Off-field gestures a sign of Sterling's maturity - Guardiola
Raheem Sterling's "incredible" gesture to help a community centre that played a huge part in his upbringing has been lauded by Pep Guardiola.
On Thursday, the Manchester City forward posted on Twitter in order to gain the attention of Brent Council, which is attempting to shut down Bridge Park Community Leisure Centre.
Sterling, who grew up in the community in north-west London, has been trying to contact the authorities through his representatives with the view to helping out those who still live in the area.
".@brentcouncil need to answer this! Why are my team continuously getting no response, when I'm trying to help the community (especially the kids)- whilst the council are still trying to sell off a key part of my childhood; Brent Park. Can someone answer this pls?" he posted.
.@brentcouncil need to answer this! Why are my team continuously getting no response, when I'm trying to help the community (especially the kids)- whilst the council are still trying to sell off a key part of my childhood; Brent Park. Can someone answer this pls? @DawnButlerBrenthttps://t.co/sDYlITGzWf— Raheem Sterling (@sterling7) 20 December 2018
Guardiola was asked if Sterling's off-field work was a sign of added maturity from the 24-year-old, who has received plenty of - arguably unfairly - negative media attention in the past.
"The gesture speaks for itself," Guardiola told a news conference ahead of City's clash with Crystal Palace. "If he's more mature, sure in a few years he will be more mature too. It's an incredible gesture.
"These kind of things are always going to come back in his private life, his own life, with the family in a positive way. He feels he can do that or he wants to do that, so in the end, nice things are going to happen in his life.
"When Raheem does this kind of gesture it's because it's going to help the people. Life was so generous and was nice for him so far, in terms of the profession he does and everything.
"He can contribute and make a better society for other people, that is incredible. Just to say thank you for the nice things he has done."
And Guardiola believes that added maturity can only help Sterling - who also donated a substantial sum to the victims of last year's Grenfell Tower disaster - on the pitch.
"Yes of course," the manager added. "People say: 'No, no, people in sport cannot do anything, cannot speak about politicians, cannot do some justice.'
"Of course we have to do. If he believes in doing that, that's a good thing, that's nice. I appreciate it. As part of society, that's good.
"Juan Mata, what he does with his foundation. He and many people are doing a lot of things for the kids. Vincent Kompany. Many, many people do these things and other people don't notice, but they do it. But I am pretty sure they do it because they feel better. It's nice, I like it."