England international Raheem Sterling has revealed that he had the opportunity to sign for Arsenal when he was young, but his clever mother tactically persuaded him to move to QPR instead.
Sterling's rags to riches story undoubtedly tugs on the heart strings. In his column in the The Players' Tribune, the Manchester City attacker has opened up on his story behind becoming a professional footballer, explaining how he came from nothing to where he is today.
In one riveting segment, Sterling admits that when Arsenal came knocking on his door as a child, he was desperate to join the club - as any kid would be - but his mother's guidance persuaded him to work his way up, and prove himself first. It could've all been so different...
"When I was 10 or 11, I was getting scouted by some big clubs in London," Sterling began in his article in The Players' Tribune.
"Fulham wanted me. Arsenal wanted me. And when Arsenal want you, of course you’re thinking you gotta go there. Biggest club in London, you know? So I’m running around telling my mates, 'I’m off to the Arsenal!'
"But my Mum is a proper warrior. She knows how to make it in this world. She’s probably the most streetwise person I know. She sat me down one day, and she said, 'Look, I love you. But I don’t feel you should go to Arsenal.'
"I said, 'Ehhhh?'
"She said, 'If you go there, there’s going to be 50 players who are just as good as you. You’ll just be a number. You need to go somewhere where you can work your way up.'
"She convinced me to go to QPR, and it was probably the best decision I ever made."
For that alone, his mum deserves the house he bought her.