How Harry Kane learned from World Cup goal rush to best serve England en route to Euros Final

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·4-min read
How Harry Kane learned from World Cup goal rush to best serve England en route to Euros Final
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Harry Kane has revealed he used his energy sparingly during the early stages of the Euro 2020 to ensure he has enough in the tank to peak in Sunday's final and "finish the job" against Italy.

Kane will be the first England captain to lead them out in a major final since Bobby Moore in 1966 when they face the Azzurri at Wembley.

The Tottenham striker scored the winner in the semi-final against Denmark with his fourth goal of the knockouts, having broken his tournament duck in the last-16 after a series of subdued performances in the group stage.

Kane took home the Golden Boot at the 2018 World Cup with six goals but did not score from open play in the knockouts and drew a blank in the semi-final defeat to Croatia.

He says his experience in Russia has taught him to ration his emotional and physical reserves to ensure he is top of his game when it matters most.

 (PA Wire)
(PA Wire)

"I'd love to have scored three or four goals in the group stage, got off to a fantastic start and gone from there," Kane said on the eve of the final.

"But it was about the energy. I felt in the World Cup, with such an amazing start, scoring in the last minute against Tunisia, a lot of energy was used up because of the emotion.

"Panama was the same. We had an amazing game, I scored a hat-trick and there was a lot of talk, a lot of mental energy [spent].

"Colombia was the same. Not just physically, but maybe mentally I lost a little bit towards the latter stages.

"So going into this one with more experience, it was just about not getting too carried away, whether I score or don't score.

"Obviously we were winning games which was the most important thing so it was just about staying in the moment, not getting carried away and knowing that as a player and as a team we were on the right track.

"Thankfully it's worked out pretty well and I guess that's all part of the learning curve of playing in major tournaments and gaining that experience. Hopefully I've got enough left to finish the job tomorrow."

England have overcome a number of psychological hurdles en route to the final, including earning a first knockout win over Germany since the 1966 World Cup Final in the round-of-16 stage.

Like Moore, Kane will lift the trophy at Wembley in front of a 66,000-strong crowd if England can overcome Roberto Mancini's impressive Italy side.

 (The FA via Getty Images)
(The FA via Getty Images)

England supporters lined the roads outside St. George's Park, the squad's Staffordshire training based, to cheer off the team as they departed for London on Saturday afternoon and Kane says the squad wants to "do the fans proud".

"We have been knocking down barriers along the way but we started this tournament with an aim to win it and we have this opportunity tomorrow night," he said.

"To see the fans on the street and the reception we had when we pulled up to the hotel and as we were leaving St George's Park, it shows us just how big of an occasion it is.

"In Russia we were over there and in our own bubble, we could see videos of what it was like at home but we couldn't really experience it ourselves.

"Even this camp we have been on to the next one, on to the next one, just focusing on the next game which we have done for the final, but it is great to see the reception we are getting.

"We know how much it means to the English fans all over the country, so we are proud to be representing them, hopefully we can do them proud tomorrow night."

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Kane will be up against two of the most experienced centre-halves in European football in Giorgio Chiellini and Leonardo Bonucci, who will take their combined number of caps to 221 on Sunday.

"They are two amazing defenders, they have had great experience over their careers in big matches," he said.

"Obviously I have been fortunate enough to play against them before and as a striker I want to be playing against the best centre-backs in the world and those two are definitely up there.

"But this game is not just about me and two centre-backs, it is about England versus Italy and we feel like we have got a great belief in the team, a great strength in the squad.

“There are a lot of things that can happen in the final and we have to make sure we are on the right side of it."

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