Harry Kane: I’ll challenge Ronaldo and Messi as the world’s best

Harry Kane is setting his sights on challenging Cristiano Ronaldo and Lionel Messi for the title of best player on the planet.

Harry Kane got his World Cup off to a flyer, scoring a late winner to get England off a good start in Russia.

Kane strengthened his status as England’s leading light with both goals in Monday’s World Cup opener against Tunisia but is hungry for even more.

Prior to the match, he lightheartedly targeted a hat-trick to equal Ronaldo’s treble against Spain, but it is increasingly clear there is nothing frivolous about his desire to compete with two men who have dominated the sport for a decade.

Nobody else has won the prestigious Ballon d’Or in the past 10 years but that is the level Kane is shooting for.

To be the best player in the world you have to aim high, you can’t aim low,” he said.

“I want to prove myself at a major tournament, I want to be up there with the best in the world and the only way to do that is to perform on the big stage and in the big moments.

“I had to prove people wrong throughout my career and I love proving to myself that I can do it. Ronaldo is the best in the world, up there with Messi, but the challenge is there to be with them.

“Put no limits on yourself, nobody should. I have been itching to get out there and showcase myself on the big stage.”

Nobody is more appreciative of Kane’s skills than manager Gareth Southgate, who awarded him the honour of captaining the side in Russia and set him up as a role model for all others to follow.

Yet Southgate shows the same ambitious streak as the Tottenham man, declining to unequivocally label Kane world class.

Invited to do so in the aftermath of his decisive turn in Volgograd, where England were 2-1 winners, Southgate instead indicated his own desire to keep demanding more.

I’m going to keep challenging him on that because I’m always a little uncertain as to what that title means and what you need to do to really gain it,” said Southgate.

“But Harry’s a player we are privileged to have and I’m delighted to have him as my captain.”

Kane’s relationship with Southgate may be going from strength to strength but the 24-year-old striker revealed his bond with Spurs boss Mauricio Pochettino is hitting new colourful new heights too.

“Poch texted me (before the game) and after as well — he sent a lot of love hearts and said ‘Come on England’,” said Kane.

“He is rooting for me. He is not just my boss, he’s my mate… he’s the manager, but he’s a friend as well.”

Meanwhile, Marcus Rashford believes the implementation of video assistant referees will be great for the game once the issues that threatened to derail England’s World Cup opener are ironed out.

Southgate felt his side were wrongly denied penalties on Monday and Rashford hopes for some quick improvements to a system the forward welcomes.

“The idea of bringing it into the game is spot on,” he said.

“It will improve with time because there are some decisions — like the ones you said — where they have to at least check whether or not it’s a penalty.

“That’s down to them to decide but at least they should check those. I’m sure it’s something they can improve on.

“We’ve not talked about last night specifically, but we’ve had conversations about it previously.

“It’s a tough one because I think it’s something that the game definitely needed. As with everything it needs improving and I think it will improve in time.”


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