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Sterling provides England with hope at World Cup after dazzling in opening loss to Italy

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    England's Raheem Sterling, top, is challenged by Italy's Matteo Darmian during the group D World Cup soccer match between England and Italy at the Arena da Amazonia in Manaus, Brazil, Saturday, June 14, 2014. (AP Photo/Martin Mejia)The Associated Press

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    England national soccer team player Raheem Sterling answers a question from a journalist during a press conference after a squad training session that was closed to the media for the 2014 soccer World Cup at the Urca military base in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, Tuesday, June 17, 2014. (AP Photo/Matt Dunham)The Associated Press

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    England's Raheem Sterling, top, is challenged by Italy's Matteo Darmian during the group D World Cup soccer match between England and Italy at the Arena da Amazonia in Manaus, Brazil, Saturday, June 14, 2014. (AP Photo/Martin Mejia)The Associated Press

Four years ago, Raheem Sterling was watching the World Cup eating pizza with his friends. Now, the 19-year-old Liverpool winger is one of the players giving England hope after its opening loss to Italy.

Sterling has transferred his talents seamlessly from the Premier League to the international arena.

Deployed as the playmaker against Italy, Sterling took on established opponents without fear, zipping across the Manaus pitch despite the heat and humidity.

But personal plaudits seemed inconsequential to the quietly-spoken Londoner ahead of Thursday's Group D match against Uruguay. Both teams lost their opening matches, so the stakes are high.

Sterling says of the Italy defeat: "I was in a bit of a mood after the match, I wasn't really replying to anyone."