Tottenham star Harry Kane has revealed the level of sacrifice he has made in his personal life in order to surpass the goalscoring exploits of Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo.
The striker scored 56 goals for club and country in 2017, placing him top of the charts for players at clubs in Europe’s top five leagues, one ahead of Barcelona ace Messi.
Kane’s form, if it continues in 2018, has seen him tipped as an outsider to become the first player to stop Messi or Ronaldo winning the Ballon d’Or since Kaka claimed the prize in 2007.
The 24-year-old admits he has given up a significant amount of his social life in order to sustain his level of performances and leave the rest of the continent in his wake.
“They’ve been such good players over the last ten years or so, and dominated football and rightly so,” Kane told ESPN of Messi and Ronaldo. “They’ll go down as two of the best ever players.
“To even be up there and beat them is something I’m proud of. For me, it’s about doing it every year. Not just beating them but winning as many trophies as they’ve won.
“I’ve sacrificed most of my time, especially with the schedule of games. You come in, you train, you play, you recover, you rest. That’s a footballer’s life. I don’t complain. It’s something I love doing.
“But you lose maybe the social part of your life. It’s a matter of opinion. Not every player does what I do. Some players may go out, go for meals – that kind of thing. From my point of view, to get the best out of myself, it’s about going home, resting, recovering, spending time with my family and do everything I can in that short period of time to achieve what I can.”
Spurs’ season has been somewhat mixed to date, with impressive Champions League wins over Borussia Dortmund and Real Madrid let down by inconsistent Premier League form, which sees them lie in fifth place.
However, Kane believes there is plenty to be optimistic about ahead of their move to their new stadium next season.
“From our point of view, it’s been a good season,” he said. “We’d have liked to have done better of course but [Manchester] City have run away with it so far. We have to focus on ourselves but we’ve changed stadium which has had a big impact on everything.
“We can’t get too down about how our season’s been so far. We’re still in the Champions League and the FA Cup.
“We’ve just got to focus on that and look forward to next year in the new stadium. It’s going to be amazing. The way it’s been designed, the atmosphere will be great. The crowd will be right on top of the pitch. Being brand new and creating that atmosphere will make it tough for teams to come and play there.”
Kane also dismissed suggestions City’s spectacular form this term is down solely to the money spent by Pep Guardiola during the previous transfer window.
“I don’t think so,” he added. “This year, City have deserved it. They’ve been the best team. But they spent similarly last year and it was us up there fighting with Chelsea [for the league title]. I don’t think it’s down to the money but it helps from a squad point of view.”