Thursday, May 23, 2024

Champions League success does not define Bayern move, says Kane

SoccerNews in General Soccer News 30 Apr 2024

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Harry Kane refuted suggestions Champions League glory this season will decide the success of his Bayern Munich move, after Tuesday’s 2-2 draw with Real Madrid in the semi-final first leg.

Kane scored from the penalty spot to make it 2-1 to Bayern early in the second half, just four minutes after Leroy Sane had levelled with a thunderous finish at Allianz Arena.

Having finished with his usual ease from 12 yards, Kane became the first English player to be directly involved in 11 goals in a single Champions League campaign.

Kane is the joint-top scorer across Europe’s big five leagues in all competitions this season (43 – level with Kylian Mbappe), while the England captain now has the most combined goals and assists of any player (54 – 43 goals and 11 assists).

Regardless of whether Bayern can overcome Madrid in the second leg next week and go all the way in the final, Kane insists his move to Germany is a long-term mission, rather than a one-year aim for success.

When asked on TNT Sports if winning the Champions League would define his Bayern move as a success, Kane responded: “I don’t think so.

“I’m here for many years, it’s not just a one-off year that I’ve come for. Of course, the expectation at the start of the year was to win trophies and it hasn’t gone our way in the Bundesliga or the cup, but the Champions League is the biggest one of them all.

“If we can somehow get our hands on that one, it’ll be an amazing season, but there is a long way to go.

“These are the big games under the lights [that I’m here for]. The atmosphere was incredible. I’m sure at the Bernabeu it’ll be the same. It’s exactly why I’ve come, I wanted to play in these big games, these big moments, and it’s no bigger than next week.

“It’ll be tough, we know their history in the competition, but we can take a lot of positives from today. There’s a couple of small details that we need to get right because we can get punished in a couple of quick moments, but we can take a lot from this game.”

Kane now has 401 goals for club and country, having moved past the quadruple-century mark with his double against Eintracht Frankfurt on Saturday.

Including his well-taken penalty against Madrid, the former Tottenham striker now has a personal-best 43 goals in all competitions this season as well.

Yet his focus remains solely on the next game, with Stuttgart to come on Saturday before the return visit to Madrid.

“It’s been a good season [personally] so far, but it’s always about the next game, the next big game, and it’s next week, away from home against Real Madrid,” he added.

“Everything we’re fighting for this year is in this competition, so we’ve got to find a way to get it done. It’s going to be tough, the Bernabeu, Real Madrid in the Champions League, but we go there with full belief, it’s 0-0 and we go there for the win.”

Kane’s second-half strike on Tuesday came after Sane had cancelled out an opener from Vinicius Junior, whose late penalty then ensured the shares were spoiled at Allianz Arena.

With the pressure on Bayern’s spot-kick, Madrid’s Jude Bellingham appeared to offer Kane a few words of advice – though the Bayern striker was in his own space preparing to face Andriy Lunin.

“I don’t know what he was saying,” Kane added on his England team-mate’s quiet word. “I saw him there, mumbling something, but I’ll have to ask him what he said.

“Once I’m in that zone I’m just trying to block everything out – I’m sure he was saying something to try and put me off. Thankfully it didn’t do anything.”

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