Now, the 22-year-old Tottenham star is set to shine at his first World Cup with England looking to bounce back and Alli's presence in midfield key to those hopes.
Alli's journey to the top started as an eager youngster at Heellands Rangers where he to had wear three pairs of socks to accommodate his unevenly sized feet.
Donning his precious adidas Predators, Alli quickly began to stand out with the football skills he learned on the street allowing him to race away on the football pitch.
A move to MK Dons' academy beckoned and it was there that he would go from street footballer to classy midfielder.
Three seasons of Premier League football later and he's more than ready to make his mark in Russia.
"The World Cup's another step, another opportunity to go make my mark and to play for my country," Alli said.
Check out Alli's incredible journey to Russia below in adidas Football's collaboration with Hypebeast.