Harry Kane is determined to kick on and become a world-class player, with the England striker dreaming of one day being crowned the best on the planet.
The 23-year-old’s rise is among several fairytale stories that have lit up English football of late, going from a peripheral role at Tottenham to a fans’ favourite and one of Europe’s most dangerous forwards
An explosive end to the campaign saw Kane collect the Golden Boot for the second successive season, but the striker is not resting on his laurels after finishing with 29 Premier League goals.
The England international knows he has to do more on the international stage and that his goal-laden CV is not enough to be considered world class.
“That’s what I want to be,” he said. “I want to be classed in that (world-class) bracket, but I know I’m not there yet.
“Part of it is proving it on the international stage. I think at club level I’ve had a good few seasons, but now it’s about taking that next step, international football in the big games, in the big moments.
“I’m working harder than ever to try and achieve that.
“I’m 23 now. Hopefully I’ve got a quite few more years left and I can learn and get better and really push forward.”
Asked if he thought he was in the cusp of realising those ambitions, Kane said: “I think so. My goals for my club prove that.
“I’m always looking to improve. I’m never someone that will rest on what I’ve achieved.
“I’ve just got to keep doing what I’m doing and keep working hard.
“I’m at a great club. We’ve got a great team here with England that I’m really excited about playing for.
“It’s just about keeping doing what I’m doing, keep working hard and use the bad and the good moments as experience.”
It is refreshing to hear an English player talk with so much confidence, enthusiasm and drive.
Cristiano Ronaldo displays those characteristics in spades, with FIFA’s Best player and Ballon d’Or winner hitting a brace in a man-of-the-match display for Real Madrid in last weekend’s Champions League final triumph.
“You see him do that game in, game out, in the finals, in the semi-finals,” Kane said.
“That’s what I aspire to be. Ronaldo’s a great role model, a fantastic player. That’s hopefully something I can achieve one day.”
Ronaldo and Barcelona’s Lionel Messi have enjoyed a duopoly over major individual honours in recent years, but there is a new generation hoping to topple them.
“Who wouldn’t want to win that big gold trophy? It’s definitely something I aspire to do,” Kane said. “Doing that, you have to win the big tournaments, for club and country.
“Ronaldo won the Euros and the Champions League and that’s part of the reason why most of the time he wins it. Messi’s is a similar situation.
“To do that, it isn’t just individual, I think it’s part of a team thing as well, winning team trophies.
“That’s hopefully what we can do at Tottenham. And for sure I’d love to win that trophy one day.”
There are, though, questions as to whether Kane would need to move away from north London to achieve such lofty ambitions, just as Gareth Bale did to so much success in 2014.
“The aim is to do it for Tottenham,” he said. “That’s my aim and the club and the manager’s aim. That’s got to be our focus.
“We can’t be going into the Champions League next year not expecting to try and win it. That’s got to be our mind-set and that is our mind-set.”
Kane’s focus right now is on England matters, having recovered from illness on Spurs’ post-season trip to Hong Kong and avoided the injuries that have denied him the chance to play for Gareth Southgate until now.
Saturday’s crunch World Cup qualifier against Scotland is in the cross-hairs as the striker looks to improve on his ratio of five goals in 17 matches.
“Football is such a big part of England and the fans,” Kane added. “We feel like maybe we’ve lost our identity over the years.
“It’s about finding that and finding that kind of style. We’ve got a lot of fantastic players, a lot of players with great ability and a lot of flair.
“If we can find our identity as team, it will help the fans to connect with us and going into tournaments, that’d be fantastic.”