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While You Were Asleep: Robbery at Raheem Sterling’s house, Foden praises ‘young’ Bellingham, Deschamps pays tribute to Giroud

Raheem Sterling has left the England World Cup squad in Qatar after armed intruders broke into his home in London.Jude Bellingham 'will be best midfielder in the world', says Phil Foden. People are now seeing Giroud's quality, says Deschamps.

(L-R) England's Raheem Sterling during the trainning session. England's Jude Bellingham reacts after win against Senegal. France's Olivier Giroud aims for the ball. (AP | Reuters)

England forward Raheem Sterling has flown home from the World Cup, after armed intruders broke into his house in London, while his family were in.

Manager Gareth Southgate confirmed the news after Sunday’s 3-0 round of 16 win against Senegal.

“Sometimes football isn’t the most important thing and family should come first,” said Southgate.

“We want to give him that space and we will see over the next few days how that develops,” Southgate added.

Speaking after the Senegal match Sterling’s team-mate Declan Rice said: “I saw him at breakfast this morning then the manager said he had the difficulties at home so we’ve all sent him a message.”

Sterling is the second player to leave the England squad after Arsenal defender Ben White, who returned to the UK on 30 November for personal reasons.

Sterling scored in England’s opening 6-2 win against Iran.

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England’s next match at the World Cup is against France in the quarter-finals on Saturday.

Foden lauds ‘young’ Bellingham

Phil Foden,22, has heaped praise on the 19-year-old Jude Bellingham with a big prediction that his England teammate will be best midfielder in the world in the future.

“I don’t want to big him up too much because he is still young, but he’s one of the most gifted players I have ever seen,” Foden told ITV.

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“He has no weakness in his game. I think he will be the best midfielder in the world.”

Against Senegal, Bellingham once again demonstrated why he has become one of the most sought-after talents in European football.

The Borussia Dortmund player become the first teenager to assist in a World Cup knockout stage game since 1966 as he set up Jordan Henderson’s opener.

Henderson laos lauded his young teammate. “I can’t keep saying nice things about him because we’re talking about a one-off,” he told BBC Sport.

“He’s only young and we just need to let him play football, but he is incredible.”

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Captain Harry Kane said: “Jude is a fantastic player, he does everything well. I like him a lot, he’s a good person, mature for his age and has great leadership skills.”

Equally impressed, Gareth Southgate added: “I don’t think we could have predicted how quickly Bellingham could mature. In the last five months, that has gone to another level.

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“We wanted to invest in young players because we felt they could be special in the future. You suffer with that at times because they are not going to be perfect but further down the line you get these performances.”

Deschamps hails record-breaking Giroud

Didier Deschamps has lauded striker Olivier Giroud forward broke France’s men’s goalscoring record in their 3-1 win against Poland. Giroud scored his 52nd goal for the country in France’s 3-1 win over Poland and overtook longstanding record of Thierry Henry.

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Giroud has scored three times at this tournament and France, the holders, look in menacing shape before the last eight clash against England.

“Four years ago he didn’t score but he was still an important player,” said Deschamps said.

“He has had difficult periods in his career. He has often been criticised but people are now seeing his quality. He stayed strong mentally and has broken a very difficult record held by Henry.”

“I really wanted to score this goal (against Poland). I was kind of relieved after this goal,” Giroud said.

“We can move on and forget about this, because so many people we’re talking about this. Now it is done, that it is a good thing. But most important is to score more goals to help the team to reach our target, which is to go as far as we can.”

“Am I getting better with age, like fine wine? A lot of friends say the same about that. It’s funny,” Giroud said.

“I feel good physically, I feel the motiviation and determination to play at the best level. As long as my body allows me, I will carry on, because I am a competitor and I am enjoying the game so much and this team. It’s such an honor to be a part of this team and represent France.

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“I will carry on and I don’t know until wherever. I don’t want to put any limits on it.”

First published on: 05-12-2022 at 07:52 IST
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