Harry Kane proud of scoring key goal for England while being captain
Harry Kane has spoken of his pride at captaining his country but insists England boast “plenty of leaders” in their ranks as Gareth Southgate contemplates who will wear the armband on a permanent basis.
The Tottenham Hotspur forward, who does not captain his club side, became the fifth captain of Southgate’s seven‑game tenure after Wayne Rooney, Gary Cahill, Joe Hart and Jordan Henderson at Hampden Park on Saturday and seized his opportunity by scoring the team’s 93rd‑minute equaliser. That timely intervention, just moments after two free-kicks by Leigh Griffiths had taken Scotland to the verge of a first win in this fixture in 17 years, maintained England’s unbeaten qualifying campaign at the top of Group F.
“I have said before I would love to be England captain,” said Kane, who had previously been denied the chance to represent Southgate’s team by injury and whose goal was his first for the national team in 13 months. “Obviously, I don’t know what the gaffer’s feeling is on it. He gave me the armband on Saturday and I went out there and gave it my best. When you are on the pitch, not much changes. We have got leaders in the team, and it is just that I am wearing the armband.
“I still play the same way. I still talk, I still shout in the same way. That is what is good about this team. People look at one player now to drag them through, but we have plenty of leaders in the team to try and change the game. For me it was great to get that goal and be captain, but whoever the gaffer chooses long-term, there are plenty of leaders.
“It was quite emotional to be given the chance. The manager told me just before training on Friday. He said he sees me as one of the leaders in the team, that was it. Nothing about it being permanent. I am sure he will make that decision when he is ready, but I was delighted to lead that team out. There were a lot of emotions, lots of proud feelings, and my family were delighted. It was something I have always dreamed about, as most kids do. So to be given that opportunity by the gaffer and how the game panned out, to manage to score in the last minute was a very proud moment.
“It was probably the most special moment, personally, of my career so far. I did not want to lose my first game as captain, that is for sure – especially against Scotland. So to score that goal … it has been a while since I scored a goal for England. It was a special feeling for me.”
Kane took his first steps at international level under Rooney’s leadership, having broken into the Spurs first team with Hugo Lloris – France’s first-choice captain – wearing the armband. “A good captain leads by example, on and off the pitch,” the Spurs forward said. “You have a responsibility off the pitch with the media, and to kids coming through, and being a role model. I am quite a calm character. I’m not someone who gets too irate or too low. I have a steady mind and I know my ambitions, I know what I want to do, and this team has great ambition. I am one of many who could be captain.
“When I first came into the England squad, Wazza was great with me. He talked to me. Even as I was doing well with my club he was giving me a little phone call or text to say: ‘Things could change for you as you play more and get bigger.’ He was great with that, giving me his experiences of what he had gone through.
“I played under Hugo Lloris, France’s captain, who I will see on Tuesday. He is totally different. He is very calm, you respect him. I’ve had great captains in my career so far and if I can take anything from any of them I will be happy.”