Kane: I thrive on proving the doubters wrong

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The Spurs and England captain has revealed what drives him on after yet another prolific year in front of goal

Tottenham striker Harry Kane says a constant desire to prove people wrong is what drives him to become one of the best strikers in the world.

Kane has enjoyed another stellar year in front of goal, scoring 42 times in 63 appearances for club and country.

His goals have helped Tottenham progress through to the Carabao Cup semi-finals and the last 16 of the Champions League as well as launching a Premier League title bid.

Over the summer, the 25-year-old collected the Golden Boot as England reached the World Cup semi-finals, their best performance at the tournament since 1990.

Then, in November, Kane scored the winning goal as England beat Croatia to top their Nations League group and qualify for next year’s finals in Portugal.

Despite his fine year in front of goal, Kane still feels like has had to prove himself, something that stems from his relatively late development as a top level striker.

Kane had loan spells at Leyton Orient, Millwall, Norwich and Leicester before establishing himself in the Spurs side as a 21-year-old during the 2014-15 season.

“There are different paths for footballers,” Kane told the Telegraph. “Some are thrown in quite early and they have huge skill and huge talent and you can see that. Me? I had to do it by going out on loan, proving myself there, and then coming back and maybe having to sit on the bench, waiting for my opportunity to prove that I was capable at this level.

“My whole career I have had to prove people wrong and almost play with a chip on my shoulder. That motivation is just something that’s been inside me, instilled in me: whether it is proving managers or friends or family or fans that I can do this. It’s something that brings the best out of me.

“I am someone whose dreams go right to the highest level, who wants to go to the highest level, be at the highest level. I’d rather do that and fall short than set my ambitions lower. I will do everything to be one of the best ever. That’s the mind-set you need.”

Reflecting on England’s performance at Russia, Kane admits their heart-breaking semi-final defeat to Croatia still hurts.

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Despite that disappointment, the team reconnected with the English public in a way not seen since Euro 96 and the Three Lions skipper is confident the best is yet to come.

“It hurts. It still hurts. It hurts right now talking about it," he added. "We want to use that, though, to turn it around in two years time [at Euro 2020], in four years time [at the 2022 World Cup]. But I’m not going to lie – it will stay with us for the rest of our careers. The only thing we can do though is to try and get back there and do it right next time.

"It’s an experience I will never, ever, ever forget and neither will the fans or the media, either. Hopefully it’s not the best tournament we have in the next 20 years. Hopefully there is more to come. I really think we can do that.” 

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