Belfast Telegraph

Sports Awards

Harry Kane out to strike down August hoodoo after World Cup golden boot

By Rory Dollard

Harry Kane’s name was jeered inside the Luzhniki Stadium as the England captain was named as the winner of the 2018 World Cup Golden Boot award last night.

Five group stage goals and then a penalty in the victory over Colombia were enough for the Tottenham striker to win the prize, the first time for an Englishman since Gary Lineker in 1986 — but Kane is already setting his sights on Tottenham’s Premier League opener and ending his final unwanted jinx.

He has famously never managed a Premier League goal in August, but, having ended any doubts over his suitability for tournament football over the last month, he wants to put that right as soon as possible.

“I’ll hopefully be back for the first game and hopefully I can try and score in August this year,” he said.

“Not many people get to say they’ve won a Golden Boot in a World Cup, it’s a big achievement. I said before coming into the tournament I wanted to prove I could do it in these big tournaments.

“The Euros (in 2016) was disappointing for me and if anything I wanted to prove to myself I could score at this level. I’ve scored at every other level and it was important I did that. I’m extremely proud.

“I’m sure I’ll look back in a few weeks time and take all these experiences in.”

There will be time to take stock and reflect on his own performances. Despite his impressive tally, Kane was unusually muted in open play over the course of the competition.

“You’re playing the best teams in the world at the end of the day, you’re not going to get five or 10 chances a game. You have to take what you’re given,” he explained.

“I’ve had a couple that I feel I could have done better with, especially in the semi-final but that’s part of being a striker: you’re going to miss some and you’re going to score some.”

Kane denied feeling drained, despite signing off with a lethargic performance, but accepted some down time would help clear his mind after a hectic time in the limelight.

“We’ll have to talk to the gaffer at Spurs, but it will be a couple of weeks away,” he said.

“Physically your body will always take you where you’d never think it would. The important thing is mentally.

“We train all year round, we’re young, we’re fit, your body gets on with it.

“For me personally, and I know for the other lads, it’s just getting away from football really. It’s hard, but it’s what we have to do with the season starting so quickly.”

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