The England international infuriated Reds supporters when he moved across the North West to join City after telling Rodgers he had no intention of travelling on a pre-season tour of the Far East and Australia in 2015.
Sterling eventually left for City in a deal worth around £50million and the young winger has developed into a key member of Pep Guardiola's side.
“For Raheem, it was never about money. If it was about money he could have stayed at Liverpool. It was about being the best he can be," he said.
“In that moment in time, there was an opportunity to go to Manchester City where they had top-class players. He's gone in there and developed and become a winner, which is clear to see now in his game
“I look at Pep's team and it's not the same if he's not in it. What a testament that is to a young English player."
He added: “What I loved about Raheem was that, for a young boy, he knew what he wanted to be.
"When I ask young players what is it that they want to achieve, he wanted to be one of the best players in the world, at that age."