England's Raheem Sterling defended by David Beckham after World Cup criticism

England players training in Russia

Beckham and Sir Geoff Hurst, though, defended Sterling's displays after the quarter-final win against Sweden.

"The actual treatment at half-time of him across social media was absolutely disgusting, and isn't representative of the performance he put in", Neville told ITV, via Goal.

RAHEEM STERLING'S team-mates have rallied around him following criticism of the England forward's lack of goals at the World Cup. "Got past my opponent a couple of times, got a couple of balls in, and you just get caned [by the media]" Sterling said (h/t ESPN FC).

Beckham said on Instagram: "It's wrong".

Sterling has started four of England's five games on their run to the semi-finals, looking threatening at times yet unable to end an worldwide goal drought that dates back to October 2015. Every player deserves to be applauded.

"We as a country are united and behind the team".

Meanwhile, ignoring all the abuses and taunts, Sterling has applauded the support of English fans in Russian Federation.

And ahead of England's semi-final against Croatia on Wednesday evening, Jones has questioned whether Sterling should keep his place in Southgate's starting lineup ahead of Leicester City striker Jamie Vardy.

"It's so clear to see if you were to watch back until now the importance he has on the team".

"I wouldn't say there are any glaring weaknesses (in England's team) since they are in the semi-finals, that says it all".

"The way Raheem's handled everything from when we met up until now has been incredible", said Dier.

England now has to confront a harder test than their previous encounters in the semifinal where they will come up against Croatia who defeated Russian Federation earlier to progress into the next round.

The Three Lions have performed admirably throughout the tournament, yet one Englishman seems to be the target of most vitriol.

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