Harry Kane felt inspired by meeting Diego Maradona yesterday and wants to replicate the former Argentina striker by becoming the best player in the world.
Maradona was at Wembley to watch Kane score twice as Tottenham thrashed Liverpool 4-1 to move level on points with Manchester United in the Premier League table.
Kane and goalkeeper Hugo Lloris joined Mauricio Pochettino and his staff in speaking to Maradona before the game, with former Spurs hero Ossie Ardiles also on hand to help translate into English.
“He’s a fantastic guy. I got to meet him before the game – great energy, great guy,” Kane said of Maradona.
“He is one of the best number 10s ever so it was great for him to be here today.
“He didn’t speak much English, just speaking in Spanish so I didn’t really understand what he was saying but he was very energetic, he said some nice compliments, not just to me but to the team and to the manager.
“It was great to be in the company of someone like that. What a player he was and I can only learn from someone like him.”
Maradona, who won the World Cup in 1986 and four league titles with Barcelona, Napoli and Boca Juniors, is widely regarded as one of the game’s greatest ever players.
Kane may never reach Maradona’s heights but his 45 goals in 40 games for club and country in 2017 rivals the sort of figures achieved by Cristiano Ronaldo and Lionel Messi in recent years.
The “Hand of God”, 1986
“At some stage I want to be the best player in the world and to do that you have to be up there with these players,” Kane said.
“They set the standards, Ronaldo and Messi, so for the rest of us it’s about trying to catch them and get up there.”
Kane capitalised on another defensive horror-show by Liverpool, with Dele Alli and Son Heung-min also on target. Mohamed Salah pulled one back for the visitors.
It means Pochettino’s side sit third, five points behind league leaders Manchester City and level on points with United, who they face at Old Trafford next weekend.
“People will always have this little doubt about us until we start winning things,” Kane said. “It doesn’t bother us, we don’t think about it too much.”
Liverpool, meanwhile, sit ninth and showed again why their defensive frailties will surely leave them adrift of those challenging for the title this season.
Philippe Coutinho admits errors at the back are costing them dear.
“The goals were goals that could have been prevented,” Coutinho said.
“It started out wide and we end up conceding one of those goals the manager speaks about. He speaks a lot about this, during games we’ve conceded a lot of goals like this.
“And obviously in attack we were unable to score the goals necessary to draw or overturn the game.
“I think that’s it. We were in the game during the first half then the goal we conceded made everything worse.”