Dele Alli caps a storybook rise with Real Madrid brace

Alli, as a schoolboy, is pictured on the Ring of Steel in Stadium MK
Alli, as a schoolboy, is pictured on the Ring of Steel in Stadium MK

Five years ago today, a boy from Milton Keynes made his professional football debut. This morning, Dele Alli wakes up having scored two goals against Real Madrid at Wembley.

His debut came in a turgid 0-0 away at Cambridge City, coming on after 64 minutes to replace Jay O'Shea. But his first touch was a back-heel, drawing a wry smile from his manager Karl Robinson - the man who waxed lyrical about the youngster long before he eventually gave him the nod at the age of 16.

Five years on, Alli is a fully fledged England international. He has racked up more appearances now for Tottenham than he made at MK Dons, finishing in the top three in the Premier League in both of his two seasons in the top flight. He has played in the European Championships for England, an FA Cup semi final with Spurs and netted 39 goals for his side along the way.

And the latest two for his collection came in a remarkable night at Wembley Stadium - Tottenham's temporary home - against the champions of Europe Real Madrid as Spurs romped to a 3-1 victory.

Speaking afterwards, he said: "I've got a lot of people to thank. Growing up, these are the occasions you want to play in. I'm delighted and really happy to get two goals."

Fitting, then, that on the eve the anniversary of his debut, Alli played the leading role in handing Real Madrid their first Champions League group stage defeat since... before he had even kicked a ball professionally.

Dele Alli

Dele Alli