From his humble beginnings to being lauded as the best in the sport, Dele Alli’s fairytale rise to the top of the footballing world has captured the interest of many. In a short time, the freshly turned 22-year-old midfielder has already made a name for himself as one of the top young players in British football, making the jump from League One’s Milton Keynes Dons to Premier League’s Tottenham Hotspur, to eventually finding a place on England’s international team.
Though his life now seems to be full of accolades and accomplishments, Dele’s upbringing was particularly chaotic. Born to a Nigerian father and English mother, who separated when he was just three years old, Dele spent most of his childhood between the home countries of his now estranged parents. Finally settling down in the Bradwell area of Milton Keynes, Dele found solace from his single parent home kicking about in the streets with older kids.
Without pampered academy systems and almost arriving late to the formal footballing structure, by the age of 11 Dele was able to transform his street skills and joined the youth club at MK Dons where he eventually made his way to their first team squad. Soon taken under the wings of Alan Hickford, the father of another MK Dons scholar, Dele was able to hone his skills and project himself onto Tottenham Hotspur’s radar.
With his ascent at Tottenham to becoming one of the first names on the team sheet for England’s 2018 FIFA World Cup campaign, Dele will mark his debut appearance at the Beautiful Game’s biggest tournament. As millions will be glued to their screens to watch Dele continue on his meteoric rise, he hopes to bring glorified results for his club and country.
With only a few short days until the 2018 FIFA World Cup kicks off in Russia, we caught up with Dele for the first chapter of our Destined series, where we take a look back at Dele Alli’s career and his journey to the World Cup, featuring interviews from Alan Hickford and Dan Micciche.