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Dele Alli Opens Up About Childhood Abuse in Eye-Opening Overlap Interview

Dele Alli Opens Up About Childhood Abuse in Eye-Opening Overlap Interview

Players are admired for what they do on the football pitch. But what goes behind the scenes remains a mystery

On the pitch, the players give everything, wins fans’ hearts, but there are many who undergo severe mental trauma in life, which they make up with their performance on the big stage.

Take the case of England international Dele Alli. The Ex-Tottenham Hotspur star has been keeping low profile these days.

After a stellar career with Spurs, Alli has completely fallen from the pecking order, be it in club football or at the international level

He has not donned England cap since 2019 and he is currently playing on loan for Besiktas in the Turkish League.

After his move to Everton from Spurs, his career has been on the wane and in an interview with former footballer Gary Neville on his YouTube channel The Overlap, Alli literally broke down and made some shocking admissions including being a victim of sexual abuse as a child as well as addiction to sleeping tablets.

“At six, I was molested by my mum’s friend who was at the house a lot. My mum was an alcoholic,” Alli told Neville, who is now a renowned football pundit.

In the freewheeling interview with the Manchester United legend, Alli was candid while admitting that he had a bad childhood, which resulted in all complexities.

Childhood trauma

“I was sent to Africa to learn discipline. Then I was sent back. Seven, I started smoking. Eight I started dealing drugs, selling drugs. An older person told me they wouldn’t stop a kid so I’d ride around with my football and then underneath I’d have the drugs.

“Eleven, I was hung off a bridge by a guy from the next estate. At 12, I was adopted. And from then, I was adopted by an amazing family, I couldn’t have asked for better people to do what they’ve done for me…If God created people, it was them. They are amazing and have helped me a lot,” Alli dwelled further.

Alli, whose Everton career did not take off the way he wanted also admitted that he had an addiction to sleeping tablets and revealed that he spent six weeks in a rehabilitation centre in the US.

With Alli breaking down in between the interview, Neville had to step in between to console the crestfallen star.

Alli’s plight is a pointer of modern day. Everything might look hunky dory on the pitch, but there is more to it than meets the eye.

Similarity with Farah

His story reminds of Ethiopian origin long-distance runner Mo Farah, who around the same last year, revealed in an interview to BBC as to how he was brought to the UK illegally as a child and forced to work as a domestic aid.

For all these people who undergo such trauma sports has thrown a lifeline.

Post interview, the football fraternity rallied behind Alli with his ex Spurs captain Harry Kane and Everton FC applauding his bravery for opening up on such issues which most of the people prefer to hide from public.