Fernandinho defends Raheem Sterling

Fernandinho has defended Raheem Sterling after the England international was pictured with a tattoo of a M16 assault rifle on his leg.

The Manchester City forward posted a picture of himself training with his England team-mates at St George’s Park, with a tattoo of the gun on his right calf clearly visible.

Sterling defended the tattoo, alluding to it having a “deeper meaning” and Brazil midfielder Fernandinho has offered his support to his City team-mate.

“I don’t know why the people treat him like that,” said the 33-year-old said.

“They write about him and you can see some pursue it against him.

“He’s a lovely guy, nice guy, and every day he’s up, he’s happy, and I’m so glad to share the dressing room with him.

“I’m glad because we have him. He’s a lovely guy and he never gives up, even with a lot of criticism about him and his football.”

Sterling was instrumental in Manchester City’s Premier League title-winning side, scoring 18 goals with 11 assists.

“He’s one of our top players. He decided so many games for us this season and was so important for us,” Fernandinho added.