Sunday 19 November 2017

Ballon d'Or spurs Kane to deliver goals on big stage

Spurs' Harry Kane. Photo: PA
Spurs' Harry Kane. Photo: PA

Simon Collings

Harry Kane wants to prove he is a world-class player by taking the Champions League by storm this season.

Kane has made no secret about his desire to win the Ballon d'Or as the world's best player and be considered alongside the likes of Cristiano Ronaldo and Lionel Messi.

He top-scored in the Premier League last season with 29 goals but knows he needs to perform in Europe to be placed among the elite players in the world.

On the eve of Tottenham Hotspur's opening Champions League game against Borussia Dortmund at Wembley tonight, Kane said: "I have said before, I want to break into that world-class bracket and to do that you have to play well in the Champions League.

"To be the best, you have to produce your best against the best. I have six group games to prove that by hopefully scoring as many goals as possible and performing well.

"I have scored two goals in three games in the Champions League, so hopefully I can continue scoring and just try to do my best. But the most important thing is to try to win the game. Hopefully we can get three points."

Hunger

Kane's hunger to ensure Tottenham get off to a winning start is shared by his manager Mauricio Pochettino, who has described the match with Dortmund as a "final".

Last season's Champions League campaign ended in misery for Spurs as they were eliminated at the group stages.

That was Tottenham's first time in the competition since Pochettino took charge in 2014 and that could have been offered as an explanation for their performance.

However, this time around Pochettino insists there can be no excuses and Tottenham must prove they deserve to be in the Champions League by navigating a tricky group which also includes Apoel Nicosia and Real Madrid.

"It's true that it's a competition that is tough," said Pochettino. "I think it's at the same level of the Premier League and with the amount of focus and energy [you need], it's massive.

"That experience (of last season) is important. We know what the competition demands. It was a very painful experience because we could not be at the level we should have been but it's not an excuse.

"We know that this will be very tough match. We need to be ready to compete at a higher level."

Spurs are handicapped by the unavailability of Dele Alli, who is banned for three group matches after being sent off in the final European game last season.

(© Daily Telegraph, London)

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