Raheem Sterling laughs off question about his selection in England win over Croatia

Raheem Sterling laughed off a question about whether he justified his selection after scoring the winner in England’s 1-0 victory over Croatia.

The Three Lions were good value for their win in what was their opening game of Euro 2020. Phil Foden rattled the post early on before Sterling grabbed the winner just after the break. Racing onto Kalvin Phillips’ through ball he just beat his opponent to slot it home.

The strike was the Manchester City forward’s first in a major tournament and he expressed his delight at breaking his duck at Wembely, a stone’s throw away from where he grew up.

“Yeah it feels good to be honest with you. I have always said that if I played at Wembley at a major tournament I’m scoring, I have to score. It’s great to finally do that,” he told BBC Sport after the game.

Sterling’s selection raised a few eyebrows before the game as he endured a disappointing 2020/2021 season for City, by his own incredibly high standards. The forward managed ten Premier League goals in 31 appearances and was increasingly left out of the team towards the end of the campaign.

Asked whether he has justified his selection, Sterling laugh and parroted the question back to the reporter. Soon after, they both agreed that he had.

Sterling added: “There’s a lot of different reasons why I haven’t scored for my club and that’s totally irrelevant now. I’m here with England now, enjoying my football and that’s the most important thing. I’m just happy to score.”

The win puts England in a strong position heading into their game against Scotland on Friday evening.

Raheem SterlingRaheem Sterling

Sterling could have added to his tally later on / Carl Recine – Pool/Getty Images

Sterling revealed that he was excited for the derby, saying: “It’s great to get off to a win, that’s the most important thing. Now we’ve got the games to look forward to. Hopefully we can win again.

“It’s been a long season for me and I couldn’t wait to get here and get started with England.”