No pain - No gain.
Teams: Tottenham - Croatia
England star Dele Alli has revealed he would love to get one over Luka Modric again in Wednesday’s World Cup semi-final, having left the Croatia captain red faced before he’d even made his competitive debut for Tottenham.
The Three Lions have got the nation believing again after reaching the World Cup semi-finals for the first time since 1990, with the country falling in love with Gareth Southgate and his band of likeable, down-to-earth and true-to-their-roots stars.
Newspapers have been strewn with stories about the meteoric rises of the likes of Harry Maguire, Jamie Vardy and even boss Southgate – who has gone from the man nobody wanted to the most popular England boss since Terry Venables.
But Alli, maybe due to his early injury and few rusty performances since, has flown under the radar.
Such is the Tottenham’s midfielder’s fame in the English game that you would be forgiven for forgetting he only made his Premier League debut three years ago.
The Ł5million signing from MK Dons took the top flight in his stride and quickly become a star for Spurs when he arrived in 2015.
But fans got a taste of his skill – and cheekiness – before he had even made a Premier League appearance when he was faced with taking on European champions Real Madrid in a pre-season friendly.
That didn’t seem to faze the then-19-year-old either, though – as Modric well knows, as Dele dinked a sly nutmeg between his legs.
And, ahead of Wednesday’s semi-final in Moscow, the England man recalled the incident which saw Modric brand him ‘a little bugger’.
“I remember it… he said something,” Alli recalled with a smile.
“I always enjoy a good nutmeg. I didn’t shout ‘megs’. I have never done that, even in training. Some people when they nutmeg someone, they call it, but it’s never been something I’ve done.”
Asked if a repeat performance was on the cards, he said: “Nutmeg him? Hopefully! But I’m not going to focus on that.”
2010/09: Dalmate, your vision is perfect. And your english when speaking is really good and makes me smile because you speak much better than English speakers when you discuss Football and things that you like.