Dele Alli says he considered retiring from football aged 24 during Jose Mourinho’s time as Tottenham manager
Dele responded to THAT clip from the Amazon documentary, where Mourinho called him lazy in front of the camera, but said the manager was quick to apologize – this was not shown on the show.
But he says he went through a bad time when the Portuguese boss stopped picking him for Spurs.
“Probably the saddest moment for me was when Mourinho was the manager, I thought I was 24 years old,” he told Gary Neville.
“I remember one day, like one morning I woke up and had to go to practice – this is when he stopped playing with me – and I was in a bad position.
“I remember looking in the mirror – I mean it sounds dramatic but I was actually staring in the mirror – and I asked if I could retire now, at 24, to work. whether I like it or not.
“For me, it is heartbreaking to have the thought of wanting to retire at the age of 24.
“That hurts me a lot, it’s another thing I have to carry.”
Regarding Mourinho’s comment on the Amazon doc, Dele said: “That ‘lazy’ comment, people love to bring it up, that interview is obviously on Amazon. He called me lazy – it was day after day of recovery.
“A week later, he apologized for calling me lazy because he watched me practice and compete for real.
“But that wasn’t in the documentary, and no one spoke up about it because it was just him and me.
“During the team meeting he called me lazy but then, in person, I think it was on the pitch, he apologized for that. I didn’t think about it at the time because I knew myself – I’m not lazy.
“But then, I think people definitely tried to use it for some other decision.
“I think other coaches, maybe, for other reasons why I don’t play, they stick with that – a lazy excuse – because it’s an easy thing to use and a problem. There’s probably more to it than that, I think. .”