Raheem Sterling wins European Golden Boy award and celebrates with deep tweet
Liverpool and England forward Raheem Sterling has been named the best young player in Europe.
Sterling, who turned 20 earlier this month, won the European Golden Boy award ahead of Manchester United pair Adnan Januzaj and Luke Shaw, John Stones of Everton and Arsenal's Calum Chambers.
Sterling has been in brilliant form throughout 2014, helping Liverpool to a surprise title challenge last season before being one of the better England players at the World Cup.
He tweeted: "Walk boldly through the doors God opens for you, and don't become discouraged when He closes one."
With Luis Suarez having left and Daniel Sturridge sidelined with injury, Sterling has become the focal point of Liverpool's attack.
"It's a great achievement to win such an award," he told the Liverpool website. "It's a really happy feeling for me and my family, of course.
Walk boldly through the doors God opens for you, and don't become discouraged when He closes one. pic.twitter.com/Z1r27CK6FO— Raheem Sterling (@sterling31) December 20, 2014
"Something I've always wanted to do is to work hard playing football and try to be recognised. I'm really grateful that people have shown me this recognition.
"It's down to hard work. I'm really happy that people are recognising that I'm trying to work hard and do my best for this football club. I'm really grateful for this award."
Sterling was among 10 Premier League players on the 40-man shortlist, more than any of the other leagues in Europe.
Five English players were named with Sterling joined by Shaw, Stones, Chambers and Tottenham defender Eric Dier.
Liverpool had three players on the list, more than any other club in Europe, with Lazar Markovic and Divock Origi alongside Sterling.
The award was created in 2003 by Italian newspaper Tuttosport - Wayne Rooney is the only English player to previously win the award, when he picked it up while at Everton in 2004.
Thirty publications around Europe nominate five players, with 10 points going to first choice, seven to second, five for third, three for fourth and one for fifth. The winner is the player with the most points.
Sterling added: "There's always room for improvement. At this moment in time, I should have a few more goals, but I've not taken some of my chances. But I'm young and learning all the time.
"This award just shows that hard work gets you where you want to be, and that I'm on the right track for where I want to be in my career. Hopefully I can just keep working hard and try to take my game to the next level."
Premier League: Calum Chambers (Arsenal), Kurt Zouma (Chelsea), John Stones (Everton), Raheem Sterling, Lazar Markovic, Divock Origi (Liverpool), Adnan Januzaj, Luke Shaw (Manchester United), Nabil Bentaleb, Eric Dier (Tottenham).
Bundesliga: Hakan Calhanoglu (Bayer Leverkusen), Pierre-Emile Hojbjerg, Gianluca Gaudino (Bayern Munich), Matthias Ginter (Borussia Dortmund), Julian Green (Hamburg), Maximilian Meyer (Schalke).
La Liga: Saul Niguez (Atletico Madrid), Gerard Deulofeu (Sevilla), Aymeric Laporte (Athletic Bilbao), Sandro Ramirez, Munir El Haddai (Barcelona).
Serie A: Domenico Berardi (Sassuolo), Mateo Kovacic (Inter), Bernardeschi Franco (Fiorentina), Kingsley Coman (Juventus), Keita Baldé Diao (Lazio).
Ligue 1: Marquinhos, Adrien Rabiot (Paris Saint-Germain), Benjamin Mendy (Marseille), Lucas Ocampos (Monaco).
Eredivisie: Tonny Vilhena (Feyenoord), Jetro Willems (PSV), Arkadiusz Milik (Ajax).
Others: Oliver Torres (Porto), Bruma (Galatasaray), Gonzalez (Basel), Nikola Ninkovic (Partizan Belgrade), Luka Zahovic (Maribor), Dennis Praet, Alexander Mitrovic (Anderlecht).