FA confirm Raheem Sterling will return to England squad ahead of World Cup quarter-final against France
Chelsea forward Raheem Sterling will rejoin England’s World Cup squad ahead of the quarter-final clash with France, the FA have confirmed.
Sterling, 28, left Qatar on Sunday after his Surrey mansion was robbed. As a result, the former Manchester City star missed England’s last-16 win over Senegal.
A spokesperson for Sterling said he left the England camp to ‘prioritise the well-being’ of his three young children.
His participation in the rest of the World Cup was therefore in doubt but he is now set to return to Qatar on Friday, around 24 hours before Gareth Southgate’s side face France for a place in the semi-finals.
‘Raheem Sterling will return to England’s World Cup base in Qatar,’ a statement read.
‘The Chelsea forward temporarily left to attend to a family matter but is now expected to rejoin the squad in Al Wakrah on Friday (9 December) ahead of the quarter-final with France.’
Sterling started and scored in England’s opening World Cup win over Iran and the subsequent goalless draw with USA.
The winger, who completed a £50m move to Stamford Bridge last summer, was rested for the 3-0 win over Wales but was in line to start against African champions Senegal before his impromptu return to London.
Sterling’s replacement against Wales – Manchester United forward Marcus Rashford – scored twice to send Rob Page’s side home, while Arsenal star Bukayo Saka impressed against Senegal.
If England beat France on Saturday, they will face either Portugal or Morocco in the semi-finals of the World Cup. The likes of Brazil, Argentina and Netherlands are on the other side of the draw in Qatar.
Having topped Group B and cruised past Senegal, England ‘really believe’ they can win the World Cup, according to defender Harry Maguire.
‘I think that’s the one thing I’d say that’s a lot different from the 2018 squad to this squad – I think we really believe that it is possible,’ said the Manchester United captain.
‘I played in 2018 and we got to the semi-final and I think a lot of the lads were happy. You were happy to be part of the semi-final.
‘You know that whatever happened in that semi-final that you’d go home and be classed as a hero and everyone would be patting you on the back.
‘I think now there’s a belief that we’ve got to win this tournament. It is a good change in the mentality. Of course, we know how tough it is going to be. I think there are probably five or six teams with the same belief.
‘But in 2018, we probably weren’t one of those teams that had that belief. Now there’s five or six who have that belief and we’re one of them.’
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