London (AFP) – Harry Kane believes if England can lift the inaugural Nations League later this year in Portugal it will instil the confidence required to add the European Championship title in 2020.
The 25-year-old England captain told The Daily Telegraph inflicting Spain’s first competitive home defeat in 15 years and avenging their defeat in the World Cup semi-finals by Croatia in the Nations League group stage had maintained the momentum.
Kane, who finished top scorer in Russia with six goals to win the Golden Boot, said should England win their first continental trophy since the 1966 World Cup it will give them the ideal launching pad for further success.
England play the Netherlands in the semi-finals in the northern Portuguese city of Guimaraes on June 6 with the winner playing either Switzerland or hosts Portugal in the final on June 9.
“Now the Nations League is an opportunity to win a trophy and if we win one then hopefully it will be easier to win another,” he said.
“It will give us a real confidence and belief going into the Euros.”
Kane, who scored 42 goals in 63 appearances for his club Tottenham Hotspur and country last year, said the wins over Spain and Croatia showed they had learnt lessons from the World Cup.
“When we look back at the World Cup then there were performances in which we could have done better and the next motivation, the next step is putting that right,” he said.
“We’ve put in some big games -– beating Spain away, Croatia at home.
“It feels like we are still ticking those boxes, as we were doing in the summer, that will make us better.”
Kane on a personal front admits it may seem odd but he has never felt he has completely won people over despite his remarkable goalscoring feats for both club and country.
“My whole career I have had to prove people wrong almost play with a chip on my shoulder,” he said.
“That motivation is just something that’s been inside me, instilled in me, wanting to do my best.”
Those doubts he has had to overcome were sewn when after coming through the Spurs academy he was sent out on loan to the unglamourous duo of Leyton Orient and Millwall.
He continued his learning curve with further loans to Leicester City and Norwich.
He says that New England Patriots legendary five-time Super Bowl winning quarterback Tom Brady offered inspiration in showing how you can blow away the sceptics.
“Turns out, Tom Brady was the 199th pick in his draft class,” said Kane.
“It just blew my mind — but in a good way.
“It is a real inspiration. Seeing how he became the best ever from people doubting him.
“It gave me huge self-belief and confidence that I was going to make it.”
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