Football

Mediocre Football Manager stats spur Tottenham star Kane

Football Manager – for many football fans, it's an annual obsession that allows them to experience what it's like to be in charge of a club from behind a computer screen.

For Harry Kane, however, the video game has become a source of motivation to up his real world performances.

The Tottenham striker has enjoyed a meteoric rise from relative unknown to one of the English Premier League's finest goalscorers.

One of the reasons behind the 22-year-old's improvement? His mediocre Football Manager stats, according to one of the brains behind the popular video game.

Apology

When asked by the Daily Mirror if he has had to apologise to any footballers for a discrepancy in their statistics, Miles Jacobson, studio director of Sports Interactive that produces the Football Manager series, said: "Harry Kane. We did always have him as all right but I have personally said sorry to him because there was a long period where he was on loan at other clubs and we didn't think he was going to reach the heights that he has done.

"I met him at the London Football Awards and he is known for playing a lot of computer games and I said 'we get 0.5 per cent wrong, you were one that we got wrong', and he said to me one of the reasons he was trying so hard was to make sure his stats were better in the game.

"He's been a revelation for a lot of people and was just a late bloomer and was probably suited better to playing Premier League football than Championship football, which is rare and usually the other way."

Cult favourite

Football Manager has a cult status among fans for identifying promising young footballers who would go on to become superstars.

Jon McLeish, son of former Rangers and Birmingham manager Alex, revealed in a documentary that he had uncovered a 13-year-old youngster named Lionel Messi in Barcelona's youth teams and recommended him to his father in the game.

The game's immense database is now being used by sports stats provider Prozone for its Recruiter tool, a scouting tool that allows clubs to analyse players.

Being a game, of course, means that not every wonderkid will make it.

Most Football Manager fanatics will be familiar with US player Freddy Adu, who was once tipped for great things after making his Major League Soccer debut at 14 for DC United.

After a journeyman career across a number of countries, the forward is now 26 and plays for American second-tier side Tampa Bay Rowdies.

Source: Mirror Online, Mail Online

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