The Tottenham striker Jermain Defoe has revealed his determination to play in the Champions League and believes winning the Golden Boot this season will help his side qualify for Europe's top club competition.
The 27-year-old leads the scoring charts after his five goals in the 9-1 demolition of Wigan on Sunday, taking his Premier League tally to 11 and moving Spurs back into the top four.
The England manager Fabio Capello has warmed to Defoe so a ticket to the World Cup next year looks increasingly likely – and by that time he hopes to be preparing to face the best at club level too. "I'd like the Golden Boot as it would be my first," Defoe said. "I'd like (Tottenham) to finish fourth, it would be fantastic for the club. I always watch football and I always watch Champions League games. It's a competition where you're playing against the best. I'd be playing against the best defenders in the world in a great competition."
With Defoe, Robbie Keane and Peter Crouch providing the goals for manager Harry Redknapp, there is genuine hope at White Hart Lane of staying in the top four.
"In my first season here I got 22," Defoe said. "I just want to keep doing it. It's good for the club if I score goals because it means we are winning games. It's the World Cup year and that is at the back of your mind but it's important to focus on your club, keep your head down and give yourself the best opportunity to get on the plane. That is all I can do."
Defoe was injured in the summer and used the time to strengthen his upper-body. He has also been studying footage of former strikers such as Alan Shearer and Andy Cole in a bid to improve. "I always do my finishing after training so when I get in that situation on match day I'm familiar with it and can take the chance," Defoe said.
"Every day for about 20 minutes a few of the boys stay behind with [striking coaches] Les Ferdinand and Clive Allen. "I've spoken to Ian Wright and he tells me that no matter how many you score, always try to get another right until the final whistle."