ENGLAND ace Raheem Sterling is going into the Euros with a smile on his face despite Manchester City’s Champions League defeat.
The forward claims he has put the loss to Chelsea in Porto behind him and is excited ahead of Sunday’s opener against Croatia at Wembley.
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And Sterling, England’s most capped player with 61 appearances, believes the team must deliver during the tournament.
He said: “Honestly, I can’t wait. I actually can’t wait. It’s been a long season but I’m here with England now.
“It’s been a good season with Man City, we’ve won some trophies. I am disappointed that we didn’t get the Champions League.
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“I’m playing at Wembley, the team’s playing at Wembley.
“For me, this is what dreams are made of and I’m just going into this with a lovely mindset.
“I’m feeling good. It’s all about mentality, really. You can play a lot of games but if mentally you’re not happy, if mentally you’re a bit down, the tournament can be physically demanding.
“But if you’re happy and you’re raring to go, then that’s the most important thing.
“It’s where your head’s at, your mind space. Right now my mindset here is to just smile and be happy.”
The squad are based at St George’s Park in Staffordshire, where there is a Hilton hotel on site.
England’s players have a cinema room, pool, darts and a basketball hoop in the reception area.
Speaking to talkSPORT, Sterling said: “There’s a lovely smell. The smell from the reception to the rooms was lovely.
“Normally when you come with England you’re travelling, you’re on a plane, you go somewhere.
“It’s moody, you get to a hotel, the hotel’s moody. You’re there, you’ve got football to play, you enjoy your football, you get back to the hotel. It’s boring.
“Coming here, somewhere you’ve been for many years. You know everything about the place and it’s just nice to be on home soil for once and breathing some great British air and the weather’s nice outside. And I can’t stop smiling!”
England manager Gareth Southgate has addressed the 26-man squad rather than stage separate talks with the players.
Sterling said: “He spoke to us as a collective and just made us understand how much of a family we are.
“At the same time, how lucky and proud we should be that we’re representing England, like many players before us.
“With the players we’ve got, of course, the most important thing is trying to qualify out of the group but we want to be challenging.
“We want to get to the final. That’s the whole reason why the FA and everyone has set up that beautiful building over there, somewhere as comfortable as possible.
“We have to be challenging. It’s as simple as that.”
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