Liverpool starlet Raheem Sterling says he can handle his growing global profile.
The midfielder has been catapulted onto the front of back pages of the press this season.
"As your profile gets bigger, the more public attraction you get and the more people try to take advantage of you," Sterling told the Daily Mail.
"You have to know who you are talking to. As I grow up, I learn from my past. People try to become hangers on. When you see someone you don’t really know and they are trying to be your friend then you have to be careful.
"When you haven’t done anything wrong but you still have to go to court, it’s something you don’t want to hear. Just because you’re a footballer, people want to make you a target. That’s the way of life (for a footballer).
"People try to portray me as a bad person, but that isn’t fair. I’m glad it’s all over now.
"I just try to keep myself to myself, keep my head down and become more mature."