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Dier does it for England

Former Algarve schoolboy Eric Dier was the toast of England football fans when he popped up to head home the stoppage time winner against old rivals Germany last weekend.

Born in Cheltenham, Gloucestershire, Dier moved to Portugal as a seven-year-old when his mother Louise was offered a job running the hospitality programme at the 2004 European Championships. The family later moved to Lisbon where the young Dier was spotted by the world famous Sporting Lisbon Academy that has nurtured such talent as Cristiano Ronaldo, Nani and Luis Figo.

Eric made his debut for the Sporting first team in November 2012 in the 1-0 home win over SC Braga and less than two years later he had been snapped up by Tottenham Hotspur on a five-year contract.

After Dier’s mature midfield holding role for England against the world champions, the €5.5 million transfer fee Spurs paid Sporting must be the bargain of the decade.

Dier, whose grandfather was Ted Croker, former secretary of the English Football Association, had been approached by the Portuguese Football Federation to play for Portugal but fortunately for England he decided that his future lay with his native country.

Last September, Tottenham Hotspur boss Mauricio Pochettino revealed that he had high hopes for Eric Dier’s development. But even he could not have imagined the impact the young midfielder and his other three Spurs colleagues would have on the nation as England came from two goals down to clinch a 3-2 victory in Berlin.

Portugal had a disappointing single goal defeat against Bulgaria in Leiria where Cristiano Ronaldo missed a penalty and the team wasted some 30 efforts on goal!