Harry Kane chasing Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo records after September return to form

England striker has eight goals this month already and said after another brilliant performance at West Ham that he is aiming to pursue the goalscoring records of the best players in the world 

Jack Pitt-Brooke
Tuesday 26 September 2017 09:56
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Harry Kane knows what he has achieved already in football, and knows where he is heading. Like all players he is bombarded with information, about how many goals he has scored and how that measures up against the world’s best, not least Cristiano Ronaldo and Lionel Messi.

Plenty of players would shy away from all that, the comparisons, the pressure and the race with two of the greatest players ever. But Kane has chosen to embrace it. He wants to be the best player in the world, he wants to win the Ballon d’Or and he is relaxed about telling people. Not many English players like to talk about their ambition in those terms but Kane has always been clear-eyed in his pursuit of the top.

That is part of why he has done so much in his career already, scoring 82 Premier League goals already, at the age of just 24 years and 59 days.

Research by The Independent shows that only four players have scored more Premier League goals than him at the same age: Romelu Lukaku, Wayne Rooney, Robbie Fowler and Michael Owen. Given that Kane was never the precocious teenage athlete that Lukaku, Rooney and Owen were, in their own ways, that is testament to his learned technical mastery of finishing even in his early 20s.

Even this season Kane started slowly in August before exploding back into form in September. He has eight goals in six games this month, six of them for Tottenham, with another double at the London Stadium on Saturday afternoon. He is back to his best, or close enough, and it was in that confident post-match mood on Saturday that he said he is hoping to keep chasing the best with his goal tallies.

“With social media these days it’s difficult to stay away from it,” Kane said of his stats.

The striker has admitted he keeps a keen eye on his stats

“Everyone is tweeting this or that and you see it. Obviously I want to be one of the best players in the world. So people put it up, I see I am close to those players, and it is a great incentive to get closer and go to the next step.”

It is refreshing to hear an English player speak like this and Kane said he wants to keep pace with Messi and Ronaldo, as inaccessible as their records might look. “I use it, yes,” he said. “I want to be one of the best in the world. To do that you have to stay up with the best. I want to score goals and maintain my form. That is what it is about, staying consistent at the top level.”

Kane has his own targets – although he wants to keep them to himself – but he said that his professional approach to the game means that he feels stronger and sharper than ever before. “I am growing up, getting older and more mature,” Kane said.

“I feel stronger, I am holding off defenders better than I was before, eating well and recovering well. That is what it is all about. A football career is a short career, so you have got to make the most of every week every day.”

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