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Gareth Southgate was delighted for Raheem Sterling after the forward scored the only goal of the game in England’s opening Euro 2020 win over Croatia.
The Manchester City star lost his place in Pep Guardiola’s side towards the end of their campaign and came into a major international tournament struggling for form and with an expectation to perform amid stiff competition among the attack.
Not only was he one of England’s best players alongside Leeds midfielder Kalvin Phillips but the City man scored just shy of the hour mark to clinch an important win for the hosts.
Sterling continued to face questions about whether he had justified his selection after the final whistle but has one of his biggest supporters in the England manager, who suggested that the player was keen to show everyone how good he is and can be.
“I was so pleased for Raheem, he has had this hex in tournaments where he hasn’t been able to get the goal. I thought he was dangerous all day right from the start,” said Southgate.
“He’s a good player and his goalscoring record suggests that we should have faith with him – especially in the last few years. He was motivated to show us.”