Raheem Sterling says Chelsea has restored his football happiness after he was left furious, furious and shocked at how his Manchester City career ended.
Sterling completed a £47.5m move to Stamford Bridge in July after seven trophy-laden seasons at Manchester, where he scored 131 goals in 339 appearances and won four Premier League titles, four League Cups and one Cup. FA Cup.
In his final season at the Etihad Stadium, the 27-year-old England international appeared 30 times in City’s title-winning campaign, but only 23 of those were starts, leading Sterling to conclude his sacrifices were unrequited.
“Everyone wants to feel loved, football is no different,” Sterling told Geoff Shreeves exclusively before the Chelsea game. super sunday trip to Leeds United – live Sky sports.
“When you play with all your heart, sacrifice some of your children’s birthdays and then they treat you in a certain way, it’s disappointing.
“I was furious at the time, furious, but it’s gone, it’s in the past and I can only focus on the present, which is now, here at Chelsea, and the chance I have here to go out there and show my talents once again. “
Pressed on the biggest factors behind his decision to trade Manchester City for Chelsea, Sterling said: “Misunderstandings, contracts run out. It was a shame to see how it ended because I had such a good time there.”
“A lot of things came into play, a lot of reasons, but I wasn’t complaining, I was ready to challenge and as you can see, even with some of the performances I put in, you couldn’t guarantee yourself a spot so there just wasn’t any point in fighting a battle that you can never win.”
Sterling: I got my happiness back.
Asked if he had reached the point where, having given his all, his situation at Manchester City had become untenable and the time had come for him to leave, Sterling replied: “Yes, it was literally that.”
He continued: “As a player, you always want to give your best and help your team, but when you think things are not going well, it is always a disappointment.
“If you are not happy playing your football, you have to look for other options to get that happiness back, and that is exactly what I have done. It was the right time to move on. I would not continue to be part of something that I knew I could not give. all.
“It’s [City] It is a fantastic club, it is a club that wins many trophies, it is a club that has helped my development a lot in the last two years, but there comes a time when you have to think about yourself, what is the best for you, and what you want for the future. That’s the only reason I’m here. [at Chelsea].”
Sterling: Chelsea move as ‘a blessing in disguise’
The move to Chelsea saw Sterling become the first notable signing of new owner Todd Boehly’s era at Stamford Bridge, with the striker revealing that the proof that the club were delivering on its promises convinced him that it was the club for him.
“It was their intention, how they approached me,” Sterling explained. “I wasn’t listening to promises, I was seeing action and I think that was one of the factors that made me really consider the football club, the way they showed me what an important role I could have here.
“Looking back at what they’ve accomplished here over the last couple of years, the finals they missed, the new owner taking over, it’s a team that’s always competing on all fronts and I knew it would only get better. I didn’t. I didn’t. you need to make another choice.
“It was a chance that I wouldn’t let go. It’s a blessing in disguise, it’s another challenge and a challenge that I will look back on at the end of my career and I know I stepped up to the plate and I can be happy with myself.
“The biggest part was being able to play football week after week. It was the first time in my career that I had experienced that, it was a bit of a shock, so I just wanted to get back to playing and enjoying my football again. It was as simple as that, and I knew that once I could do that, I could be happy and show it on the pitch.”