Raheem Sterling says the scrutiny surrounding his latest tattoo won't get him down ahead of the World Cup.
Sterling had a a picture of an assault rifle tattooed on his calf. His choice of ink drew criticism from some media outlets and anti-gun campaigners.
He explained it was in tribute to his father after he was shot and killed in Jamaica when the forward was just two-year-old.
Sterling says he doesn't take much notice of tabloid tactics to vilify him:
“It’s not really been that tough. Things happened and get spoken about, but I put that to one side. I’ve been focused on training and playing Nigeria, so for me it was a normal week to be honest.
“The only thing that changed was that I was in the newspapers a bit more. I just got on with my day. I spoke with my mum and she was OK. My daughter and my son are OK, I’m fine.
“That was the least of my worries. It’s obviously bad to see yourself spoken of in that light, but it’s not something that gets me down.
“I’ve got a World Cup to prepare for and I’ve had training sessions every day, so my mind was already occupied. That was the least of my worries.”