The eyes of the football world are firmly focused on Russia 2018 after last night’s stunning 3-3 draw between Spain and Portugal and, not surprisingly, events at the 2018 World Cup finals dominate Saturday’s media round-up.

While there is a mouth-watering weekend ahead with seven matches over the next two days, the focus is also turning to England’s opening group match against Tunisia on Monday night.

And ahead of the game, Manchester City’s Raheem Sterling – who is set to be a key figure for the Three Lions - revealed how the influence of his mother has helped shape and guide his career.

According to the Daily Mail, Raheem admits he wouldn’t be where he is today without his mother, who he is still very close to, and says she will be anxiously watching on Monday night.

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“Yeah, if it wasn’t for my mum there’s been numerous times I could have gone down the wrong path, but with someone as strong as my mum there was no chance I would have been able to go down that road,” Raheem said.

“(She worries about) everything. I left the house Sunday and she’s calling me Sunday night saying she’s already missing me and I’m like mum come on it’s been a couple of hours now.”

He added: “She gives me feedback after the game. She won’t give me marks out of 10, she’ll just tell me what she thinks I needed to do more or if I had a chance to shoot or a clear goal-scoring opportunity she’ll let me know. 

“Her main one is to get in the box. I think that’s probably one of my biggest things she’s helped me get in the box a lot more because I was tired of hearing it to be honest!”

Raheem’s Etihad Stadium colleague Kyle Walker is also expected to be a pivotal figure for England over the next few weeks in Russia.

And in the first of his World Cup diaries for the, Kyle revealed how success in Russia with the England team would help cap a dream season for him following City’s Premier League and Carabao Cup success.

“I want to achieve something at international level and it would be the icing on the cake of what’s been a great season for me,” Kyle said.

“Everyone loves the World Cup, especially in England. We’ve seen the pictures from back home with the flags coming out across the country and we want the fans to be involved and we can feel it over here.

“There’s a few final touches which we need to take care of ahead of the game and the manager and his staff have taken a lot of time to work on how we approach the games.

“We saw Tunisia hold Spain for 85 minutes the other night and we know they’re no mugs. They’re here on merit and we need to play the game at a high pace and take the game to them and hopefully that will see us over the line.

“The mood in the camp’s good, with the World Cup underway, the lads are really enjoying it, we’re excited and can’t wait to get going.”

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Another City player eager to help his country light up the world is striker Gabriel Jesus who is set to be part of the Brazil team that opens their campaign on Sunday against Switzerland.

And as quoted in the Daily Mirror, the 21-year-old admitted he wanted to help write another chapter in Brazil’s illustrious World Cup folklore:

“I want to write my name in Brazil’s history,” said Gabriel.

“We have to take notice of those who have gone before. I don’t want to erase their names. I want to create my own. But our focus is the collective. If we work well together, then the individual will profit.”

Finally, onto the transfer front and there is more speculation about Jorginho’s long-rumoured deal to join City from Napoli. claim that the Napoli midfielder’s agent has revealed that City have a “verbal agreement” with Jorginho to join the club.

“The two clubs are talking. Jorginho is in Brazil and waiting to find out what his future will be,” Jose Santos told Radio Kiss Kiss Napoli. “We have a verbal agreement with Manchester City, we are waiting for Napoli and the English to find an agreement.”

Of course, the first place you’ll hear of any confirmed transfers is right here on