Harry Kane admits World Cup penalty miss will haunt him for rest of his life

  • Striker says it has made him ‘even more hungry’ to be successful
  • Kane vows it will not affect him ‘as a player or as a person’

Harry Kane has admitted he will always be haunted by his World Cup penalty miss against France. The England captain lifted the ball high over the bar in the 84th minute of the 2-1 quarter-final defeat in Qatar and cut a broken figure afterwards.

It was the most serious individual setback of Kane’s senior career, after he established himself in the Tottenham team in the 2014-15 season, but he said he would not allow it to undermine his performances.

Kane’s miss meant he remains level with Wayne Rooney on 53 England goals and he will hope to set the record in March when the Euro 2024 qualifying campaign begins with ties against Italy and Ukraine. He scored twice in Spurs’ 4-0 Premier League win at Crystal Palace on Wednesday to move to within touching distance of Jimmy Greaves’s club record. Kane has 264 goals in 411 appearances for Spurs, two behind the number Greaves scored in 379 matches.

“After it happened, I just wanted to play again as quick as possible and get it out of my head. It’s something you have to deal with,” he told the Evening Standard of the penalty miss. “I’ll probably remember it for the rest of my life, but that’s part of the game. It’s not going to affect me as a player or as a person. I’ll keep working hard to improve.”

Kane was taunted by a section of Brentford fans in his first league game back after the World Cup, although he did score in a 2-2 draw. He was then a part of the dismal 2-0 home loss to Aston Villa before the recovery against Palace.

“It was a tough moment for me,” Kane continued. “It’s never an easy thing to go through, but it’s part of football, part of the highs and lows of our sport. I had a bit of time away after, just to reflect, and it’s made me even more hungry to come back and be successful. So nights like last night [against Palace] are always good for me and the team, and it was much needed after the last couple of results as well.”

Kane made clear after the France game that he wanted Gareth Southgate to continue with England and he is delighted that the manager has chosen to do so. “I’m really happy,” Kane said. “I feel like there’s some unfinished business there and he’s a fantastic coach. We’ve been close now on a few occasions. We looked strong in the tournament and it was small details that ended up not going our way. It will be nice to have another go at the Euros with the same team and staff.”


David Hytner

The GuardianTramp

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