Gary Neville, David Beckham back Sterling

Tanya Simon
July 11, 2018

So fierce has some of this criticism been that ex-England and Manchester United duo David Beckham and Gary Neville have rallied to support the Manchester City star and they now have an ally in Dalic.

His performance against Sweden on Saturday saw him ranked the worse England player on the BBC website. We are in the semi-final of a World Cup.

At a press conference, Dier told reporters: "He's had a fantastic tournament".

England take on Croatia on Wednesday for a place in the World Cup final against either France or Belgium.

"I think Raheem Sterling is an important player because he is fast and risky alongside Harry Kane", Dalic said in a press conference Sunday.

"Now I am constantly thinking: 'If I do this, something bad will come of it, if I go out tonight something bad is going to happen".

Eden Hazard insists it's 'every footballer's dream' to play for Real Madrid
The reigning Ballon d'Or victor is also reportedly set to complete his medical at Vinovo at the start of next week. He leaves Real Madrid as the club's all-time leading goalscorer, having bagged 451 goals in 438 games.

"But in the end you will never know the possibilities of great success or great moments like we have had in the last few weeks. We don't fear England or anybody else".

The fact that he got a gun tattooed on his right leg in the buildup to the World Cup didn't exactly help matters and while his first-person account with the Players' Tribune did make people empathise with him, he remains a divisive figure in his homeland. There is no doubt that Southgate has been blessed with a plethora of English blood coming through the ranks all across top flight - if Ruben Loftus-Cheek seized his World Cup spot with a wonderful loan spell, the national team captain Harry Kane has had the most profound education - written off by many in his early years, the Tottenham Hotspur forward has been consistently sensational.

There is also much relief in the Croatia camp, which has now moved to Moscow after spending the last four weeks near Saint Petersburg, after Federation Internationale de Football Association made a decision to only warn defender Domagoj Vida for shouting "Glory to Ukraine", a highly-charged slogan in the current climate, in a post-match video that has gone viral in Russia. However, he again missed a lots of opportunities to net his first World Cup goal and that attracted a lot of trolls and abuses.

Playing alongside Liverpool's Dejan Lovren, Vida has been one of the best defenders at Russian Federation 2018 and Dalic said he would be key to Croatia's plans to keeping Kane out, just as they stopped Argentina's Lionel Messi and Christian Eriksen of Denmark.

To drop Sterling may create uncertainty in the England camp and may lead to Southgate having to subtle changes to his play-style and tactics which may disrupts the rest of the team's form.

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