MANCHESTER – Pep Guardiola says hat-trick hero Raheem Sterling can still improve further and it will be up to the Manchester City forward as to whether he fulfils his potential and becomes a great of the game.
Sterling, 24, had a hand in all five goals, including an 11-minute hat-trick, as City romped to a 5-1 Champions League victory over Italian side Atalanta on Tuesday, to take his tally to 12 goals in 13 appearances this season.
His link-up play with Sergio Aguero and Phil Foden was at times breathtaking, leading to former Manchester United defender Rio Ferdinand to suggest on BT Sport after the game he was now among the top five players in the world.
“How much better he can become depends on him,” Guardiola told reporters. “I think he has that desire to get better. I say all credit is for him. He’s a guy whose physicality is incredible.
“The day after a game, he could play another. He can play both sides, he’s fast, defensively he helps us a lot. He’s an extraordinary player.”