Ns News Online Desk: Harry Kane says he has now proved he can perform on every major stage in football after winning the World Cup Golden Boot. The 24-year-old scored six goals at Russia 2018, holding off competition from Belgium’s Romelu Lukaku and France’s Kylian Mbappé among others to win the trophy.
Kane scored five of his six goals in the group stages, including a hat-trick in England’s 6-1 rout of Panama. He said that after the disappointment of Euro 2016, when he failed to score and the team crashed out against Iceland, it was a welcome tonic.“I said before coming into this tournament that I wanted to prove I could do it on these stages,” Kane said. “The Euros were disappointing. 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 and I’m sure I’ll look back in a few weeks’ time and take all these experiences in. It’s hard to do that now because we are still disappointed.”
The award puts Kane in exalted company, with Eusébio, Garrincha and the Brazilian Ronaldo among the previous winners of the Golden Boot. He demonstrated a lethal instinct in front of goal in England’s opening game against Tunisia with two goals including a stoppage-time header which played a vital part in the team advancing from the group.
Two of his goals against Panama came from penalties as the Central American side were punished for ill discipline and a third deflected in off his heel following a Ruben Loftus‑Cheek strike.
Kane expressed disappointment he was not able to score in England’s final three games but was celebrating the achievement. “It’s been a fantastic campaign for me personally and the team as well,” the England captain said. “But there’s still stuff I can improve on. Obviously I can get better.
“I feel like there have been games in this tournament when I could have done better but that’s all part of the learning curve.”
Kane has flown home but expects Fifa to send the trophy to him. He will store it at his home in London alongside his two Premier League golden boot accolades from the 2015-16 and 2016-17 seasons. “It will go with the other two, the Premier League ones,” he said. “It’s a big achievement. Not many people get to say they’ve won a Golden Boot at a World Cup. I’m sure they’ll send it to me in a nice secure package.”Meanwhile John Stones says he will watch England’s seven games in Russia back in full. The Manchester City defender was one of England’s standout performers and was singled out for praise by Gareth Southgate after his performance against Belgium in the third-place play-off. But he was in a self-analytical mood afterwards, reflecting on his header which was saved in extra time in the semi-final against Croatia as well as allowing Mario Mandzukic to sneak in behind him for the winner.
“I could have done better in a lot of things,” he said. “If that header against Croatia had been two feet closer – things like that. In any situation, making a misplaced pass, it’s difficult because if you make a misplaced pass teams are so good now they invariably punish you, so you study everything little thing.
“Look at Belgium,” he said. “Their counterattacking was frightening at times. I wouldn’t like to come up against that every week. I am self-critical but I don’t want to be too negative about the whole tournament. There are ifs and buts in any field of life. We should be so positive after this experience. How we have been is the way forward for England. We will take all the good things out of it. Everyone has enjoyed it, coming up against teams who are not easy to play against.
“We never underestimated anyone and knew that every team had their own qualities,” he added. “Some were defensively solid, others had a great set piece; in the main we dealt with those moments. We set a lot of markers and should be really proud of that.”