Gerard Houllier: 'Dele Alli can be England's Zinedine Zidane'

Houllier: 'Alli can be England's Zidane'
© Getty Images
Former France boss Gerard Houllier believes that Dele Alli can have a similar impact at international level to the likes of Zinedine Zidane and Cristiano Ronaldo.

Former France manager Gerard Houllier has claimed that Dele Alli could be the player to inspire England to success at major tournaments in the future.

The 21-year-old Tottenham Hotspur midfielder has established himself as a key player for club and country over the past two seasons, scoring 22 goals in 50 appearances for Spurs last term and two in 18 caps for England since his 2015 debut.

Houllier believes that the youngster could prove to be a "special" player and tipped him to have a similar impact on his country's fortunes to the ones Zinedine Zidane, Cristiano Ronaldo and Diego Maradona have had in the past.

"To win something you need to have a good team with an outstanding player. France had Zidane when he was playing. We haven't won since he stopped. Portugal, who with all due respect, are a good-to-average side that work hard, is well-organised and has a good coach... and have Cristiano Ronaldo. That makes a difference," Houllier told The Express.

"For France, Dimitri Payet was not exceptional enough last summer. Maybe in future we will have Antoine Griezmann. Look at the teams that win. Argentina with Diego Maradona. Portugal with Ronaldo. France with Zidane... you need a player like that. Even the Champions League final, Juventus and Real Madrid. Who won? The team that had Ronaldo. It is a collective sport where the individual makes the difference.

"You need to have a top, top outstanding player and Alli can be that for England. He is still young, but he is something special. England are on the right track. They are developing proper coaches and proper players at some point it will pay off. But it will only pay off if they find that bright spark who makes it all happen."

Alli scored his first England goal against France in November 2015, and the two sides will face off again at the Stade de France this evening.

Tottenham Hotspur's Dele Alli following their 1-0 defeat to West Ham United on May 5, 2017
Read Next:
Alli: 'I will not change playing style'
>
You May Like
Recomended from Sports Mole



Tables
TeamPWDLFAGDPTS
1Manchester CityMan City1211104073334
2Manchester UnitedMan Utd128222762126
3Chelsea1281323101325
4Tottenham HotspurSpurs127232091123
5Liverpool126422417722
6Arsenal127142216622
7Burnley12642129322
8Watford125341921-218
9Brighton & Hove AlbionBrighton124441313016
10Huddersfield TownHuddersfield12435817-915
11Newcastle UnitedNewcastle124261114-314
12Leicester CityLeicester123451618-213
13Bournemouth124171114-313
14Southampton12345914-513
15Stoke CityStoke123451524-913
16Everton123361224-1212
17West Bromwich AlbionWest Brom12246918-910
18West Ham UnitedWest Ham122371125-149
19Swansea CitySwansea12228715-88
20Crystal Palace12129624-185
LIVE SCORES VIDEPRINTER
expand