Paul Scholes: Raheem Sterling may have to do this to become world's best

Sterling has been at the centre of a story this week surrounding tiredness and fatigue on international duty.

Former Manchester United midfielder Paul Scholes has said there are traits in Liverpool's Raheem Sterling that remind him of Barcelona's Lionel Messi and Real Madrid's Cristiano Ronaldo.

Messi and Ronaldo are regarded as the two best players in world football who have been prolific in front of goal for the clubs over years, and have both won the Ballon D'or on more than one occasion.

However, the United legend has said Sterling will have to be used to playing around 70 games a season in order to reach the heights of the illustrious duo, after a week where England manager Roy Hodgson revealed the 19-year-old said he was tired ahead of the Euro 2016 qualifier with Estonia in Tallinn, meaning he started the game on the bench.

Scholes wrote in his Independent column: "Sterling does not seem the type to me to complain. I see him as one of those brave wingers, a tough kid who gets kicked and then picks himself up again. He gets on with it and does not hide on the pitch, a bit like Cristiano Ronaldo once did at Manchester United. And if he wants to reach that level one day, he will have noticed that the likes of Ronaldo, Lionel Messi and Andres Iniesta have played up to 70 games some seasons.

"He is very young and while his form last season was excellent he has dipped a little this year. That happens at his age. I think that in terms of his skills he is capable of beating just about any player in the world on his day.

"Unfortunately this episode has created problems for him. He may get a bit of stick for it at away grounds and be under that extra pressure to perform."

Sterling has become a bigger player for Liverpool this season as they have endured a stuttering start to the campaign. The departure of Luis Suarez means he has the platform to shine, but it can also be a big source of pressure on the 19-year-old who could end up being overwhelmed by it all. 

He is the club's top scorer in the Premier League this season with three goals as he still has the technical ability to frighten defences, and come up with decisive end product.

But at the age of 19, even with the talent he has, he can't be expected to play every single game and there are going to be times when he needs a breather, and whoever takes his place in the Liverpool side at times has to step up to ensure that his absence isn't so noticeable.

Register for LIVERPOOL team updates

Register for MANCHESTER UNITED team updates

Register for HITC Sport - Daily Dispatch