The pinnacle of individual football awards, the prize has been exclusively shared between Barcelona and Real Madrid players for the past 11 years, with Lionel Messi winning it six times, Cristiano Ronaldo four and Luka Modric once.
The last winner from an English club was, ironically, Ronaldo again, during his first spell with Manchester United.
Based on achievements during the last calendar year, below are Sterling’s credentials for this year’s consideration.
Raheem started the year as part of an injury-hit City side that swatted aside Chelsea at Stamford Bridge.
It was his shot that cannoned off the post for Kevin De Bruyne to convert on 34 minutes that put City 3-0 up after a scintillating opening to the game that eventually ended 3-1 for the visitors.
He was then on target on 86 minutes in the 4-0 win over Crystal Palace, before scoring and assisting another goal as City beat West Brom 5-0 at The Hawthorns.
Another goal in the 2-0 win at Burnley sent City three points clear at the top of the Premier League and kept the Club on track for an unprecedented quadruple.
And Sterling finally found the net against Liverpool in a stunning 4-1 win at Anfield, with the England forward bagging the crucial third of the game on 76 minutes.
After assisting Ilkay Gundogan’s first goal in the 3-0 win over Spurs, he scored against another North London giant with his second-minute goal enough to see off Arsenal 1-0 at the Emirates.
Another assist, this time for Gabriel Jesus as City wrapped up a 2-0 win away to Leicester – and within three points of the Premier League title – and he opened the scoring against Chelsea that looked set to be enough to finally crown Guardiola’s side champions, before Thomas Tuchel’s side snatched a late victory at the Etihad.
In the final league game of the season and with the title now secured, Sterling claimed another assist in the 5-0 win over Everton.
He was named in the starting XI for the Champions League final, which Chelsea edged 1-0 and was also a starter as City lifted the Carabao Cup for a fourth year in succession.
He opened his account for the 2021/22 season with a goal in the 5-0 home win against Norwich City in August and in our last home game, he rediscovered his scoring touch in the 4-1 win over Club Brugge.
For England, he has won 14 caps and scored five goals this year and in June, he was awarded the MBE for his work on racial equality.
A spokesman for Show Racism the Red Card, the anti-racism charity said: "We congratulate Raheem on having his commitment to highlighting the racial inequalities of society recognised.
"The same inequalities that have compelled players and the England squad to take the knee and to continue taking the knee to keep these issues at the forefront of our minds."
2021 in numbers – all competitions
Matches played: 43
Minutes played: 2728
Minutes per goal: 303
Minutes per goal or assist: 182