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Raheem Sterling's remarkable rise for club and country can be put into perspective by his memories of the last time England played in the World Cup finals.
As a young fan, the Liverpool winger was watching on television as Steven Gerrard fire the opening goal at the tournament for the Three Lions against USA.
Now, as he prepares to play a part for Roy Hodgson's crop of 2014 in Brazil, Sterling admits it is something of a dream to play in the best tournament in world football.
"I think I was at home eating some pizza with friends when Stevie scored the opening goal," said Sterling.
"I have to pinch myself every day at Liverpool, playing with the likes of Steven, Luis Suarez and Daniel Sturridge.
"Sometimes I go home now playing FIFA with them but at the same time it is a dream come true, really, and I am just looking forward to playing with the likes of Steven in this World Cup."
Sterling currently has two caps for his country but is hoping to make his mark in Brazil.
He added: "I just want to train hard on the training pitch to show the manager I am capable of working for the team and to show I am a real team player.
"Hopefully I can go out there and show what I can do. If I get a chance to go on the pitch, I will not overdo it at all.
"I will just try to play my normal game and hopefully then I can kick on."
, raheem sterling
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