Dele Alli says he considered retirement from football at the age of just 24 during Jose Mourinho’s spell as Tottenham manager
Dele responded to THAT clip from the Amazon documentary where Mourinho called him f****** lazy in front of cameras, but said the manager quickly apologised – which wasn’t shown on the show.
But he says he experienced a low point when the Portuguese boss stopped selecting him for Spurs.
“Probably the saddest moment for me, was when Mourinho was manager, I think I was 24,” he told Gary Neville.
“I remember there was one session, like one morning I woke up and I had to go to training – this is when he’d stopped playing me – and I was in a bad place.
“I remember just looking in the mirror – I mean it sounds dramatic but I was literally staring in the mirror – and I was asking if I could retire now, at 24, doing the thing I love.
“For me, that was heartbreaking to even have had that thought at 24, to want to retire.
“That hurt me a lot, that was another thing that I had to carry.”
About Mourinho’s comments on the Amazon doc, Dele said: “That ‘lazy’ comment, people love to bring that up, that interview obviously was on Amazon. He called me lazy – that was the day after recovery day.
“A week later, he apologised for me for calling me lazy because he’d seen me actually train and play.
“But that wasn’t in the documentary, and no one spoke up about that because it was only me and him.
“In the team meeting, he called me lazy but then one-on-one, I think it was on the pitch, he apologised for it. I didn’t think anything of it at the time because I know myself – I’m not lazy.
“But after that, I think people definitely tried to use that, for some other decisions.
“I think other coaches, maybe, for other reasons why I wasn’t playing, they stuck to that – lazy one – because it was kind of an easy, easy one to use, and the problem was probably more than that, I think.”