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Euro 2016 a dream for Dele

Posted on 8 June 2016  - 03:00

Dele Alli grew up dreaming of playing for England in a major tournament - just out of his teenage years, he’s set to do just that in France on Saturday.

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The all-action midfielder enjoyed a stunning breakthrough season at Spurs with 46 appearances in all competitions. He bagged 10 goals in the Premier League, won the club's and BBC Match of the Day’s Goal of the Season for his wonder strike against Palace and was crowned PFA Young Player of the Season.

His performances were recognised early in the season by England boss Roy Hodgson, who handed him a senior England debut against Estonia in October. He has eight caps going into Euro 2016 and is widely tipped to start the opener against Russia in Marseille on Saturday evening (8pm UK).

“This is massive,” he told us exclusively before heading off from Hotspur Way for the summer.  “When you’re a youngster growing up you want to play for your country and to be able to do it in a major tournament like this would be a real privilege

“It should be an enjoyable experience for all the boys, I’m sure we’ll all be looking to impress and put on good performances for the fans.”

 


Dele is joined by team-mates Eric Dier, Harry Kane, Danny Rose and Kyle Walker in the squad, matching the highest number of players the club has provided for England in major tournament - Peter Crouch, Michael Dawson, Jermain Defoe, Ledley King and Aaron Lennon all went to the World Cup in 2010.

“I’ll be used to playing with the Spurs lads which will help a lot and there is nothing like representing your country,” he added.

“It’s not going to be easy but I’m confident in my ability. I’ve got to try to fight for my place in training and try to get into the starting line-up and if I do that I’ll be looking to play as well as I have for Tottenham.”