Tottenham striker Harry Kane says being compared to Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo is a “great feeling” – but has vowed to get even better.
Kane, 24, surpassed Alan Shearer’s record for Premier League goals in a calendar year with a hat-trick in Tuesday’s 5-2 win over Southampton.
He has 39 top-flight goals in 2017 and 56 when you include England strikes – making him the top scorer in Europe when club and country are combined.
“It’s been a fantastic year,” he said.
“It is always about improving every year. That’s what I always have done throughout my career and it is what I will continue to do.”
- Match report: Tottenham 5-2 Southampton
- Relive how Kane broke the record
Kane’s hat-trick – just three days after a treble against Burnley – meant he ends 2017 with two more goals then Messi has scored for Argentina and Barcelona and three more than Ronaldo’s tally for Portugal and Real Madrid.
“To get compared to those players – the Messis and Shearers – is what it is all about,” said Kane.
“Messi and Ronaldo have dominated football for so long and are two of the best players ever. Even to be compared with them is a great feeling.”
Tottenham boss Mauricio Pochettino said he was “so happy” for his striker, adding: “He deserved it. He is not only a talented player but also a great professional.
“It is a great characteristic of him that he is a team player – he is a massive example for everyone.
“We have seen him grow at the club after three and a half years. That makes us very proud and I am very happy with all he has achieved.”
Analysis – ‘More than a goalscorer’
Former Everton winger Kevin Kilbane on Match of the Day
Kane’s form has been excellent. His all-round game – he’s more than just a goalscorer.
As soon as he starts the game he has a desire to get into the game and is closing down defenders. He can also play as a 10 and drop deep into positions away from defenders.
When does he score? And who does he like scoring against?
Kane’s statistics this year show that he can be ruthless at any point in a game.
His most fruitful spell has come between 46 and 60 minutes, when he has scored eight Premier League goals, but he has netted seven in the opening quarter and six across the other 15-minute periods.
When Kane has scored league goals in 2017
- 0-15 minutes – 7
- 16-30 minutes – 6
- 31-45 minutes – 6
- 46-60 minutes – 8
- 61-75 minutes – 6
- 76-90 minutes – 6
He has netted the most league goals against Stoke and Leicester – five against both – while he has only managed a single strike against Manchester United, Bournemouth, Arsenal and Middlesbrough in 2017.
For club and country combined, it is Dele Alli and Christian Eriksen who have provided the most assists for Kane with 10 apiece, while Kieran Trippier setting his Tottenham team-mate up eight times.
Kane’s record-breaking 2017
- Kane reached his goalscoring record in 36 games – six fewer than Shearer in 1995.
- The 24-year-old has scored more league goals this season than Bournemouth, West Brom, Swansea, Crystal Palace, Brighton and Huddersfield.
- He is the first player in Premier League history to score six hat-tricks in a single calendar year.
- Kane has scored eight Premier League hat-tricks, as many as Thierry Henry and Michael Owen – only Alan Shearer (11) and Robbie Fowler (9) have more in the competition.
- Kane has scored 56 goals in 52 appearances in all competitions for Tottenham and England in 2017.
- The Spurs striker has now scored 96 Premier League goals for the club – one off Teddy Sheringham’s record.
The Premier League tweeted a breakdown of when Kane had scored in 2017 after he netted his first on 26 December.