Raheem Sterling has joked that he can “call it a day” on the Champions League after being awarded a gold Blue Peter badge.
The Manchester City and England player received the children’s TV programme’s rare badge of honour in recognition of his success on the pitch and for his work “combating negativity” off it.
The 24-year-old sports star will be seen receiving the badge in Thursday’s episode of Blue Peter, where presenter Richie Driss says: “Raheem, clearly we think you are amazing.
“You are a role model, not only for Manchester City fans but also to all of our fans across the UK.
“You’re an inspiration not only on the pitch but also off the pitch with your willingness to stand up for people’s rights. So with that in mind it would be an absolute honour to award you our highest accolade… the Blue Peter gold badge.”
Sterling says that it “means a lot” to him, and Driss says: “Now that you’ve got a Blue Peter gold badge you don’t need to focus on winning the Champions League.”
Raheem replies: “Yes, I think I will settle for this and call it a day!”
Sterling will also be interviewed by two young football fans, Lutae and Jazmin, about his dreams of being a football player in his youth, what it means to play for England and playing against adversity.
Sterling is one of a handful of recipients of the prestigious accolade, which is given to individuals who show expertise in their chosen field, are considered to be role models and who encourage and motivate children across many generations.
Previous recipients include the Queen, the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge, Sir Paul McCartney, Sir David Attenborough, JK Rowling, Steven Spielberg, Mary Berry, David Beckham, Ed Sheeran and Madonna.
Blue Peter airs at 5.30pm on CBBC on Thursday.