The England winger joins an illustrious cast of former winners, including World Cup winner Mario Gotze, Lionel Messi and last year’s winner Paul Pogba.
The award, for the best player in a top-flight European League under the age of 21, as voted for by journalists, has been handed to the England international after an outstanding 12 months.
He follows in the footsteps of the likes of Lionel Messi (2005), Sergio Aguero (2007) and World Cup final goalscorer Mario Gotze (2011).
Last year’s award went to Juventus and France midfielder Paul Pogba.
Sterling becomes the first English winner of the award since Wayne Rooney in 2014.
“It’s a great achievement to win such an award,” Sterling told Liverpool’s official website. “It’s a really happy feeling for me and my family, of course.
“Something I’ve always wanted to do is to work hard playing football and try to be recognised. I’m really grateful that people have shown me this recognition.
“It’s down to hard work. I’m really happy that people are recognising that I’m trying to work hard and do my best for this football club. I’m really grateful for this award.”
“There’s always room for improvement,” he admitted. “At this moment in time, I should have a few more goals, but I’ve not taken some of my chances. But I’m young and learning all the time.
“This award just shows that hard work gets you where you want to be, and that I’m on the right track for where I want to be in my career. Hopefully I can just keep working hard and try to take my game to the next level.”
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