Harry Kane’s desire to become the best used to see him teased by Tottenham team-mates, says Sandro, with the striker branded “academy boy”.
As he emerged through the youth system in north London, a promising talent was eager to prove his worth to senior stars and coaching staff.
Sandro was dragged into that project, as Kane sought to test himself in training against international performers, but few expected him to make the impact he has at Spurs.
“Kane, I define in one word: ‘Worker’,” Brazilian midfielder Sandro, who spent four years at White Hart Lane, told ESPN Brasil.
“All he does is a matter of training and confidence. Since when he was young me and [former Spurs goalkeeper Heurelho] Gomes spoke of him: ‘Damn, the kid is impossible, is training very well’.
“He used to call me to mark him in training because he knew I gave everything in all the works. ‘Come, Sandro, mark me I will come up against you!’
“Sometimes the other players would look at each other and make banter: ‘Look Harry Kane... poor guy, he thinks he's going to play’. It was as if they wanted to say: ‘I'm going to play’ and he stays there just training.”
Kane had to be patient in his pursuit of first-team recognition at Tottenham, but he grabbed his chance with both hands once it finally arrived.
Tim Sherwood handed him his Premier League debut, but Mauricio Pochettino has been the manager to embrace his talents and allow them to flourish.
“There was a year he had a little more time with us, training with Andre Villas-Boas,” added Sandro.
“He was in the squad and he started to gain weight with the team, because he's very polite and everyone loved him.
“But he was seen only as ‘an academy boy’, so they did not give him much weight. Today even I understand, because to play for Tottenham you have to be ‘flying’. He was new, so they thought he needed to pick up experience in other places, so he would come and go.
“But then he started doing some cup games, like the Europa League, FA Cup, and he scored a few goals here and there, and I thought: ‘Cool, look at Kane scoring a goal’. He started to get more and more strength inside the group, and it was clear that the time was coming for him to explode.”
Since breaking into the Spurs team, Kane has gone on to net 134 goals in just 203 appearances – with a century of efforts reached in the Premier League .
He has two Golden Boots to his name, is in the process of chasing down a third and has sparked talk of interest from the likes of Real Madrid and Manchester United .
Sandro added on the 24-year-old England international: “I'm very happy for everything that happened to him, because he's a very humble and hard-working guy, he deserves to be at that level, because the status he reached was not something overnight.
“He came evolving each season and now he's on top of the world.”