Gerrard advices Alli to brace for tougher challenges

For England and Liverpool captain Steven Gerrard praised Dele Alli's performance against Germany and kept him to keep a cool head for the tough challenges ahead in the career of the 19-year old.

Gerrard on England midfielder Dele Alli: "Alli has earned all the praise coming his way, particularly after such a mature performance against Germany."

Former England captain Steven Gerrard has warned Dele Alli that his career will only get tougher after his breakthrough season. Alli, 19, has enjoyed an excellent campaign that has seen him become a Tottenham star and grow into a role for England.

But everything will only become more difficult from this point on, according to Gerrard. The former Liverpool skipper urged calm ahead of Euro 2016 and told Alli to enjoy the moment.

"If I could offer one piece of advice to Dele Alli and the England youngsters vying for a European Championship spot it's this: embrace the moment because now it's going to get really tough," Gerrard wrote for the Telegraph.

"The last thing I want to do is put a dampener on the enthusiasm for our prospects this summer - I was as excited as everyone by our performance against Germany [a 3-2 win] - but two assets most lacking in the build-up to a major tournament tend to be calmness and perspective."

'Mature performance'

Gerrard wrote that he has maintained an interest in Alli since the midfielder was at MK Dons in League One, prior to his Tottenham move last year. The 35-year-old LA Galaxy man believes Alli deserves all the plaudits he has received.

"Alli has earned all the praise coming his way, particularly after such a mature performance against Germany," Gerrard wrote. "What I would say to him - and this is something he might not realise until later in his career - is keep that mindset as long as you can because playing football is never more enjoyable or less stressful than when you first come to the fore.

"When you make an impact at an early age for club and country it feels like everything is going your way and the whole world is on your side. You wish this feeling could last your whole career."

Alli and title-chasing Tottenham face Gerrard's former club, Liverpool, at Anfield on Saturday.

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