Deli Ali, a former England national team member who was a close colleague of Son Heung-min during Tottenham, carefully brought up memories of his dark childhood when he experienced sexual abuse, smoking and drugs.

British public broadcaster BBC said, “Ali revealed the pain she had been abused until she was adopted at the age of 12 in an interview with Gary Neville.”

Ali’s interview, which was released on the YouTube channel “The Overlap,” is shocking.

Even Neville, a former defender of the English national soccer team who conducted the interview and who was active at Manchester United, said on his Twitter account, “It was difficult to say what to say. It was the most emotional and difficult conversation in my life, but it was an inspired conversation.”

Ali, who recently revealed in the United States that he had been rehabilitated for six weeks for sleeping pill addiction and mental health problems, said he had ” gone through a lot that I would never understand when I was young.”

Born in 1996 in Milton Keynes, England, to a Nigerian father and an English mother, Ali moved to Nigeria at the age of nine and lived with her father for two years, then moved back to England to spend time with her mother suffering from alcoholism.

Ali said, “My mother was an alcoholic. He was sent to Nigeria, where his father is, and then returned, he said, “I was sexually harassed at the age of six, and I learned to smoke at the age of seven.” I’ve been dealing in drugs since I was eight. An old man said he wouldn’t touch a kid on a bicycle, so he put drugs under a soccer ball,” he confessed.

“I was adopted when I was 12 years old,” he said. “I haven’t contacted my biological parents. “In 2018, I felt a great betrayal and disappointment after my biological parents told my adoptive parents that they were using me,” he added.

Having grown into a footballer in tough conditions, Ali made his professional debut for MK Dons in 2012, and he came to prominence when he joined Tottenham in February 2015.

Ali also had the pleasure of joining England for the first time in October 2015.

However, Ali, who was heading to his prime, began to suffer from mental illness.

Ali said, “Unknowingly, I began to act to get rid of my feelings. That’s why I’m addicted to sleeping pills,” he explained.

Ali, whose skills gradually declined due to a fierce battle with him, gradually lost his position in Tottenham, moved to Everton in January 2022 and was loaned to Besiktas, Turkey, in August last year.

Ali returned to Everton in April after completing his Besiktas loan.

“After returning from Besiktas, I knew that I was mentally in such a bad condition that I needed treatment,” Ali said. “I decided to go to a rehabilitation facility for mental health and trauma treatment as well as sleeping pills addiction.”

“I woke up every morning, went to the game, and smiled while training, but I was definitely losing the fight against me,” he said. “I was relying too much on things that made me bad. “It’s time to change that situation,” he stressed.

Ali’s interview was followed by support from his colleagues who had been working together in Tottenham.

Son Heung-min left a message on SNS saying, “Your courageous words will help many people,” adding, “I’m proud of you.”

Harry Kane also cheered Ali on social media, saying, “I’m proud to have told and shared my experience honestly to help others.”


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