Former Tottenham midfielder Dele Alli has opened up about his troubled career and recent struggles. He revealed that he has recently come out of rehab for a sleeping pill addiction after struggling to deal with the trauma of suffering sexual abuse as a child.
Alli, 27, shot to fame under Mauricio Pochettino at Tottenham and was a key part of the England side that reached the 2018 World Cup semi-finals. However, his career on the field has been in decline in recent years as he fell out of favor at Spurs before struggling to make an impact at Everton or on loan at Besiktas last season.
Alli explained how his struggles are rooted in a series of childhood traumas that he tried to block out. He was molested by his mother’s friend at age six and was sent to Africa by his father to learn discipline. At age seven, he started smoking, and at age eight, he started dealing drugs. At age eleven, he was hung off a bridge by a man from the next estate. At age twelve, he was adopted by a new family.
Alli hopes that by speaking out, he can help others who have suffered similar abuse. Prince William and Alli’s former Tottenham teammate Harry Kane were among those to pay tribute to his bravery in coming forward.
Alli said that a six-week spell in rehab in the United States has helped rekindle his passion to get his football career back on track. He stated that going into rehab was scary but that it helped him mentally and that he was in a bad place before.
Sleeping Pill Addiction
Alli also warned that the dangers of sleeping pill addiction are widespread in football, where players are often prescribed tablets before and after matches. He stated that taking a sleeping tablet and being ready for the next day is fine, but when you’re broken, it can have the reverse effect.
Everton said that Alli would be focusing on his mental and physical well-being ahead of the new season, which starts next month. The club stated that they respect and applaud Dele’s bravery to speak about the difficulties he has faced and seek the help required.
“Dele will not be conducting any further interviews in relation to his rehabilitation, and we ask that his privacy is respected while he continues his recuperation from injury and receives the full care and support needed for his physical and mental well-being.”