Dele Alli: Tottenham training and life in lockdown

Tottenham forward sits down with Jamie Redknapp to give an insight into his life in isolation on The Football Show

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Tottenham’s Dele Alli talks to Jamie Redknapp about how he’s coping with life in lockdown and without his beloved football.

The indiscriminate nature of the coronavirus outbreak has ensured no one is exempt from the challenges facing the nation - not even footballers.

In the blink of an eye, players that once plied their trade in front of thousands of people have, like all of us, been forced into isolation and life in lockdown.

With routine forming the foundation upon which football careers are built, the adjustments have been both difficult and drastic.

Dele Alli even celebrated his birthday in isolation but, as he explains to The Football Show, routine in a different guise, and a touch of creativity, is proving key to coping.

"It's been difficult," the Tottenham forward tells Sky Sports. "This is the longest I've had off from the training ground and not training. I wouldn't say it's been a good break because it was unexpected. I've been missing playing, so I'm just trying to find ways to keep myself entertained and fit.

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"Being stuck at home on your birthday isn't the most ideal thing, but I made as much fun of it as I could. It was a little bit of fun, I tried to keep it light-hearted!

"We've been doing a zoom session every morning at 11 o'clock, which is good because it keeps us in a routine. You have to get up early, eat well and do those sessions, which have been tough but also good as you get to see the boys every day.

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"It's the whole team [on the call] and the support staff who take the session and everyone follows on the treadmill or using the gym equipment the club sent to our houses.

"No one has been in this situation before, it's tough for everyone to deal with, everyone is in the same boat. I think it is great that people are using social media and different platforms to find ways to try and help anyway they can.

"Whether it be entertaining people or helping people try and staff healthy with different workout routines, in this situation it's important to keep your health up and keep on a good track.

"As a more experienced player, I've been speaking to the younger lads and just making sure they are alright. Even for myself, speaking to other people and trying to make sure I'm not in my little bubble here and that I reach out and communicate with other people."

As a more experienced player, I’ve been speaking to the younger lads - I’ve been speaking to Troy [Parrott] a bit - and just making sure they are alright.
Dele Alli

Alli's team-mates at Spurs haven't been the only ones in receipt of support from the 24-year-old.

Lockdown presented an apt opportunity to support and promote a cause close to his heart, Magic Breakfast, a charity which provides healthy breakfasts to over 48,400 children in the UK every school day.

"As players we do a lot of things that maybe doesn't get publicised, I'm doing things to help other people that I wouldn't publicise myself," he adds.

"We're in a situation where we can help, be that through raising awareness by using our platforms. We know we are such role models and a lot of people look up to us, so we have to help as much as we can.

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Dele Alli discusses his work with Magic Breakfast, a charity close to his heart that was set up to provide school breakfasts to children in underprivileged areas.

"Magic Breakfast is an amazing charity, the work they are doing is amazing. Situations like this [have made me] realise how difficult it is for them to keep it up, so I wanted to help as much as I could with donations and trying to raise awareness about it.

"They are feeding kids, kids that are in schools and need it - it's something that I relied on when I was younger, free school meals - but they are taking that a step further. With so many kids not at school it's made their job a lot more difficult, but they are still helping the kids."

Footballers are lauded as heroes for their actions on the pitch but Alli was keen to stress charities such as Magic Breakfast and NHS frontline staff are the true heroes.

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Dele Alli talks to Jamie Redknapp about life in lockdown and staying in shape, his work supporting Magic Breakfast, a charity close to his heart, the highs and lows of the World Cup and Champions League final, and his top three Premier League goals.

Their tireless work during these unprecedented times have given him a renewed sense of appreciation and perspective.

"Everyone realises how much they are helping; we cannot thank them enough for their dedication and they deserve all the credit they are going to get," he says.

"It's a real eye-opener, not only for footballers but for everyone. We take everything for granted, even being able to leave the house, let alone going to training every day and doing something I love so much. I will always be grateful for it."

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