1883 Magazine

At only 22, Dele Alli has already accomplished more than most have in their entire career. Alli has been crowned PFA Player of the Year twice, is considered one of the best midfielders of his generation, and was picked as one of star players for England at the 2018 FIFA World Cup, reaching the semi-final for the first time since 1990.

His dreams of playing for a Premier League club began as a child and finally came true in 2015 when at 18 he signed with the Premier League club Tottenham Hotspurs.
With his career on the rise, Alli has still made sure he’s kept both feet firmly on the ground by involving himself with charity initiatives such as Stand Up To Cancer and Rays of Sunshine, a way of giving back to children, and giving them a chance to meet their footballing hero.
1883 magazine spoke to Alli about his flourishing football career, playing for England, the importance of using his platform to help others, and his newest venture: his debut fashion line Leo Fortis, a collection of caps uniquely designed by the Spurs star himself.

You have already had some major triumphs in your career—from your transfer to Tottenham and becoming an integral staple in the starting XI, to getting awarded PFA Young Player of the Year twice, and most recently, being selected to the England squad for the 2018 FIFA World Cup. Does it feel like everything you trained for and dreamed about in your youth has happened?

It’s obviously a dream come true to represent my country and play for such an amazing football club, but I’m always wanting and dreaming for more. This is just the start and I’ve still got a lot of improving to do. I want to be the best player I can be and win as many trophies as possible.

What advice would you give to kids looking to achieve their dreams, especially dreams that are similar to yours?

Work as hard as possible, never give up and be confident. It’s very simple advice but I think it’s the same in anything you do; if you work harder than everyone around you and believe in yourself, you’ll be successful.

You were part of the England that reached their first World Cup semi-final for 28 years. With such a young squad, how do you see the team working together in World Cups and tournaments in the future?

We have a very talented young squad and a great manager so we’ve got huge potential. We all enjoy playing football the right way and the manager believes in that, too. I think if we can keep a good team moral and everyone believes in what the manager is trying to do, we’ll have a real chance in future tournaments.

What would be considered success for you while wearing an England kit?

Obviously winning any game is considered a success but the real success and goal is to win tournaments.

You’ve just recently signed a six-year contract with Tottenham Hotspur which will last until 2024. Your relationship with the club began when you were only 18 and now will continue into your late twenties. Did you always see yourself staying with one club for a long period of time?

You can never predict what the future will hold but at this moment in time, I’m committed and very happy at Spurs.

In the past you’ve worked with charities like Rays of Sunshine and have just recently been involved with initiatives like Stand Up to Cancer. Even just last week you surprised a young fan at Noah’s Ark Hospice. How important is it to you to make time to work with charities and to meet young fans?

It’s very important to me, it’s hard at my age to understand every situation but I love helping others whenever I can, and I have met some really amazing, inspiring young people.

People love your style and fashion choices, with fashion websites and publications giving advice and tips on ‘How To Dress like Dele Alli’ and brands like boohooMAN wanting to partner with you because of your iconic style. What are some of your best fashion tips for our readers?

I think to be confident with whatever you wear and be your own inspiration! I don’t think anyone should ever feel like they have to be any particular style or have to wear any particular brands. It is good to mix things to create your own style. Oh, and wear a Leo Fortis cap!

What are your quintessential wardrobe staples?

Amiri jeans fit perfect and are very comfortable. They also look great.

You have just launched your first cap range called LEO FORTIS. Can you tell us what inspired you to want to release and design a range of caps and how this new project came to be?

Leo Fortis originated from me always wanting to find a cap that fitted my head perfectly and me having an interest in fashion. I’m lucky to have a full team of people around me to deal with logistics so I can still 100% focus on football. I’m excited to be able to share the caps with everyone.

What are some ‘Alli’ inspired traits or designs that we will see in the range of caps?

The main logo is a silhouette of a young boys head within a lion, the reasoning behind the logo is the connection with myself having to be brave and strong at a very young age.

From being a footballer to being involved with charity work and fashion, it is obvious that you wear many hats. Is there anything you haven’t done yet that you would really like to do?

Nothing at the moment! My main focus is playing football, I want to improve and win as many trophies as possible.

For more info on Leo Fortis follow @leofortis or visit www.leofortis.co.uk

Interview Kelsey Barnes

Photographer Joseph Sinclair

Stying Krishan Parmer 

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