On Saturday, English midfielder, Dele Alli was booed by Nigerian fans every time he touched the ball or tried to pass the ball.
Reports later revealed that the Nigerian fans were angry at Alli for turning down the opportunity to represent Nigeria.
The likes of Alex Iwobi – who scored for Nigeria against England – and Victor Moses had switched allegiance from England to Nigeria and many had expected Alli to do the same but the talented lad chose to stick with England instead.
The Tottenham player, Bamidele Alli, was born in Milton Keynes, Bucks, in April 1996 just over a year after his parents first met in a nightclub.
His father, Kehinde Alli, a prince from Nigeria, was studying for a Masters at De Montfort University when he met Dele’s mum, Denise, a mother of two.
The couple’s relationship did not last as they broke up just three years after Dele was born.
UK Mirror records that in 2000, Kehinde moved to Canada for work, returning to the UK regularly to support Denise and all her children.
When Dele was eight, Kehinde moved back to his home city of Lagos and the young Dele joined his father in Lagos, Nigeria.
They lived in a 10-room mansion where Dele led a life of luxury, being waited on by three maids and attending a private £20,000-a-year international school.
Dele later moved with Kehinde to another mansion in Houston, Texas, and was best man at his dad’s wedding to Lola in 2006.
He returned to England aged 11 after his talent for football and obsession with the game became clear.
Kehinde is quoted by UK mirror as saying: “It was hard for me to let him go but I knew it was the best thing for him and his ambition.”
After returning to Milton Keynes to live with Denise, Dele began playing for junior side City Colts.
He was quickly spotted by youth scouts from the town’s Football League club MK Dons.
Dele has gone on to greater things after that, moving to Tottenham and establishing himself as a first team player. He has also cemented his place in the England squad.
The player has however cut all connections with his parents, with reports suggesting that the player felt he was abandoned by his parents
In despair, Denise went to try to talk to him outside Tottenham’s White Hart Lane stadium after a match there last year. But instead of stopping to speak to her he simply walked to his car.
Wiping away copious tears, Denise recalls: “I didn’t have a ticket for the game but I went to the ground because I wanted to try and see Dele.
“I waited outside after the match and when Dele came out I quietly said to him. ‘Dele… it’s me… your mum’.
“He didn’t stop. He just looked at me, said he was busy and drove off. I was in tears, it was heartbreaking.
“Some fans who had overheard asked if I was really his mum and why he was treating me like that. I told them, ‘I just don’t know’.”
“When I got home I had a call from a man who said he represented Dele. He accused me of shouting to Dele, which I didn’t, and said if I tried to do it again I’d be banned from the ground for life. It was horrible.”
Last August it emerged Dele would no longer wear Alli on the back of his shirt, as he said he felt “no connection” to the name.
Denise said: “When he was about 13 Dele began training at MK Dons five days a week. So for convenience he began staying at his best friend’s house during the week, before coming home at weekends. It was hard to let him live away from home, but we didn’t have a car and I was finding it hard to get him to training myself.
“It has been said that I was suffering from alcoholism and I gave him up because I couldn’t look after him, but that is a lie. I wanted to give him the best chance of achieving his dream, but he was still my son and I was there for him whenever he needed me.
“He was never adopted by his friend’s parents – I would not have allowed it. My kids are my world.”
And his father Kehinde, a multi-millionaire oil and gas entrepreneur, has said he is not interested in his son’s wealth rather he just wants to be close to his son.
He believes his son is being manipulated. Kehinde says:
“Up until he was an adult I paid for every holiday he ever went on and all his costs. I bought him his first car when he passed his driving test. Now he is turning his back on the family who love him.”
Kehinde adds: “I know some people will think we just want him for his money, but it couldn’t be further from the truth. I’m very wealthy in my own right and I don’t need a penny from Dele.
“I just want to be here for him and for him to know that I love him.”