Dele Alli has broken his silence after being booed by Besiktas fans and insisted he still loves the sport which he claims saved his life.
The 26-year-old, who is on loan at the Turkish side from Everton, was hauled off after just 28 minutes during a cup match on Wednesday.
Former Tottenham star Alli started the match, with Besiktas finding themselves 2-0 down to third-tier outfit Sanliurfaspor.
And boss Senol Gunes ruthlessly made the decision to substitute Alli, with supporters jeering him as he made his way off the pitch.
Gunes’ decision ultimately paid off, as the Super Lig side came back to win 4-2 to seal their place in the Round of 16.
Alli has since taken to social media where he has uploaded a cryptic Instagram post.
The 37-cap England international shared two images of him with a ball, as he insisted that football is the reason why he will never give up.
In an emotional caption, he said: “You saved my life. That’s why I will always love you.”
A number of footballers were quick to show their support, with Alex Iwobi, Nathan Redmond and Ryan Sessegnon all replying to Alli’s post.
Alli’s season-long loan in Istanbul was meant to help him rediscover his form that saw him win the PFA Young Player of the Year award in 2016 and 2017.
But he has scored just twice in 11 matches for the Black Eagles, with the player once again guilty of inconsistent performances.
Gunes declared at the start of November how Alli is playing ‘below expectations’ in his honest assessment of the former MK Dons man.
And last week, Besiktas chief Ceyhun Kazanci admitted that he has no idea on how to get the best out of Alli.
He remarked: “No-one can answer whether Dele Alli can do it right now.
“He is working very hard. He is a player who reached €100million (£87m) three years ago. He had a fall.”
Kazanci added: “Dele Alli is working intensively. We had intense talks with him before we signed him.
“Senol is famous for returning many players whose careers have been on the decline.
“We hope that he will be better in the second half of the season.”
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