Harry Kane reveals Maradona's influence as he enters goalscoring realms of Cristiano Ronaldo and Lionel Messi

The Argentine legend was at Wembley for Kane's man-of-the-match performance against Liverpool

Jack Austin
Monday 23 October 2017 11:40
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Maradona met Kane prior to the game
Maradona met Kane prior to the game

As Harry Kane stroked in his second goal on Sunday to condemn Liverpool to their worst defensive start to a season since 1964, he further added to the argument that he is one of the very best in the world at the moment, in front of someone who used to be the very best in the world in Diego Maradona.

The Argentine was a guest at Wembley with former manager Ossie Ardiles and met Kane, Mauricio Pochettino and the rest of the Tottenham squad before the demolition of Liverpool’s defence.

And while his English was not quite good enough to impart some words of motivation on Kane – not that he needs it with 13 goals in his last nine Spurs games in all competitions – the 24-year-old admitted he learned a lot from Maradona’s energy and enthusiasm.

“He’s a fantastic guy. I got to meet him before the game,” Kane said of Maradona, who once pulled on the Lilywhite jersey for Ardiles’ testimonial in 1986.

“Great energy, great guy. He is one of the best No10s ever so it was great for him to be here today. He didn’t speak much English, just speaking in Spanish so I didn’t really understand what he was saying but he was very energetic, he said some nice compliments not just to me but to the team and to the manager. It was great to be in the company of someone like that. What a player he was and I can only learn from someone like him.”

Kane’s second of the game was also his 45th goal of the calendar year in only 40 games, meaning his goal-to-games ratio for 2017 is better than that of both Maradona’s countryman Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo.

The Spurs academy graduate, who last week said he wanted to be a one-club man, has made no secret about his ambitions to become the best player in the world and, as he closes in on 50 goals for the year, admitted that emulating Messi and Ronaldo’s numbers are the best way to achieve that target.

Kane now has more goals in 2017 than Ronaldo but in fewer games

“That’s what I want to do,” Kane added. “I’ve told you before, at some stage I want to be the best player in the world and to do that you have to be up there with these players.

“They set the standards, Ronaldo and Messi, so for the rest of us it’s about trying to catch them and get up there. The numbers are good, but for me it’s more important to be winning these big games against big teams. We will see where we finish at the end of the year but it’s always my aim to be up there with the very best.

“50 would be nice. We will see. There are plenty of games to go, a lot of tough games coming up, so we will just see. I don’t like to think about it too much. We’ll see by the end of the year where I am but I feel good. As I’ve said before I feel confident. Scoring early in a game like that helps as well, so I just want to keep it going.”

And did meeting Maradona inspire him to emulate the World Cup winner in becoming the best on the planet?

“Exceptionally, he was such a down-to-earth, great guy. That’s what it’s about, meeting these people, just feeling their good positive vibes and using that in my game, taking it on the pitch, enjoying it out there, enjoying football, enjoying the big occasion, and just putting out your best.”

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