008 selection of Manchester United's Anderson and Alexandre Pato in 2009, while Mario Balotelli won it in 2010 and is still trying to live up to his potential.
More recent winners include Mario Gotze, Isco, and Paul Pogba. It is voted on by journalists from Europe's major sports newspapers, including Bild, l'Equipe, France Football, Marca, De Telegraaf, and The Times. It was founded by Italy's Tuttosport.
"There's always room for improvement," added Sterling. "At this moment in time, I should have a few more goals, but I've not taken some of my chances. But I'm young and learning all the time. Hopefully I can just keep working hard and try to take my game to the next level."
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