England international Raheem Sterling revealed that he has taken youngster Jadon Sancho under his wing and will be a guiding hand ahead of a challenging career as a professional.
The Manchester City winger has been at the receiving end of racist chants and unwarranted media attention.
Sterling, 24, explained that he will try to help Sancho overcome the negativity that could hinder a footballer’s development at a young age.
“Even when I was getting a lot of negative stuff, I was never going to sit there and be someone I’m not,” Sterling told the Daily Mail.
“I talk how I talk. I’d like people to accept me for who I am and they do now. I’m really grateful.
“If there is anything that I feel could put Jadon in a bad light, I make sure I pull him up on it. He’s a good kid. He’s doing a lot more off the field than I was at that age in terms of his preparation work.
“I’m quite close with [teenage midfielder] Ian Poveda at City. It’s a similar story: from London, came up north. He’s always sat next to me on the coach. He’s a bit annoying at times, I tell him that every day!
“He’s my little friend, I try to give him advice. I let him have a feel for things himself but if I do see something I’ll go over.”
Eden Hazard has backed Christian Pulisic to become one of the best players in the world.
After spending seven years at the Chelsea, the Belgian forward finally achieved his dream move to Real Madrid. A gaping hole was hence created at Chelsea and Pulisic is being tipped to fill it.
The former Borussia Dortmund player impressed against Barcelona in a friendly on Tuesday. Hazard has now backed the 20-year-old to make it big at ‘one of the best clubs in the world.
“[Pulisic] can be one of the best in the future for sure,” Hazard told The Associated Press, according to Goal.
“He can be [a star]. Now he’s at one of the best clubs in the world… he’s a proper player.”
However, Pulisic had earlier dismissed claims suggesting he has arrived at Chelsea as a Hazard replacement, maintaining that he wants to forge his own legacy.
“I’m not here to compare or anything,” he told Sky Sports earlier this month.
“Obviously Eden was amazing and he did so well for this club, as you could see last season and the whole time he’s been here. He was an incredible player.
“For me, it’s coming in as my own player, proving myself and doing the best I can to help this team.”
In a widely shared video, Kolasinac can be seen fighting off masked men with knives after the group was confronted in north-west London.
Yasmin Tahsiner, the manager of a restaurant where the players sought refuge after the incident, told PA she received a call from Kolasinac and Ozil’s wife Amine at around 5pm on Thursday explaining they were being chased in their car by two attackers on mopeds.
Tahsiner, who manages the Turkish restaurant Likya in Golders Green, said: “We didn’t first of all understand what’s happening. Then when we see the motorbike passing… we realised it’s serious.
“They parked the car outside the restaurant but before that they had been chased for five or 10 minutes.
“They’d been (throwing) bricks on their car. It was scary and sad for this to happen to these people.”
Tahsiner said she knew the footballers already and denied they were “shaken up” afterwards.
She said Kolasinac had acted heroically, and added: “From what I’ve seen, both (Ozil and Kolasinac) handled it very well.”
Following news coverage of the attack, Kolasinac tweeted a picture of himself and Ozil smiling, adding: “Think we’re fine.”
“You don’t always think these things are going to happen in daytime,” Tahsiner said, adding that “lots of people” walked out on to the street and witnessed the incident.
The owner of the Hampstead property outside which the pair were initially attacked has said he has been targeted five times in the same area.
The property owner, who chose not to be named, told PA he had a knife held to his neck in one incident and he called on police to “pull their finger out” after a spate of crimes in that part of north-west London.
“I’ve been done five times myself,” he told PA. “I had a knife held to my neck at midday at the traffic lights, I was physically thrown in a bus lane at 6.30am when I was coming out of my office – the list goes on and on.
“The last time (it happened) I was at the property,” he added.
The man, who no longer resides at the house, said he was “targeted” and did not think the incident with the footballers was linked as his attackers were arrested and “went down for 16 years”.
However, he said the attacks were “all in the Hampstead area” and he drives “very high profile” cars with “very, very personalised number plates”.
He added: “I think it’s about time the police pulled their finger out and started to protect people who are entitled to protection.”
A spokesman for the Metropolitan Police said no arrests have yet been made in connection with Thursday’s incident.
Chief Inspector Jim Corbett of Operation Venice, the Metropolitan Police unit aimed at tackling motorcycle-enabled crime, urged any witnesses to come forward.
He said: “While detectives are actively pursuing lines of enquiry, I would ask any member of the public who has any information or video footage to contact police.”
He also said that over the past 12 months police had reduced this type of crime by more than half and that they will continue to target the culprits.