Raheem Sterling has been one of the most influential personalities in UK culture through 2019 and the latest sign of his impact is felt in Nike's new 'Just Do It' spot, which shines a spotlight on Raheem's status as a powerful role model for an entire generation of young people.
The film takes Raheem back to his home borough of Brent in north-west London and captures his rise from a kid who dreamed of playing at Wembley, to one of the most talented players in world football right now. We touched down on set to capture an exclusive behind-the-scenes piece that looked more at Raheem's legacy and how he'll be helping to build a brighter future for the kids who are growing up in the same place he did.
In partnership with Nike, Sterling is paying it forward as the driving force behind Brent-based initiatives that will better serve young people in the borough. Alongside Brent Schools Football Association, Nike and Sterling will establish a team on the ground to set up coaching clinics for schools without coaches and, for a minimum of three years, provide support to the London Youth Games for a Brent Schools Football Association coordinator.
Watch the exclusive Dream For The Next You film at the top of the page, and find out more about the athlete's future plans below.
Raheem Sterling on growing up in Brent:
"Brent means everything to me. It was a pleasure growing up here. It was fun you know, like every child you’re always on your bike, always out and about.
I just loved how I had friends from all different walks of life, it’s always good to be able to connect with different people and grow up and learn different people’s cultures and backgrounds – but also to take it with you in your life as well."
Raheem Sterling on his future ambitions:
"As a kid, my dream was to play in the Premier League, win the Premier League and play for England. I was up against it from minute one and kept going – I always had people that told me ‘you can’t do this, you can’t do that’, I always said I can and continue to break those barriers.
As you get older you have different ambitions, different goals you want to reach to and every year there’s new goals I set myself. Winning the biggest competitions, the Champions League, winning something for my country – I think that would be the biggest achievement of my career if I can be part of a winning England team.
One day hopefully I can win the Ballon d’Or – seeing Messi and Ronaldoslifting it is something that you see and something you want to emulate the best you can."
Raheem Sterling on giving back to young people in Brent:
"One big thing of mine is to give back to the communities that I grew up in – to set up my academy there to give them an opportunity because with a bit of guidance and the right help, a lot of kids can also have the same dream as me and a lot of people out there do.
I just feel if people and kids around areas like this have full belief in themselves, I know that there’s more in this world. Everything is possible. Once you put your dedication and your time into something that you truly believe you’re good at, you will succeed."
Raheem Sterling on being a role model for young people:
"To have that connection with young kids…you remember your idols and if one of them came to play with you in the park, you’d be over the moon and it’s good to be able to have that connection and to show them love. The more you have positive and inspirational people around you, the more you have people that’s achieved their goals, the more you go after yours.
The best message you can get across is being yourself and speaking openly but also positively, as well. For me to be able to do that for my borough would be nothing but a true blessing."