How does Sterling progress compare to others?

Age 15

Lionel Messi - Represents Barcelona's junior teams

Cristiano Ronaldo - Requires surgery on a heart condition

Wayne Rooney - Plays for Everton under-19s

Raheem Sterling - Joins Liverpool from QPR for an initial £600,000

Age 16

Messi - Plays for first-team in a friendly

Ronaldo - Represented Sporting Lisbon at youth level

Rooney - Youngest Premier League scorer

Sterling - Scores five as Liverpool beat Southend 9-0 in FA Youth Cup

Age 17

Messi - Makes La Liga debut for Barcelona as they go on to win title

Ronaldo - Scores on Sporting Lisbon debut

Rooney - England's youngest player and scorer

Sterling - Premier League and England debuts

Age 18

Messi - Fifpro young player of the year, wins La Liga and Champions League, debut for Argentina

Ronaldo - Joins Manchester United, makes Portugal debut

Rooney - Four goals at Euro 2004, joins Manchester United

Sterling - Signs a new five-year deal with Liverpool

Age 19

Messi - Fifpro young player of the year

Ronaldo - Reaches Euro 2004 final, wins FA Cup

Rooney - PFA and Fifpro young player of the year

Sterling - Plays at World Cup, Liverpool young player of the year

Age 20

Messi - Fifpro young player of the year, lost in Copa America final

Ronaldo - Scores four in FA Cup but Manchester United lose final

Rooney - PFA young player of the year, wins League Cup, sent off at World Cup

Sterling - Scores first England goal, joins Man City in £49m deal

Age 21

Messi - Wins Olympics, La Liga, Champions League - where he is top scorer - and Copa del Rey

Ronaldo - Reaches World Cup semi-finals, wins League Cup

Rooney - Wins Premier League for first time

Sterling - Euro 2016?

Age 22

Messi - Top scorer in Champions League and La Liga, winning both along with Ballon D'Or

Ronaldo - Wins PFA and FWA player of the year, Premier League and Ballon D'Or

Rooney - Wins Premier League, Champions League and Ballon D'Or, part of England team that fails to reach Euro 2008

Age 23

Messi - Top scorer as Barcelona win Champions League, also wins La Liga and Ballon D'Or

Ronaldo - Top scorer in Premier League and Champions League, winning both, PFA and FWA player of the year

Rooney - Wins Premier League, lost Champions League final

Sterling - World Cup?

Age 24

Messi - Top scorer at Barcelona and in Champions League and La Liga, wins Ballon D'Or and Copa del Rey

Ronaldo - Wins Premier League and Champions League, joins Real Madrid for record £80m

Rooney - PFA & FWA player of the year, wins League Cup, goalless at World Cup

Age 25

Messi - Scores record 91 goals in 2012, La Liga top scorer as Barcelona win competition, wins Ballon D'Or

Ronaldo - Scores Real hat-trick, now has 27 in La Liga

Rooney - Wins Premier League, scores overhead kick in Manchester derby

Sterling - Another Euros?

Age 26

Messi - Becomes all-time leading scorer in El Clasico fixtures

Ronaldo - Scores the winner in Copa del Rey final

Rooney - Plays 500th career game

Age 27

Messi - Breaks La Liga and Champions League scoring records, winning both competitions and Copa del Rey, loses World Cup final, 100th cap

Ronaldo - Wins La Liga and 100th Portugal cap

Rooney - Wins Premier League, ends season with most goals and assists for Manchester United

Sterling - At his peak for England at World Cup?

Age 28

Messi - Lost in Copa America final

Ronaldo - Wins Ballon D'Or, Champions League top scorer

Rooney - Named Manchester United and England captain, scores first World Cup goal

Age 29

Ronaldo - Wins La Liga, Champions League and Ballon D'Or, fastest to 200 La Liga goals, top scorer in Champions League and for Portugal

Rooney - Wins 100th England cap

Sterling - Third Euros?

Age 30

Ronaldo - Becomes leading Champions League scorer

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