Video: Harry Kane says England can win World Cup

Three Lions skipper dreams of lifting the trophy in Russia

Harry Kane England captain 2018 World Cup
Tottenham striker Harry Kane is the England captain and has scored six goals so far at the World Cup
(Image credit: Anthony Devlin/AFP/Getty Images )

They’re rank outsiders but England can win the World Cup, according to captain Harry Kane. That will be news to most Three Lions followers, who will be delighted if England manage to make the knockout phase given the calamity that has unfolded in the last two tournaments.

Four years ago in Brazil, the national team finished bottom of their group and two years ago there was the Icelandic agony at the Euros, two embarrassments that have drastically lowered expectations for next month’s World Cup in Russia.

But Kane struck a bullish note in his first press conference since being named captain yesterday by manager Gareth Southgate.

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“It’s impossible not to dream about lifting the World Cup,” said the Tottenham striker. “We’re not going to be favourites to win it… but I think we can win it.”

Describing himself as someone who wants to win all the time, Kane added: “The players in the team want to as well. It is worth fighting for. I am sure we have all had dreams of lifting it and it is an opportunity for us.”

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England kick off their World Cup campaign against Tunisia on 18 June, followed by matches against Panama and Belgium, but before then are warm-up games against Nigeria on 2 June and Costa Rica five days later.

Those games will give Kane and his young, inexperienced squad a chance to work on formations and build camaraderie, and allow him to gain further experience of leading his country, an honour he first accepted in last summer’s World Cup qualifier in Scotland that ended 2-2.

Kane explained that he and the players will take heart from what Liverpool have achieved in recent months. “Look at this season, no one would have thought Liverpool getting to the Champions League final,” he said.

“You look at Manchester United back in the Sir Alex Ferguson days. They had a young team and dominated the Premier League for years to come. Being young is not an excuse. It could be a good thing. I believe we can and that is what we want to try and do. Anything else is not good enough.”

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Kane has a point. In the last three World Cups England travelled with an experienced squad built on the undoubted talent but questionable commitment of the so-called “Golden Generation”, and each time they bombed in spectacular fashion.

Now they go to Russia as nobody’s favourites, but that tag suits Kane down to the ground. “I’m someone who likes a challenge, likes to prove people wrong,” he said.

Asked about the style of captaincy he will bring to the national team, he replied: “There are going to be difficult moments at a World Cup, times when we are 1-0 down or holding on to a lead. If you feel someone needs a push, or a lift, you have to be that person.

“You can’t be afraid to talk or shout at each other to get people the best they can be. I think it comes to me naturally, I’ve been brought up that way. Working hard is the main thing, and if I see someone not doing that, I’ll give them a push. This is the standard we set.”

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