Harry Kane has revealed England’s team of “normal lads” have all dreamed of lifting a trophy for their country ahead of Sunday’s Euro 2020 final against Italy.
Two days before the Wembley clash, the England captain admitted his side were facing “probably the biggest game of all our careers so far”.
Kane, 27, will be only the second man in Three Lions’ history to lift a trophy for England if he leads his team to victory on Sunday night – 55 years since Bobby Moore held the World Cup aloft at Wembley.
And Kane said he took “motivation” and “confidence” from his name being mentioned in the same company as England’s 1966 heroes.
Ahead of Sunday’s game, the Tottenham Hotspur striker admitted there were “a bit of nerves” but also “a bit of excitement” within the England camp at St George’s Park, Staffordshire.
Yet, Kane added the players were enjoying “pretty much the same routine” they have had prior to all six of their previous games at the tournament.
And he said that preparations didn’t feel “too different” despite the importance of Sunday’s game.
“For sure, I think it’s the biggest game in my career so far, probably the biggest game of all our careers so far,” said England’s match-winner from their semi-final victory over Denmark.
“I spoke before about how doing something special with England would probably always surpass anything at club level.
“Just because of the magnitude, the long wait for a final, the long wait to win a trophy. We have that opportunity.”
England, under manager Gareth Southgate, have now added a European Championship final appearance to their semi-final involvement at the 2018 World Cup.
And despite insisting the squad were remaining “grounded” due to the tough task presented by their Italian opposition, Kane admitted England have one eye on the prize.
“As players you think of that moment, you dream of that moment… There’s a good belief in this team. We’ve come close a few years ago, so to bounce back in this tournament and go one step further has been a great sign, a great mentality that we’ve created,” he said.
“Of course we all want to win. You play football to win, you dream of these moments as a kid, lifting trophies for your country and we have that opportunity now.”
Kane said England’s squad felt “proud” to be representing those former players who had previously represented the Three Lions.
And he also spoke of his pride in the way England’s current generation of players conduct themselves – with much admiration shown for the squad’s charitable efforts and preparedness to openly discuss issues such as racism.
“We see ourselves as just doing a job, playing football, representing each other across the country,” Kane said.
“It’s been great to be here and see the connections we’ve made with the fans and the togetherness that we’ve created.
“I think we’ve shown that we’re just normal lads. We wear the badge with pride, but we represent the country in a way that makes everyone else proud as well.”
The father-of-three, who could become the tournament’s top scorer and “Golden Boot” winner with two goals in the final, added: “We should be proud as a group of what we’re doing and what we’re achieving.
“We all want to win so we know the ultimate goal is to finish the job now.”
And John Stones, who has played almost every minute of the tournament, has spoken about the togetherness of the team, and the different leaders.
Speaking at a press conference, the Manchester City defender said: “We’ve got all kinds of different leaders, I think that’s the beauty of it.”
He added: “We’ve got people that don’t say as much but do the talking out on the pitch.
“People are vocal leaders… getting the team together, people that on the bench who are there to give us advice at half time.
“That’s a really massive quality of the people on the sidelines and bench. We’ve all been one team and that’s credit to them and credit to us as a team.
“I think that’s part and parcel why we’re where we are right now.”
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