Kane believes he is ready to succeed Wayne Rooney as England’s long-term captain. PHOTO: Ian KINGTON / AFP
He has established himself as the most lethal finisher in the Premier League and now Tottenham Hotspur striker Harry Kane has set his sights on winning the Ballon d’Or.
Kane, 23, has won the Premier League Golden Boot for the past two seasons and is the first Spurs player since Jimmy Greaves to have scored 20+ top-flight goals in three successive campaigns.
He knows that he is a long way from surpassing Cristiano Ronaldo and Lionel Messi as the world’s stand-out player, but says success with Spurs and England can set him on their tails.
“Who wouldn’t want to win that big gold trophy? It’s definitely something I aspire to do,” Kane told reporters at England’s St George’s Park training base this week.
“You have to win the big tournaments, for club and country. Ronaldo won the Euro and the Champions League and that’s part of the reason why most of the time he wins it. Messi’s a similar situation.
“To do that, it isn’t just individual. It’s part of a team thing as well, winning team trophies. That’s hopefully what we can do at Tottenham. And for sure I’d love to win that trophy one day.”
Seven goals in his last two games allowed Kane to finish the 2016-17 season with 35 goals in all competitions, following hauls of 31 and 28 in the two previous campaigns.
But his first international tournament ended in humiliation last year as England were dumped out of Euro 2016 by minnows Iceland in the last 16.
England are well placed to qualify for next year’s World Cup in Russia and if they get there, Kane knows he must deliver.
“You always get judged on the big games and the big moments,” he said.
“You see the world’s best do it every time they seem to get those occasions. First and foremost, we’ve got to get there as a team.
“But as a player, you want to prove to the world you’re as good as anyone else. I’m no different.
“I want to prove to everyone here and everyone across the world that I’m one of the best strikers out there.”
– Hat-trick aim –
He added: “I want to be classed in that (world-class) bracket, but I know I’m not there yet.”
Kane also believes he is ready to succeed Wayne Rooney as England’s long-term captain.
England manager Gareth Southgate has eased Manchester United forward Rooney, 31, out of the picture and says he will decide who captains his side on a match-by-match basis.
He has praised Kane’s “leadership qualities” and despite his relatively tender years, the Spurs hotshot says he is ready to carry the responsibility that comes with the armband.
Asked if he thought it might be too soon for him to take on the captaincy, Kane replied: “For me personally, I don’t think so. I’ve been captain for Spurs a few times.
“Any player growing up as a footballer dreams of being England captain one day and I am no different.”
Injuries mean Kane has not played for England since the 1-0 win in Slovakia last September that was to prove the one and only game of Sam Allardyce’s ill-fated reign as manager.
Having sat out England’s last six games, he is due to make his first appearance under Southgate in Saturday’s World Cup qualifier against Scotland in Glasgow.
With five goals in 17 games, his international scoring record does not stand comparison with his exploits in front of goal for Spurs and he is desperate to improve it.
“If I score maybe a hat-trick at the weekend and a couple in the next game (against France on Tuesday), the ratio might not look so bad,” he said.
“As a striker, you can always change that. Five in 17 isn’t a terrible record, but it’s something I want to improve. Hopefully that can start at the weekend.”