I get kicked a lot

RAHEEM STERLING: I get kicked a lot - it's annoying trying to sleep with your legs in pieces... Ivanovic is the scariest man I've played against but he's not dirty, he's a tank

Raheem Sterling is one of the brightest prospects in the game. Now 18, the winger made his senior Liverpool debut aged 17 and 107 days when he came on as a substitute against Wigan in March last year.

He made his England debut in the friendly against Sweden in November and was instrumental in the 5-0 mauling of Norwich at Anfield on Saturday.
Here's his Footballers' Football Column, exclusive to MailOnline...

I'm living most young people's dream. It's been a great journey so far. I'm playing for a huge club in England, starting some games.
For anyone my age it is a real honour to play for such a big club.
At first, I was travelling with the squads, and on the day we played Wigan (in March 2012) I wasn't expecting a place on the bench, then I was told I was actually going to be involved, It was so exciting.
Everything kind of changed overnight. I used to go into town, shop normally, get about my own business, but now it has become a nightmare to go into town. I know it is ultimately a good thing, though.
It is annoying trying to get to sleep with your legs in pieces. I know I get kicked a lot. I didn't know I was one of the most fouled players in the league. If that's what it takes and we get free-kicks, I will take getting the kicks.

The scariest to play against was Branislav Ivanovic. He wasn't dirty, the guy is just a tank! A big guy, big upper body, big lower body. A real tank. But I've always played against guys who are bigger than me.
I was mocked by the crowd at a youth game in Germany once for my height. It's always happened, I've always played above my age group, with bigger guys, but I love the challenge.
With the physicality, I had to learn new tricks, learn to outsmart my opponent. It was good for me trying to outplay the older, bigger guys. It was scary at first but after a while I got used to it and getting kicked was just natural.
You can't listen to what people say on Twitter, or elsewhere. If you take all of that into consideration your head would explode. You have to blank it all out.
There is some good, some bad. It's one of those things. You want to hear positive but at some point you will hear negative. You can't focus on it. Whatever they say, I know what I need to do to get better as a player and in my life.
I've become a better all-round person, especially in how I live my life off the pitch these days. And I've learned to be more selective with the people who I trust.
The people close to me now are good for me, I've learned from the experiences I had growing up, from the people who weren't there for me. I now listen to my elders at home and at the club. I take on board what these people tell me.

I don't think I'm famous. I suppose a few people know me, but it's not changed me. I will always be the same Raheem.
I have good friends and family who will knock me if they start to think I have changed. But I don't think I will. I have always been a humble kid.
I was in London over Christmas and I popped back to my old school.
It was an awkward one. I was driving past and saw some of my old teachers, so I pulled over and put my window down to say 'Hi'.
I was speaking to some of them for a bit, but didn't actually have a chance to see the kids because it was teacher-training day.
Most of them were happy to see me. Some of them wanted to have a word with me about my maths homework!

It's a bit hectic in my household, with my mum and the rest of my family. My mum is on holiday at the minute, so it is a bit quiet in the house. But having the people I love around me makes me more relaxed. It's helped me go out and enjoy my football a bit more.
In the first year on Merseyside, I lived in digs for a bit with a lad called Dave Moli. He'd come from Luton. My family stayed at home in London. It was a bit of nightmare to begin with, so I got my family up here, my mum and my sister.
Before, I had been buzzing about getting out of the house from my mum, but after six months I realised that I needed her more than anything. It's been great to have the whole family back. Looking back, it has been a great experience overall.
I'm always learning from people like Steven Gerrard and Luis Suarez. On the pitch, I couldn't ask for better people around me at Liverpool, like Gerrard and Suarez who have been there and done it. I take stuff from their game, from the way they are, and I try and take that on.
Everyone is willing to lend a ear, to give you advice, guidance. You don't have to ask, the old boys are always down your neck and down your ears telling you how to get better. It's great to have them around.
I want to score more goals and I'll do that by getting in the box more. I'm always learning how I can make that happen.
My goal against Sunderland was a decent finish but I should have had more earlier on this season.
It's always good to get goals, of course, but I've been unlucky a few times this season, hitting the post four or five times. When everyone comes to congratulate you, it's such a good feeling. I want more of it.
We're all equal at Liverpool, like a family. I wouldn't say I am ahead of anyone. If I feel like I could help someone with something I will offer it, the manger encourages it, we're like a family.
We're always talking, no-one is ahead of anyone else. We're all one.
I look around the dressing room and it makes me hungry. The older players haven't achieved what they have overnight. They have lived their whole life as a professional, many years always professional on and off the field. They have won Champions Leagues, other titles, and I want that.
That is my main aim, to win trophies at this football club. I would never relax on what I have done so far. I try everyday to build day by day. I want to be remembered for things I do on the pitch.
Just recently I have taken on a more professional life. I try to do more with my family, the right things. I can't do what every normal 18-year-old boy would want to do, like going out every weekend. But I know I have a good thing here, it's brilliant what is happening. I can't complain. And I want more of it.
I've learned so much from Brendan Rodgers, we have a good relationship. But I haven't changed my game so much. I just always try to play good football, the one- and two-touch stuff has always been in me and when I get in the final third, I want to take players on. That fits in well with what the manager wants.
I was disappointed with my performance against United. The atmosphere at Old Trafford was amazing and I thought we should have got more from the game. We gave our best, especially in the second half.
It was one of those games where in the first half we couldn't find a way into the final third and I couldn't get on the ball so much. It was really disappointing to be substituted but I know I have to put that right. I need to get on the ball, get at my full back, produce goals and assists. Anfield is a massive help. It is exciting for me when I hear the fans get behind me.

After the United game, the manager told us that whatever the table says, they are not 20+ points better than us in quality. It's one of those games you can build from.
I don't want to model myself on anyone. I see players that have achieved so much, but it isn't clever to model myself on them because their journey is different.
I take the best bits from lots of players. We have so many world class players at Liverpool. Someone like Suarez, I take so much of his play and make it work for me.

I have watched a lot of John Barnes, a Liverpool legend, but we're different players, though our journey from Jamaica is similar.
I'm not 100 per cent religious but my belief is strong. When the time is right, I will fully be Christian. My mum is a big help, a big influence in that. Faith is an important thing for me.
Every match day I put faith in God. It's not part of a pre-match ritual or anything, but I pray at home the day and night before. I pray most days, I try to anyway. It is one of those things where I need to get into the routine

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