As well as his huge contribution on the field, with Sterling emerging as City’s leading scorer this term, away from the action the England international has earned widespread admiration and respect for his leading stance in speaking out against the scourge of racism.
His eloquence and commitment has only enhanced Sterling’s standing both at home and abroad.
And, in the wake of Sterling’s superb hat-trick in our 5-0 win at Brighton on Saturday - his third treble this season - the City manager spoke of his own pride and admiration for the 25-year-old’s enormous contribution to sport and society.
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“The big athletes contribute to society and Raheem is doing a lot to make things better around the world,” said Guardiola.
“I am proud of him and support him 100%.
“People forget behind the shirt there's a human being. I say to the players all the time, all you can do is play football. You are not an architect, not a politician, or a doctor.
“There's one million things they can't do which does not make us special but there are things we can do.
“They have feelings and defend the humanitarian issues as much as possible and I like it because if you can do your best for society and for the kids (its good).”
In the wake of another wonderful all-round performance at the AMEX Stadium, City secured second place in the Premier League.
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Saturday's triumph was our second successive 5-0 league win coming in the wake of last Wednesday’s Etihad rout of Newcastle.
And ahead of next weekend's FA Cup semi-final with Arsenal and a Champions League last 16 decider against Real Madrid in early August, the manager said both the quality and consistency of his players’ performances only augured well.
“The performance against Brighton was good, quite similar to performances since we came back and the team demanded us to press and be focused but we did it,” Guardiola added.
"We are satisfied with our performance and all we have to do is finish our three games left (in the league) and the two cup competitions we have left.
“We have the FA Cup and the Champions League there, everybody wants to play these games, everybody is involved and it will happen in the next period.”
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