Football

Record-breaker Kane will keep working harder to get better

Harry Kane insists he still has room for improvement after the Tottenham striker's treble set an English Premier League record and took him above Barcelona star Lionel Messi to finish as Europe's leading scorer.

Kane's 22nd-minute header in Tuesday's 5-2 win over Southampton at Wembley was his 37th goal of the year, moving him past Alan Shearer's previous EPL record, which was set in a span of 42 games when he played for Blackburn in 1995.

But Kane wasn't happy to settle for that milestone and he scored twice more to claim his eighth treble of the year.

His second goal took him to 55 for club and country in 2017 - lifting him above Messi to become Europe's top-scorer over the last 12 months in the five major countries (England, Spain, Italy, Germany and France).

Messi, who has 54 goals this year, can't catch Kane as Barcelona don't play again until 2018. To sum up the magnitude of the achievement, it's the first time either Messi or Real Madrid's Cristiano Ronaldo have not led the way in nine years.

"I'm very proud. Messi and Ronaldo have dominated football for so long and they're two of the greatest players, so it's an honour to even be compared to them," said Kane.

"I'll keep working harder to get better. There's a great staff here and a great manager here who will keep pushing me, don't you worry about that."

Tottenham manager Mauricio Pochettino paid tribute to Kane, who is now one of the most sought-after players in world football, and put him in the same bracket as Ronaldo and Messi.

"It's a massive achievement and we feel it's our achievement, something we share with his teammates and the club," he said.

"At 24, to score these goals, not only a massive talent, but also shows how he is as a person and a professional. It's amazing to work with him.

"For me, he's world class. Of course Messi and Cristiano are different. He's one of the best.

"It's difficult to say he's the best, but he's shown he's one of the best. The secret is to work hard every day.

"That is the big secret of the big players like Harry, Ronaldo and Messi and company. You cannot afford not to work every day." - AFP

Football