The striker's hat-trick against Maribor not only led the Lilywhites to Europa League victory but elevated the 30 year-old above the Spurs legend in the scoring charts
The 30-year-old scored a hat-trick that took him to 126 goals for Spurs in the 3-1 win over Maribor at White Hart Lane on Thursday, and moved the Lilywhites up to second in Group J with two games remaining.
|22/1||Jermain Defoe is 22/1 with PaddyPower to score two or more goals against Manchester City
"Obviously as a forward you get judged on scoring goals," Defoe told ITV. "It is always the best feeling in the world. For me that is special on a personal note because Teddy is a player I used to watch as a kid, he was a fantastic player and a great goalscorer for club and country so I'm happy with that."
Despite missing out on Roy Hodgson's England squad, Defoe flourished in Andre Villas-Boas' 4-4-2 formation, and said that the Spurs manager's change in tactics was a step forward from recent weeks.
"Yeah I think it was a lot better," Defoe added. "We pressed high from the minute go and the tempo was good. The movement was good, we kept the ball better and I'm sure everyone is delighted.
"It was important that we won the game tonight. It was important that we bounced back from the result at the weekend and I was delighted."
Defoe's goals came courtesy of two assists from Gareth Bale. Despite the change of formation providing the victory, the Welshman wasn't convinced it was the tactical change which was solely responsible for their win.
"I'm not too sure to be honest [if the formation helped Spurs tonight]," said Bale.
"We needed to bounce back from the weekend result and we certainly did that."
|"Everybody wants to be playing in the Champions League. We were unfortunate not to get there last season"
- Gareth Bale
Spurs missed out on the Champions League last season despite finishing fourth in the Premier League after Chelsea's historic win in Munich in May. But despite being downhearted by having to appear in the Europa League, Bale says that the team are fully focused and want to win the competition.
"I think everybody wants to be playing in the Champions League," Bale added. "Obviously we were unfortunate not to get in there last season but this is the next best thing. We've all put 100 per cent in every game we have played, we have taken the competition seriously and hopefully we can win this one."