Tottenham Hotspur’s striker Harry Kane will make his World Cup debut tonight when England take on Tunisia, and on the eve of the game the 24-year-old has been reflecting on his remarkable rise from bit part player at club level to England captain.
Although Kane has established himself as the Premier League’s best out-and-out number nine in recent seasons, it was only a few years ago that most people were predicting that he was not even good enough to warrant a regular starting berth at White Hart Lane.
He has proved all his doubters wrong over the last few campaigns however, winning the Golden Boot in two of the last three seasons, with the talented frontman crediting much of his success to a combination of hard work and the influence of his manager at Spurs, Mauricio Pochettino.
“Four years ago, I was watching it (the World Cup) on holiday,” said Kane.
“I played the last six or seven games of the Premier League season under Tim Sherwood and then Mauricio Pochettino came in that summer.
“He got me fit, in better shape and more powerful. I kicked on from there with a lot of hard work and determination, there were players ahead of me at the time.
“I had to work hard on the training pitch and take the opportunities when they came. The last few years I’ve proved myself and now I’m here and I can’t wait to get out there and show the world what I’ve got.”
Kane has admitted that he is proud that Gareth Southgate selected him to lead his young Three Lions squad at the World Cup, but also insists that the captaincy has not changed how he interacts with his team-mates.
“I’m enjoying it for sure. I’m still the same person and team-mate, but I’ve been scoring a few more goals in training, perhaps,” he said.
“I’m proud to be England captain and excited to get going now. Hopefully I’ll continue scoring more goals into this World Cup, for sure.”