Credit: Instagram

Credit: Instagram

Dele Alli has received an outpouring of support from his former teammates, fans, and fellow professionals after opening up on his mental health struggles and childhood trauma in an emotional interview with Gary Neville on The Overlap podcast.

The Everton midfielder, who spent last season on loan at Turkish side Besiktas, revealed he was sexually abused as a six-year-old by a friend of his biological mother, started smoking at seven and selling drugs at eight, and was sent to Africa to live with his biological father for six months to "learn discipline".

The 27-year-old said he had just returned from six weeks in rehab to treat an addiction to sleeping pills, which he used to "escape from reality" and cope with the pressure of being a professional footballer. He said he decided to speak out to help other people battling similar demons and to get things off his chest.

The interview, which was released on Wednesday, July 13 left Neville in tears and moved many viewers who praised Dele for his bravery and honesty. Among them were his former Spurs teammates Heung Min Son and Harry Kane, who sent him heartfelt messages on social media.

Son posted a story that had a collage of the duo celebrating together and the caption, “Your brave words will help so many people. Proud of you mate!”

Kane tweeted, "Proud of @dele_official for speaking out and sharing his experience to try and help others."

The attacking midfielder’s former coach Mauricio Pochettino under whom Ali was at his best also sent his support as he posted a story that had the coach and Ali with a blue heart emoji.

The 27-year-old is currently at Everton and the club itself posted a statement in full support of their player. The statement read, “The Club has been supporting Dele in both his return to fitness and overcoming the personal challenges highlighted in his interview with The Overlap. Everyone at Everton respects and applauds Dele’s bravery to speak about the difficulties he has faced, as well as seek the help required.”

It also highlighted the importance of mental health and informed the fans that Ali will not be conducting any future interviews while he recovers from his injury.

Kyle Walkers-Peters who currently plays at Southampton and was one of Ali’s teammates at Spurs also tweeted in support, "An emotional watch, well-done  @dele_official. I'm sure this wasn't an easy conversation to have. Your courage to share your story could help so many people who see this video. Proud of you brother"

Other footballers who showed their support included Marcus Rashford, Harry Maguire, James Maddison, Donny Van De Bekk, Ben Chilwell, and Declan Rice who commented on Ali’s Instagram post about the interview.

Ali will continue his recovery at Everton as he returned to the club following a hip injury while playing for Besiktas. The midfielder will now look to start anew after a disastrous loan spell in Turkey which saw him make just 15 appearances for Besiktas while scoring just two goals and getting one assist.