World Class Harry – Should Kane be Discussed as ‘World Class?’

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18th August 2018, Wembley Stadium, London England; EPL Premier League football, Tottenham Hotspur versus Fulham; Harry Kane of Tottenham Hotspur celebrates as he scores making it 3-1 in minute 77 (photo by Shaun Brooks/Action Plus via Getty Images)

Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo are deemed as world class players. There isn’t a debate needed about those two other than who is the greatest of the pair. But should Harry Kane now be at least involved in a discussion over World Class players?

World Class Harry – Is Kane a World Beater

What quantifies being a World Class footballer? Is it simply about winning World Cups? Is it about being consistent on the World Stage? To look at Harry Kane, it is important to look at the years 2014 to the present day to see if it is possible to talk about ‘World Class Harry.’

In what might be called Kane’s season of arrival, 2014-15, he played 34 times in the Premier League, scoring on 21 occasions. Harry Kane’s performances were met with enthusiasm by many but opposition fans were quick to refer to a ‘one season wonder.’ Kane didn’t listen to that and his following stats in the Premier league proved that Kane is no one off:

Year
Matches
Goals
Assists
2018-19
2
1
0
1
0
2017-18
37
30
2
5
0
2016-17
30
29
7
3
0
2015-16
38
25
1
5
0

 

He is a goal machine and his form in the Premier league is consistent. Two golden boots and for the first August in his Premier League career, he is off the mark already this season.

Following In the Footsteps of Messi and Ronaldo?

Messi in his Barcelona career has 565 goals in 670 appearances. Cristiano Ronaldo has 573 goals in 765 appearances at club level including both A and B teams at Sporting CP. Harry Kane has 157 goals in 280 games.

Messi has therefore scored in 84% of games he has played in league football. Ronaldo 75% and Kane 84%. When you consider the fewer games played by Kane, his stats are nothing short of sensational. Kane appears to be worthy of being in such esteemed company.

International Challenges?

Kane was the golden boot winner at the World Cup this summer, Messi scored a fabulous goal but has struggled for his national team. Ronaldo tried single handedly to get Portugal through the World Cup scoring sublime goals but ultimately fell short in his quest to add the World Cup to his collection of silverware.

Although Kane won the golden boot, there were points made about the number of penalties and how after the Columbia game he became ineffective – possibly due to injury or fatigue. Yet Messi and Ronaldo would no doubt tell us that you score against who you play against. Does it really matter if you score from 40 yards or four foot? All three players have something in common. They want to score goals, they know how to score goals and they always practice scoring goals.

More Than Just Goals

Goals may be what all three have in common but what about their all-round play. Messi creates space for his teammates just by his runs. When players follow Messi, they leave others free and Barcelona have used that to great effect over the years. Messi has such a low centre of gravity that the balls seems stuck to his feet. He gives and goes and leaves defenders on the floor.

Ronaldo also keeps the ball close. Regardless of comments about some of his ‘simulation’ in his career, Ronaldo is very strong and opposition players find it hard to knock him off the ball.

Kane is similarly strong compared to Ronaldo. He can hold the ball up and players just can’t get to the ball. He wins numerous free kicks just because defenders are frustrated at his immense strength. Kane can put on a turn of pace although he is possibly behind Messi and Ronaldo in that regard, certainly in their prime although whether they have ever had anything less is another debate.

World Class Harry? Conclusion

Kane, at 25 is still early in his career but he wants to be in that conversation when it comes to being a World Class footballer. His attitude, his goals and his performance at this summers World Cup certainly showed that there is no reason why he cannot be talked about as World Class.

When it comes to player comparisons, the difficulty will always be that all players are ultimately different. Messi and Ronaldo are currently the two players considered the best in World Football and Kane is delivering stats that suggest that he is rightly being talked about as World Class.

There is so much more to come from the Tottenham and England striker and if he continues on his current path, with the level of performances it is known he can produce, he surely can reach the heights of Messi and Ronaldo.

So is Word Class Harry a fitting title?

 

Main image credit:

Embed from Getty Images

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