England's Kane aiming to reach Ronaldo, Messi levels with World Cup performances
England captain Harry Kane insists he will use the World Cup as a platform to prove his quality as he aims to reach the levels of Cristiano Ronaldo and Lionel Messi.
Kane proved the hero for England on Monday, heading in a late winner - his second of the game - to secure a 2-1 victory in the Three Lions' World Cup opener against Tunisia.
The 24-year-old missed out to Mohamed Salah in the race for the Premier League's Golden Boot, but still netted 41 goals across all competitions for Tottenham last term.
And, having carried that form into the World Cup, Kane - who failed to find the net at Euro 2016 - claims to have put no limits on what he can achieve.
"I had to prove people wrong throughout my career and I love proving to myself I can do it," he said.
"I said before I was so excited to be at a World Cup and it is about proving a point.
"The Euros were disappointing for me, for everyone, so it was a challenge to put that right. There is no better way to do it than to win and score a couple of goals.
"Ronaldo is the best in the world, up there with Messi, but the challenge is there to be with them. To be the best player in the world you have to aim high – you can't aim low – so just put no limits on yourself.
"I worked hard to get where I am. I have a lot of determination, I enjoy being here and it is about stepping it up.
"I want to prove myself at a major tournament, I want to be up there with the best in the world and the only way to do that is to perform on the big stage and in the big moments.
"It gives me confidence doing that and I want to do that in the games ahead. I have been itching to get out there and showcase my talent."
150 - Harry Kane's winner against Tunisia was his 150th goal since the start of the 2014/15 season, with 15 of those coming for England and 135 for Spurs. Sensation. #WorldCup #ENG pic.twitter.com/EtdIMh7rvp
— OptaJoe (@OptaJoe) June 19, 2018
Kane's confidence will be a boost to England boss Gareth Southgate, who has taken a vibrant but relatively inexperienced squad to Russia.
However, the former England international believes that Kane should not be labelled as a world class player just yet.
"I'm going to keep challenging him on that, because I’m always a little uncertain as to what that title means and what you need to do to really gain it," Southgate said.
"He's shown it in the league. The next stage was to do that at a world tournament and that's how you really establish yourself as a leading world player. He's off and running."