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Kevin De Bruyne: 'I assumed Raheem Sterling would be a dickhead'

:Headline: Kevin De Bruyne: 'I assumed Raheem Sterling would be a dickhead':
Belgian joined City in the same summer as the England international.
PA | 6mo

Kevin De Bruyne thought Manchester City team-mate Raheem Sterling was a "d***head" before they met after making assumptions based on how the England player had been portrayed in the media.

The pair both joined City in the summer of 2015 in big-money deals, Sterling from Liverpool for £44million and De Bruyne from Wolfsburg for £55m.

De Bruyne, after his brief spell at Chelsea, was well aware of his fellow new arrival's reputation but was surprised to discover the man did not live up to his billing.

"Before I came to Manchester City, I didn't really know what to make of this Raheem Sterling guy," the Belgium midfielder wrote in a piece in The Players' Tribune.

"I had never met him, and from what I'd read about him...I thought he was going to be a very different character.

"The tabloids were always claiming that he was arrogant. So I guess I thought he'd be ... what do the English call it? A bit of a d***head, maybe?

"They said Raheem was this flashy guy who left Liverpool for money. They said I was 'the Chelsea reject'. They said we were difficult characters.

De Bruyne and Sterling have struck up a good relationship on and off the pitch (Martin Rickett/PA)

"Then I got to City and I actually met Raheem, and we'd talk a bit after training, and I thought, 'Wait, this guy seems really cool? What's the story here?'

"I really got to know Raheem, and I recognised what a smart and genuine person he is. He couldn't be more different.

"This is the real truth: Raheem is one of the nicest, most humble guys I've met in football."

The perception of Sterling has shifted in the time since he left Liverpool as a precocious teenager and his outspoken views on racism, in addition to the way he has handled abuse on the pitch, have earned him much praise.

Coupled with his form on the pitch the England international is one of the leading candidates for this year's Professional Footballers' Association Player of the Year Award.

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1Liverpool98102171425
2Manchester CityMan City96122992019
3Leicester CityLeicester9522168817
4Chelsea95221914517
5Arsenal84311311215
6Crystal Palace9423810-214
7Tottenham HotspurSpurs93331513212
8Burnley93331211112
9Bournemouth93331313012
10West Ham UnitedWest Ham93331113-212
11Aston Villa93241513211
12Wolverhampton WanderersWolves92521212011
13Manchester UnitedMan Utd9243109110
14Everton9315813-510
15Sheffield UnitedSheff Utd82337709
16Brighton & Hove AlbionBrighton9234912-39
17Southampton9225916-78
18Newcastle UnitedNewcastle9225514-98
19Norwich CityNorwich92161021-117
20Watford9045521-164
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16Gillingham133551816214
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19Tranmere RoversTranmere133461722-513
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