Manchester City winger Raheem Sterling has revealed he supported Manchester United in his youth, ahead of Saturday’s FA Cup final.
The England ace has enjoyed another fine season at the Etihad Stadium, contributing 17 goals and ten assists in 32 Premier League appearances.
City secured the title last week on the final day of the 2018-19 campaign, finishing one point clear of Liverpool on 98, with a domestic treble now within their sights.
Pep Guardiola’s side won the Carabao Cup earlier in the year and have an FA Cup final against Watford to look forward to this weekend.
Ahead of the showpiece event, Sterling’s shocking admission that he followed City’s arch-rivals Man United as a kid is sure to raise a few eyebrows, as he told the Daily Mirror of his attendance at the 2007 FA Cup final.
Chelsea defeated United at Wembley that year and Sterling admits he was in the crowd cheering on the Red Devils.
“I was at the final in 2007,” he began. “I shouldn’t really say this — not now, definitely not now! — but when I was young I was a massive United fan.
“I had an old United kit, from when they won the last FA Cup.”
Sterling began his career at Liverpool, graduating to the senior squad in 2012 and featuring prominently under Brendan Rodgers before moving to City in 2015.
He has since managed to take his game to a new level, especially since Guardiola’s arrival as head coach in 2016, who has been a great mentor for England international.
Sterling is now considered as one of the finest performers in the Premier League, as reflected by his Player of the Year nod from the Football Writers’ Association.
However, he is likely to receive a friendly backlash from team-mates and supporters in the wake of his latest comments, with allegiances to an old enemy unlikely to go down well at the Etihad.
Meanwhile, United boss Ole Gunnar Solskjaer might be wishing Sterling had ended up at Old Trafford, with his side now some way behind City in English football’s pecking order.