Raheem Sterling reckons he has to score 50 or 60 goals a year to be considered anywhere near the level of Lionel Messi or Cristiano Ronaldo.
The England winger, 24, has been nominated for the Ballon d’Or along with the two footballing icons, who have won the golden trophy five times EACH.
This year’s contest is one of the most open in recent years, given Liverpool won the Champions League, knocking out Messi’s Barcelona and Ronaldo’s Juventus were KO’d by Ajax.
The Manchester City star has scored 32 goals this calendar year for club and country, while Messi has 35 in all competitions and Ronaldo has 28. Sterling told FourFourTwo: “Messi’s one of a kind. Bro, if I’m scoring 50 or 60 goals a year for the next 15 years, then you can talk to me about that – right now, don’t talk to me about Ronaldo or Messi!
“I don’t want to hear that connection. I’m not saying I don’t value myself, but those are two guys who have been doing it for 15 years. That’s not heard of: 40, 50, 60 goals for 15 years.”
Sterling would need another eight goals before December 31 to make it a 40-goal calendar year, which is an impressive haul when you consider England have not had a major summer tournament to play in.
But in Pep Guardiola’s stylish City side, it is all about the team rather than the individual, rather than teams that have often been built around Messi or, particularly, former Manchester United and Real Madrid ace Ronaldo.
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