'My team is Royal Challengers Bangalore; I hope RCB does well,' says Tottenham Hotspur's striker Harry Kane
The Tottenham Hotspur striker talks about his inspiration, his admiration for Virat Kohli, and his career
Tottenham Hotspur's striker Harry Kane is in the eye of the storm at the moment. Kane, who took a trip to the US to catch The Masters, in the middle of the season is being blamed by experts and fans for the Spurs’ 1-0 loss to Brighton & Hove Albion in their recent Premier League clash. However, he can also be credited with the great run the currently fourth-placed side has been having this season. In an exclusive exchange, the 28-year-old footballer who has taken home three Premier League Golden Boots in his career so far talks about his career, his favourite IPL team and more.
Who inspired you to become a footballer?
My family, my dad and my brothers. They used to go to a park to play football and I would accompany them. I was inspired by them first. But I was a huge David Beckham fan and I watched him play for England when I was growing up and later he became the captain. So he is my role model and a person I look up to.
How often do you play cricket at the gym? Does Sonny (Son Heung-min) bat or bowl?
Sonny isn’t great. We’ve been trying to teach him how to bowl but yeah he’s still learning. Since the new manager has come in we haven’t really played. Otherwise, we have been playing for a year and a half once or twice a week. We enjoyed that. The IPL is on at the moment, so we’re enjoying watching that as well.
Which IPL team is your favourite?
My team is Royal Challengers Bangalore. I have been lucky enough to meet Virat Kohli a few times and have even spoken with him. So I kind of picked the team to watch him. Obviously, they picked up some good players. They were unlucky last year but they did the right things this year. They have started well. There are some great teams in the IPL and I just like watching all of them. But to be honest, I hope RCB does well. How did you strike a friendship with Virat? It must have been about six years ago. I expressed my admiration for Virat in one of the games he played. Then he contacted me on Twitter and after that, we kind of started talking on social media and exchanged numbers. He was down in London for a series. We managed to catch up and meet. I mean we don’t talk often. Every now and then we text each other and keep in touch. Obviously, we both have pretty busy schedules. But it’s great to have him as a friend. I would love to travel to India one day and hopefully, he will show me around.
Who is your all-time favourite English footballer?
All-time favourite English footballer has to be David Beckham. But I also like Teddy Sheringham, I loved the way he played. I am also a big fan of Wayne Rooney and I was lucky enough to play with him. He was a great guy and a great captain to be under. These three stick out to me the most, but obviously I enjoy watching others play as well. What is the best piece of advice you would give someone who wants to be like you? I say this to a lot of young boys and girls... it’s just hard work and self-belief. These are the most important factors that have got me to where I am now. If you don’t believe in yourself at an early age, you can’t really expect any manager or coaches or teams to believe in you. With self-belief you can achieve what you want to achieve. Then, work as hard as you can.
What advice would 28-year-old Harry Kane give to his younger self?
I guess to be patient. When you are coming through the ranks and coming from the academy, you have to be patient sometimes. When you are watching the game, when you are just 16, you may think that you can be out there. But you have to take your time and gain experience and learn different parts of the game. I have done that and it felt like I was on loan. Although some of the loans were good and some of the loans were bad, I feel all that gave me a good experience to get me to where I am now. When you are young you just want to have the end product and just be there playing in the first team. But you need to have patience and wait for the right moment and then be ready to take it.
Who would win a boxing match between you and Eric Dier?
Obviously Eric. He is a big lad, he’s a bit taller than me and a bit heavier too but I’ll fancy my chances and will never back down. We have to get on the sparring gloves one day and maybe give it a go.
If you were not a footballer, what would you have become?
I’ve been asked this question a lot and I guess I would have tried to do another sport... something like golf. But if it wasn’t sports-related, I would have done some sort of service... maybe become a fireman or in the marines or something like that. I feel like I would work well with a team of firemen so that would have been appealing too I guess. Would you rather win the World Cup, the Premier League or the Champions League? That is a tough choice. I’ll have to say the World Cup. It is the biggest tournament for a professional footballer. And to win the trophy with England would be truly incredible.
How do you keep yourself motivated during hard times?
I’m lucky enough to have good friends and my family around me. I have my wife and three children and I’m close to my brother and parents. This keeps me grounded. I know that in our profession there are going to be ups and downs, and there will be times when things won’t go my way. But I just try to stay grounded and enjoy the moment. I have lots of goals that I want to achieve and things I want to do in my career and I still have to work towards them.
What do you think about India and when do you plan to visit India?
I would love to visit as soon as possible. Obviously, we don’t get a lot of time throughout the year but I would like to come out and watch an IPL game or a Test match series. Matt Doherty and I were talking about how in about 10 years when our careers are coming to an end, we will get a bit of time and can do a little trip there. But of course, you never know... we might come out there as a team one summer. I would love to come out and experience the culture out there.
Who is the toughest defender you have come up against?
I’ve been lucky enough to play against some great defenders like John Terry, (Giorgio) Chiellini and (Sergio) Ramos. Now we’ve got Van Dijk who’s a fantastic defender. So we have a lot of tough defenders and I like challenging myself against the best.
Breaking Alan Shearer’s Premier League record or winning the Ballon d’Or? Which one would you choose?
I probably would go for the Ballon d’Or and would like to be recognised as the best player in the world that year. It would be a remarkable achievement and it obviously means you’ve won some trophies as well and done pretty well as a team. I’ll probably go with this but I wouldn’t mind breaking Shearer’s record either.
What is the secret behind the dangerous Son and Kane partnership?
It’s no secret. I think it’s just hard work, and good understanding. You know we’ve been working with each other for a long time. So we get along really well and I think our games just complement each other. It’s pretty hard to stop when we both are playing well. I hope that we continue and the main thing is that we get on really well off the pitch as well.
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