Tottenham Hotspur forward Harry Kane insists he has the opportunity to get better after bagging a hat-trick to set a Premier League record that took him above Lionel Messi to finish as Europe’s leading scorer for 2017.
Kane’s 22nd-minute header in Tuesday’s 5-2 thrashing of Southampton at Wembley was his 37th goal of the year, moving him past Newcastle legend Alan Shearer’s past Premier League record, which was set when he played for Blackburn in 1995.
However, Kane wasn’t glad to settle with that point of reference and he scored twice more to assert his eighth treble of the year.
His second goal took him to 55 for club and country in 2017 – lifting him above Barcelona great Messi to wind up noticeably as Europe’s top scorer over the last 12 months in the five major Leagues across Europe (England, Spain, Italy, Germany, and France).
Messi, who has 54 goals this year, can’t catch up with Kane as Barcelona or Argentina won’t play any game this year until 2018.
To total up the magnitude of the accomplishment, it’s the first time either Messi or Real Madrid’s Cristiano Ronaldo have not clinch European top scorer in nine years.
“I’m very proud. Messi and Ronaldo have dominated football for so long and they’re two of the greatest players ever so it’s an honor to even be compared to them,” Added Kane.
“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 the same bracket and Ronaldo and Messi.
“It’s a massive achievement and we feel it’s our achievement, something we share with his team-mates and the club,” he said.
“At 24 to score these goals. Not only a massive talent, 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 to everyone he’s one of the best.
“The secret is 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.”
Kane might have been the game’s hot topic, but Dele Alli showed signs of rediscovering his best form, scoring one and creating two for Kane and another for Son Heung-Min.
“I’m happy he scored and helped the team, but we expect more and we will push him to be better,” added Pochettino.
Southampton scored consolations through Sofiane Boufal and Dusan Tadic. By that point, they had been blown away and are heading into a relegation fight after just one win in 11 games.
“It’s important to know how people react,” said Southampton manager Mauricio Pellegrino.
“You can realize how people really are. Which are the players who want to fight 100 percent for the club, It will help me draw a lot of conclusions.”
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