From Playing For MK Dons To Rubbing Shoulders With Europe’s Greatest: The Story Of Dele Alli
Five years on from his sub appearance for MK Dons, Alli has come a long way as he put up a stellar performance at Wembley to take on the reigning European champions. Not only was he rubbing shoulders with the likes of Cristiano Ronaldo and Luka Modric – he was actually outplaying them on every level. He scored twice in the first hour of the game as his skill, direct-running and finishing left the Zinedine Zidane’s new-age Galacticos stunned.
Tottenham received a lot of praise for their spellbinding performance, and the praise came thick and fast – just like their attacks. Real Madrid don’t usually pride themselves on the physical side of the game but it was truly astounding to see that Madrid had not committed a single foul in the first 30 minutes.
Zidane was clearly a worried figure on the touchline, trying to communicate to Sergio Ramos, to get Madrid playing with more confidence. Their midfield trio of Luka Modric, Toni Kroos and Casemiro – all world-class players – were chasing Harry Winks’ shadow for a good majority of the game.
Since the season began, there was a lot of talk about how Dele Alli lacked concentration but if that’s been the case, there could be no better time for him to prove all the naysayers wrong. He scored two goals against Real Madrid at Wembley, and while one could pick holes in his passing and sometimes unconvincing trickery, there is no denying that the role he played was truly essential to Tottenham Hotspur’s victory.
Often dubbed as England’s most promising midfielder, Alli was scoring goals with an indelible glamour. In fact, it doesn’t matter how the rest of the season turns out for him. This will be a match that’d go into the history books, and Dele Alli’s name will continue to shine bright for years to come.
What’s most interesting to note is that the player did not start the match strongly. Alli started badly, scored, improved, scored again and then displayed his true potential with some stunning play in the midfield to launch a pass to Harry Kane, who set up Christian Eriksen for Tottenham’s third.
Also, the way Alli toyed around with Real Madrid’s midfield trio with his sweet deceptions only goes to show how far he has come as a player. Pushed up with Harry Kane as a second-striker, Alli was bound to feel the heat of scrutiny after a lot of speculation regarding his apparent loss of focus. However, in football and in life, it is very easy to go down but what matters is how you get back up. Alli certainly fought his way back to the top and the youngster’s name will be forever etched in the minds and hearts of football fans worldwide.