Kane aims to earn place alongside Messi, Ronaldo

Tom Allnutt 28/12/2017
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Tottenham striker Harry Kane wants to be a 10-season wonder to shame the doubters and earn his place alongside Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo.

Spurs hammered Southampton 5-2 on Boxing Day and Kane sent statisticians into over-drive by hitting a hat-trick in what was his final outing of 2017.

His 39 goals in 36 games smashes Alan Shearer’s record for Premier League goals scored in a calendar year, after Shearer managed 36 in 42 games back in 1995.

Perhaps even more impressively, Kane will finish this year with 56 goals for club and country, which is two better than Messi has managed and three more than Ronaldo.

His latest treble against Saints also deemed him the first player ever to finish a calendar year with six Premier League hat-tricks.

Tottenham fans revelled in their hero’s success with a song mocking those that branded Kane a one-season wonder after he exploded onto the scene with 21 league goals in 2014-15.

Kane scored 25 and 29 in his next two campaigns and has 18 already this term.

“Does that still spur me on? Probably, it’s always in the back of my mind,” Kane said.

“I’ve always said that when people doubt me I want to prove them wrong whether it’s at a young age or now, that’s just my mindset, something in me since a young age.

“I’ll keep getting better, keep trying to improve. It’s a funny song for our fans to sing and I’ll keep doing it for nine, 10 seasons and see where it takes me.”

Kane is a stickler for targets and rarely unaware of records he is told he may be about to break.

But passing Messi and Ronaldo this year gives the 24-year-old particular satisfaction and he accepts the challenge is now to match the historic duo’s longevity.

“The club and country one is good as it shows I’m doing it at all levels – Champions League, for England – not just in one competition,” Kane said. 

“When you look at Messi and Ronaldo, I’ve obviously still got a long way to go before I can be compared to them but it’s a start and that’s what I want to do: keep improving and be up there one day.

“That’s always the goal, to be bracketed with the best players in the world. Messi and Ronaldo have set that standard for so long now.

“To nick ahead is something I’m proud of and it’s just the start for me. I want to do it year in year out. They’ve done it for eight, nine years now so be classed in that bracket, that’s what I’ve got to do. That’s my aim.”

Tottenham captain Hugo Lloris believes maintaining those levels will become harder for Kane as expectation increases.

Hugo Lloris, Harry Kane

“Now the most difficult is coming because he has to stick to this level,” Lloris said.

“The perception from outside is different now. He’s got another consideration from the fans, from the media. But I think he has his head on his shoulders and he has a lot of humility and that’s the key.”

Lloris also marked Kane as the best striker he has played with, high praise given the goalkeeper has lined up alongside a number of distinguished forwards including Arsenal’s Thierry Henry for France.

“I’ve never played with a striker able to score so many goals in a year,” Lloris said. “I’ve played with a lot of top strikers and he is the best I’ve played with.”

Provided by Press Association Sport

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Salah's strike for Liverpool against Arsenal leads African goal charge

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Salah scored his 21st goal of the season in the draw against Arsenal.

Egypt star Mohamed Salah led an African goal charge in the English Premier League with his 21st of the season for Liverpool in a 3-3 thriller at Arsenal.

Another seven Africans were on target in the Premier League, including the Ayew brothers from Ghana, Andre of West Ham and Jordan of Swansea.

All the Newcastle goals in a shock 3-2 win at West Ham were scored by Africans – Senegalese Henri Saivet and Mohamed Diame and Ghanaian Christian Atsu.

ENGLAND

MOHAMED SALAH (Liverpool)

The winger maintained his blistering form with a goal and an assist in the 3-3 draw at Arsenal. The 25-year-old teed up Philippe Coutinho’s first-half opener and then scored himself with a clinical finish for his seventh goal in his last eight appearances.

MOHAMED DIAME (Newcastle)

The midfielder bagged his first goal of the season in Newcastle’s 3-2 win at West Ham. Diame put Rafael Benitez’s side 2-1 up with a powerful strike into the top corner from the edge of the area in the 53rd minute. It was the 30-year-old’s first goal since February and helped Newcastle end a nine-game winless run as they climbed out of the relegation zone.

Diame's first-goal since February ended Newcastle's win-less run.

Diame’s first-goal since February ended Newcastle’s win-less run.

ANDRE AYEW (West Ham) and JORDAN AYEW (Swansea)

The siblings both scored in their respective matches, but neither ended with three points. Andre netted for West Ham in the 69th minute against Newcastle, but his side were trailing 3-1 at the time after he had earlier missed a penalty, and his sixth goal of the season wasn’t enough to spark a revival in their 3-2 defeat. Jordan’s fourth goal this season – a 77th-minute equaliser against Crystal Palace – was more valuable as it earned the league’s bottom club a valuable 1-1 draw at the Liberty Stadium.

DANIEL AMARTEY (Leicester)

The Ghana midfielder was sent off in his side’s 2-2 draw against Manchester United. Amartey came off the bench as a 57th-minute replacement for Danny Simpson, but the 23-year-old lasted only 16 minutes before being dismissed. Already booked, Amartey needlessly barged into United forward Marcus Rashford to earn a second yellow card.

Amartey did not have the best of nights against Manchester United.

Amartey did not have the best of nights against Manchester United.

SPAIN

ZOUHAIR FEDDAL (Real Betis)

The Moroccan defender deflected a cross into his net to seal a 2-0 home defeat by Athletic Bilbao. Betis had dominated the second half with 10 men and were chasing an equaliser when misfortune struck.

AMATH NDIAYE DIEDHIOU (Getafe)

The Senegalese scored the second goal as a whirlwind start set up a 2-0 home victory over Las Palmas. Getafe were ahead within six minutes and Ndiaye Diedhiou added the second on 15 minutes.

The Senegalese added the second for Getafe against Las Palmas.

The Senegalese added the second for Getafe against Las Palmas.

ITALY

MEDHI BENATIA (Juventus)

Moroccan Benatia scored the only goal against his former club Roma at the third attempt after a save from Giorgio Chiellini and a ricochet off the bar after 18 minutes in Turin as champions Juventus remained one point behind leaders Napoli.

KHOUMA BABACAR (Fiorentina)

Senegalese striker Babacar came on as a late substitute to score as Fiorentina moved closer to European action with a 1-0 win at Cagliari. The Tuscany side had been frustrated in Sardinia before Babacar picked up a Federico Chiesa cross with eight minutes to go.

FRANCK KESSIE (AC Milan)

Ivorian midfielder Kessie had a mediocre outing as AC Milan suffered a second consecutive defeat, losing 2-0 to his former club Atalanta to plunge into the bottom half of the Italian league table.

Kessie failed to impress for Milan against Atlanta.

Kessie failed to impress for Milan against Atlanta.

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Kane stats as he chases Barcelona's Messi

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A hat-trick against Burnley in Tottenham‘s 3-0 victory on Saturday has seen Harry Kane equal Alan Shearer’s Premier League record of 36 goals in a calendar year.

The striker still has one game to play this year, against Southampton at home, where he could surpass that mark.

He will also be chasing Barcelona talisman Lionel Messi for the most goals for club and country in 2017. The Argentine has 54 to his name and does not play again until the new year while Cristiano Ronaldo and Robert Lewandowski end 2017 on 53 each, the same as Kane at present.

Here are some staggering stats about Kane’s goal-scoring exploits.

BAGGING MORE THAN THE BAGGIES

With his tally of 36, Kane has more goals in the league than West Brom who have only managed 32 so far.

West Brom playing catch-up

West Brom playing catch-up

HAT-TRICK HERO

Kane hit his seventh Premier League hat-trick against Burnley and is still only 24 years old. That’s as many as Wayne Rooney has managed and only four behind leader Alan Shearer.

Scoring by the threes

Scoring by the threes

LOVING LIFE ON THE ROAD

The Spurs striker has scored 50 goals in just 67 away Premier League fixtures, becoming the quickest player to reach that mark. Sergio Aguero is second having taken 85 games.

Away specialist

Away specialist

BETTER GOAL RATIO THAN MESSI

Believe it or not, Kane has the best goal ratio in Europe this year. With 53 goals in just 49 games, he records a 1.08 goals per game ratio. Meanwhile, Messi 54 goals in 64 games at 0.84  goals per game.

Messi who?

Messi who?

CONSISTENT SCORER

The days of calling Kane a one-season wonder are long gone. He now has 21 goals in all competitions already this season, making this his fourth campaign running in which he’s surpassed the 20-goal mark.

Cant stop scoring

Cant stop scoring

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