By 90Min
April 24, 2018

Manchester City winger Raheem Sterling came in for more unnecessary tabloid attention on Monday when he went out for breakfast the morning, after he didn't win the PFA Young Player of the Year award. 

23-year-old Sterling, who has scored 18 Premier League goals in 2017/18 and enjoyed the best season of career by a mile, was in the running for the prize. But it was ultimately won by friend and City colleague Leroy Sane instead.

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In a total non-news story, a Daily Mail headline the day after read 'Raheem Sterling treats himself to a spot of breakfast despite missing out on being crowned Young Player of the Year the night before at PFA awards'.

Since when did a person participating in the basic act of eating food become newsworthy?

Accompanied by pictures of the young footballer walking back to his car from his choice of eatery, Mail readers were told exactly how much the player's 'pimped-up' vehicle is worth.

It's ridiculous to think it, but the underlying perception is this: 'How dare he go out to eat when he should have been hiding at home in shame'.

For Sterling, it is the latest in a growing list of invasive and critical tabloid stories about his life.

In January 2017, a picture taken when Sterling was shopping at budget store Poundworld was big tabloid news. Reports revelled in the fact that he was the most expensive English player in history at the time, was living in a mansion worth millions of pounds, and they even gleefully pointed out that he was stood near a sign that read 'Amazing Value! Only £1'.

How dare he rub the noses of the poor and working class, thinking he's one of them by not spending the money he doesn't deserve.

That same month, the Daily Star told us 'Footballer Raheem Sterling has just paid £3.1m for a house but still eats at Greggs' after a 'source' divulged that he was buying sausage rolls.

Just last month, a fresh batch of tabloid stories feasted on Sterling wearing clothes from Primark - a £14 hoodie, £16 jogging bottoms and a £2 by t-shirt bought by his girlfriend. The Daily Mirror called him a 'proud owner' of the items, before reminding readers of the player's £180,000 weekly salary.

The same article actually referred to the previous instances when Sterling was 'caught' - as if he were doing something illegal - at Poundworld, as well as unearthing the Greggs story again.

Oh, and there was that time in October 2016 when The Sun shouted to the world that Sterling had been on an £80 flight from Malaga to Manchester after a holiday in Spain. Obviously there were the usual references to the 'penny pincher's' transfer fee and weekly wages.

He cannot win, though, because Sterling is hammered by the tabloids for both not spending money and spending money.

Three months before The Sun slated him for flying economy class, the same newspaper excitedly ran a story about him flying two party girls 'on a private jet to his £1m Caribbean home'. Pictures the pair took 'included a pile of cash, posh hotels and the jet, hired for about £50,000'.

In June 2016, Sterling had made 'news' headlines for buying his mum a house. It was a kind gesture, but even that didn't go down well with the press. For the Daily Mail it was '£180,000-a-week England flop Raheem shows off blinging house he bought for his mum - complete with jewel-encrusted bathroom - hours after flying home in disgrace from Euro 2016'.

This week, just as Sterling was being sullied for having the gall to eat breakfast in public instead of hiding after his PFA failure, mainstream media was jumping to the defence of Harry Kane.

It was branded 'disgraceful' that Kane, who had been heckled over a goal he insisted he scored in a Premier League game earlier this month, had been the subject of a joke tweeted by the FA's official account following a quiet performance in the FA Cup semi final.

Following the cries of 'disgraceful', the FA subsequently apologised.

But many couldn't and cannot help feel there are double standards at play when it is left to independents, bloggers and tweeters to stand up for Sterling when seemingly anything he does becomes the subject of such unnecessary and ultimately hateful scorn.

(You may also be interested in '6 Players Who Have Found Success Elsewhere After Leaving Man City at a Young Age')

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