Tottenham Hotspur manager Mauricio Pochettino believes Harry Kane deserves to be mentioned in the same breath as Cristiano Ronaldo and Lionel Messi. The 24-year-old netted 30 goals in 37 Premier League games last season and scored twice in England’s World Cup opener against Tunisia.
The brace in Russia took his international tally to 15 goals in 25 games, while doubling Wayne Rooney’s goalscoring record at World Cups in the process. After Ronaldo dragged Portugal to a 3-3 draw against Spain and 1-0 win over Morocco – scoring all four goals – comparisons are being made about Kane’s influence for England.
Pochettino told The S*n: “To be talked about in the same breath as Cristiano is something special. But that is how people are talking about Harry now. The most important thing to remember is that the person who really made Harry Kane is Harry Kane. Look at him now. He is regarded as one of the best strikers in the world but, for me, he is already the best striker in the world.
“Who is better? He is not just a finisher. He can drop off, he can influence, he can read games, he can adapt to different tactics and formations. That is the complete player, that is somebody who can change and evolve as the game is being played.”
It’s high praise from his club manager and is certainly warranted. The England centre-forward has scored 140 goals in 213 games in all competitions for Tottenham, netting 20 or more in the Premier League in each of the last four seasons. He’s maintaining levels of consistency that Ronaldo can attest to and he’s carried his club form to the international stage.
For England, Kane has scored in seven of his last eight appearances, netting 10 in total. He was absent for large parts of the game against Tunisia but popped up with a goal when a chance presented itself in the box. Ronaldo has such levels of ruthlessness and also often can become isolated when his side aren’t retaining possession. But more often than not, he can make the most of an opportunity in front of goal.
Portugal don’t have many other natural goalscorers in the squad and rely a lot on Ronaldo to tuck away the chances created. In his last nine international appearances, he’s scored 10 of his country’s 19 goals.
England are in a similar position and have looked to Kane to get them out of trouble. In his last eight international appearances, Kane has scored 10 of his country’s 15 goals in all competitions.
Are the Ronaldo comparisons justified?