Raheem Sterling have revealed watching Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo is inspiring him to improve his game.
The Manchester City winger is on a high after scoring twice on his 21st birthday on Tuesday to guide his team to the top of their Champions League group in a 4-2 win over Borussia Monchengladbach.
City are now guaranteed to avoid Barcelona and Real Madrid in the knock-out stages, meaning Sterling will, for now, not go up against two of his biggest role models.
The former Liverpool player told the Guardian: “I look at the biggest players in the world and try to see what they’ve all got. I don’t like to compare myself with people.
“I try to learn as much as I can from everyone around me. Definitely Messi and Ronaldo. They basically just set their lives to play football.
“I know that’s obvious, they should, but they just take it so seriously. They’ve got massive self-belief and know they’re the best players in the world. That’s what makes them unique and so special.”
Sterling came under fire for the way he left Liverpool in his summer’s £49m move to the Etihad, but he admitted he has grown up over the last three years and learned to ignore most of the criticism.
He added: “I just take everything I hear, take it in one ear and put it through the other. I concentrate on my football and that’s all that matters.
“I sometimes criticize myself a bit too much because I know where I want to be. That’s no different if I score or I don’t score.
“I just need to keep working hard at what I know I can do and it’ll all fall into place. When it does, it’ll be a great moment.”