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Dele Alli: 'Sterling criticism is the worst I've seen'

Alli and Sterling have struck up a good understanding on the pitch for England. Credit: PA

Dele Alli has described criticism directed at Raheem Sterling as the worst he has seen.

The Manchester City forward was singled out in particular for his performances at Euro 2016 as England crashed out to Iceland in the last 16.

Tottenham playmaker Alli told the OTRO app: "The worst I've ever seen is Raheem at the Euros. He is honestly one of the best people you could meet in terms of how he's dealt with everything.

"That was my first major tournament and Raheem's a year older than me. I don't know how I would have handled all the heat that they were putting on him.

"Raheem was playing first team a lot sooner than I was and was a much bigger name before I started coming onto the scene.

"I already had this picture of him from what I'd seen and when you meet him he's one of the nicest people I've ever worked with and he's so focused and dedicated. But you hear and read all this s**t about him."

Having faced consistent media criticism over a number of areas of his life, Sterling has recently been praised for taking the lead in calling out racism and is one of the hot favourites to be named player of the season.

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England's Sancho relishes playing alongside 'role model' Sterling

Jadon Sancho revealed it was special to play alongside "role model" Raheem Sterling after shining on his first competitive England start. Credit: PA

Jadon Sancho revealed it was special to play alongside "role model" Raheem Sterling after shining on his first competitive England start.

The pair's paths crossed at Manchester City, where Sancho emerged as a promising youngster before opting for a move to the Bundesliga with Borussia Dortmund.

He has flourished this season and now appears to be a permanent fixture in Gareth Southgate's England squad.

The 18-year-old laid on the first of Sterling's three goals in an impressive 5-0 thrashing of the Czech Republic as the Three Lions began their Euro 2020 qualification campaign in style.

Sancho, who celebrates his birthday on Monday when England face Montenegro in Podgorica, was delighted to earn a start at Wembley and even more pleased to share the pitch with someone he sees as an inspiration.

"He is a great player, as you can see on and off the pitch," Sancho told beIN Sports when asked about Sterling.

"He is a humble guy and I am just so delighted I am sharing the pitch with him and obviously I look up to him as a role model and especially starting with him was a great feeling.

"It was a great match for us, a great start obviously with a 5-0 win at home and it is a special feeling, especially getting my first competitive start for England in front of my family and I'm sure they will be proud of me."

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