England’s Raheem Sterling flies back from Qatar after burglars break into family home and steal ‘number of items’

Raheem Sterling has returned home from the World Cup in Qatar after burglars broke into his Surrey mansion and stole a number of items including jewellery and watches.

Sterling‘s family was not at the property at the time of the incident, though it was reported earlier that they were, and the footballer wanted to get back as soon as he was alerted to the incident.

A source close to the Chelsea star told Sky News’ sports correspondent Rob Harris that Sterling was “shaken” and “concerned for the well-being of his children”.

Surrey Police said in a statement: “We are currently investigating a report of a burglary at an address in Oxshott, Leatherhead.

“Police were contacted just before 9pm on Saturday 3 December after the occupants of the property came home and discovered a number of items including jewellery and watches had been stolen. Enquiries to establish the circumstances are underway and the investigation is ongoing.”

The force added that “no threat of violence was involved” as the items were discovered stolen retrospectively.

The 27-year-old was left out of England’s squad for Sunday’s win over Senegal after the intrusion, and has now landed back in London from the World Cup tournament in Qatar.

When the team sheet was announced before the round-of-16 match, an England tweet said Sterling would not appear because he was “dealing with a family matter”.

After the game, which England won 3-0, manager Gareth Southgate confirmed Sterling was heading back to the UK.

Asked if he could return to play a part in the tournament, Southgate said: “I really don’t know, it’s a situation he needs time to deal with, I don’t want to put any pressure on him.

“Sometimes football isn’t the most important thing and family should come first.”

England captain Harry Kane said: “Our thoughts are with him and his family.

“It is a private matter with him, but it’s never easy to see one or your teammates and friends have to deal with something like that.

“We will take it day by day and take the best decision for him and his family.

“From us as a team we send him our best and hope to see him as soon as possible.”

Gary Lineker, the former England striker turned commentator, tweeted a message of support for the player.

Henry Winter, chief football writer for The Times, said it had been a “very distressing incident” and Sterling was “understandably very shaken by it”.

He added: “Family is everything to Raheem Sterling… Sterling may return to Qatar should the circumstances be right. But family comes first.”

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Sterling was a key member of the England team in the initial Group B matches. He was also part of the national team that reached the World Cup semi-finals in 2018.

Once the most expensive English player of all time, Sterling has spent more than a decade in the spotlight after breaking into the Liverpool team aged 17.

In recent years, he has taken a leading role in fighting racial abuse in football and beyond.

England will play France in the quarter-finals on Saturday.


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