Tottenham Hotspur striker Harry Kane is happy to set new scoring records, but believes that winning silverware with the London club would represent a more significant achievement than any personal landmark.
The England international scored a hat-trick in Tuesday’s 5-2 win over Southampton to eclipse Alan Shearer’s 22-year-old record of 36 Premier League goals in a calendar year, taking his tally to 39 for 2017.
Kane also became Europe’s most lethal marksman of the year as he took his total in all competitions in the calendar year for club and country to 56, lifting him ahead of Lionel Messi, who hit 54 for Barcelona and Argentina in the past 12 months. Asked if team honours meant more than personal glory, Kane said: “Yeah, for sure, 100 percent. I’ve always said team trophies are what I want to achieve.”
Tottenham are fifth in the Premier League, 21 points behind runaway leaders Manchester City. They face Italian side Juventus in the last 16 of the Champions League in February and host Wimbledon in the FA Cup third round next month.
“We’ve got a good chance to win the FA Cup. In the Champions League we’ve shown we can beat the best and we’ve got to see how far we can go in that.”
Obviously in the Premier League we’re in a fight for the top four and we’ve got to see how high we can get. There’s a lot to play for and for me it’s about winning trophies.”Tottenham face bottom side Swansea City in the league on Jan. 2.
To sum up the magnitude of the achievement, it’s the first time either Messi or Real Madrid’s Cristiano Ronaldo have not led the way in nine years.
“I’m very proud. Messi and Ronaldo have dominated football for so long and they’re two of the greatest players ever so it’s an honour to even be compared to them,” said Kane.
“I’ll keep working harder, it’s about finding little percents to get better and doing things on the training ground to make you better.
“There’s a great staff here and a great manager here who will keep pushing me, don’t you worry about that!”
Tottenham manager Mauricio Pochettino paid tribute to Kane, who is now one of the most sought-after players in world football and put him the same bracket and Ronaldo and Messi.
“It’s a massive achievement and we feel it’s our achievement, something we share with his team-mates and the club,” he said.
“At 24 to score these goals. Not only a massive talent, how he is as a person and a professional it’s amazing to work with him.
“For me, he’s world class. Of course Messi and Cristiano are different. He’s one of the best.
“It’s difficult to say he’s the best but he’s shown to everyone he’s one of the best.
“The secret is work hard every day. That is the big secret of the big players like Harry, Ronaldo and Messi and company. You cannot afford not to work everyday.”
Kane might have been the game’s hot topic, but Dele Alli showed signs of rediscovering his best form, scoring one and creating two for Kane and another for Son Heung-Min.
“I’m happy he scored and helped the team, but we expect more and we will push him to be better,” added Pochettino.
Southampton scored consolations through Sofiane Boufal and Dusan Tadic.
By that point they had been blown away and are heading into a relegation fight after just one win in 11 games.
“It’s important to know how people react,” said Southampton manager Mauricio Pellegrino.