Manchester, April 30: John Stones says Manchester City team-mate Raheem Sterling has his admiration for his work both on and off the field this season.
Sterling has scored 17 Premier League goals this season and claimed the Football Writers' Association Footballer of the Year and Professional Footballers' Association Young Player of the Year awards.
But the England man has also been influential away from the football pitch, making a stand against racism both on social media and inside stadiums.
And while Stones was unable to vote for team-mate Sterling - or contender Bernardo Silva - for the PFA award, he still took the opportunity to praise the former Liverpool forward.
"I'd probably say Raheem (if he could vote for a City player) - or Bernardo," Stones said.
Very proud with the PFA Young Player of the year, and truly thankful Incredible support for the whole season, let's go for more !!!— Raheem Sterling (@sterling7) April 28, 2019
"How Raheem has handled himself this season, he has overcome a lot of things - some non-football related. That's been something.
"How he has stood up for his beliefs and still gone out and performed the way he has. That's admirable for me - as a friend - but I also admire him for going out and scoring the goals he has."
Stones instead opted for Son Heung-min for his vote, explaining how the Tottenham forward, who helped dump City out of the Champions League, deserves more credit.
"I'm a big fan of Son, he's gone under the radar a bit. I voted for him," the centre-back said.
"Just his performances, take nothing away from Virgil (van Dijk) - he's been outstanding - but I like to go for someone who is a bit under the radar and someone who excites me and I like to watch play."