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Raheem Sterling fired England to a dream start in the Euros – and then admitted it was a childhood dream come true.

Three Lions hero Sterling scored the second-half winner as England won their opening Group match in a European Championships for the first time to leave the whole country dreaming of a glorious summer.

It was particularly sweet for Sterling who was given an MBE in the Queen’s Honours list this weekend and grew up in Wembley, a stone’s throw from the stadium.

Manchester City star Sterling, who scored his first goal in a major tournament, said: “I’ve always said if I played at Wembley at a major tournament then I’m scoring, at Wembley, my back garden, I have to score. It’s great to finally do that.

Raheem Sterling fired England to a dream start in the Euros
(Image: Pool via REUTERS)

“It's great to break the duck. At the same time, I'm focused. I'm not really taken into account that I haven't scored in a major tournament before.

“I think the most important thing was to try and win here and that's the most important thing today.

“It's good to get on the scoresheet, I'm a person that's hungry for goals but at the same time I know the true value of a team.”

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England boss Gareth Southgate said: “Tough opponent, big occasion and sweltering day. It feels great to send fans home happy and to have fans up and down country happy. Very special.”

But Southgate insisted that England must keep their feet on the ground ahead of Scotland and the Battle of Britain on Friday night.

Southgate said: “This is the big challenge for us now. We are Delighted with win and players are happy but it's a positive step in terms of qualification but one of hardest things in sport is to come back to where you were before kick off for the next game.

“You can get a bit of a glow of the win, a bit soft and a bit puddingly when you poke the finger in the belly. We have to make sure we're ready for what is going to an incredible game against Scotland and a huge challenge.

“We have to find that. We should enjoy tonight because you have to enjoy your wins in tournaments but focus now,. Our first objective is qualification we haven’t done that yet and we have a very important game for us and the fans on Friday night.”