The World Cup was a victorious run for the French as they won this year’s title. However, it isn’t only for them as it was only a moment for glory for other teams. One of those is England, who defied all the odds imposed on them.
Harry Kane, The Three Lions' captain, ushered in a new era for England and the sport of football. Their strong run late in the tournament showed to the world that even the underdogs could make it deep into football’s grandest arena.
Their dreams of winning the title might be forfeited after they lost 2-1 to Croatia in the semifinal, but that alone is a big enough achievement for an underdog team.
Thanks to the team’s determination and Kane’s strong leadership skills, England brought back their glory days with the hope that they’ll make it big next time around.
But what highlighted England’s World Cup run was their captain, Harry Kane’s recently won award, the Golden Boot. Kane was awarded by FIFA the Golden Boot after scoring the most goals.
The 24-year-old striker scored six goals in the World Cup, thus winning the prestigious award. He also made record for being the second Englishman to win the FIFA Golden Boot award.
Kane attempted 14 shots in the tournament, with three of those goals earned from game penalties. Two of them were made inside the box, while another one was earned through a header.
Thanks to this, as well as with his teammates’ contributions, England made it to the semifinal and finished fourth in the World Cup rankings.
However, this is more than just an honorable achievement for Kane and the rest of the crew as they are also going to take home the tournament’s $22 million prize money.
England’s FIFA federation is the one involved in this deal and will be the one in charge of the distribution of funds.
Harry Kane might have impressed the world, but he can’t get the hearts of everyone as there will always be naysayers. Well, that’s just what happened as critics pointed out his less than stellar approach in his games.
This is despite the English star putting six goals at the back of the net in Russia. Well, this isn’t surprising for some because the way in which he made those goals are a bit common. The manner of scoring left many people in doubt whether he deserves to win the Golden Boot.
This award is given to the player who makes the most goals in the World Cup, and it doesn’t matter how those goals were made. Unfortunately, that changed a bit since 1982 as games, together with the players, became flashier and gave more emphasis on style.
Meanwhile, Kane led a more speed over style approach, which enabled him to go beyond the goal tally of some of the other top scorers including Antoine Griezmann, KylianMbappe, Denis Cheryshev, Cristiano Ronaldo, and RomeluLukaku.
These guys scored four goals each, a far cry from Kane’s six. But what makes it different is that the aforementioned players scored most of their goals in more crucial moments and more convincing manners.
Kane, on the other hand, scored a single goal after playing 573 minutes, which is an awfully amount of time. What makes things worse, according to critics, is that it was just a lucky deflection off his foot.
Because of this, many believe that it was luck that brought Kane into the world's spotlight. This has a huge effect on his reputation, knowing that the Golden Boot trophy has been considered as an award fit for the extraordinary.
Critics also dwelled on the fact that Kane failed to score a purposeful shot throughout most of his games. This is despite playing more minutes than any other striker at the World Cup.
Critics also pointed out the slice of luck of his first two made goals. Yes, they might have boosted England’s confidence, but it sure failed to solidify their independence from Kane.
And even if they developed their own strengths throughout the campaign, it still wouldn’t work out smoothly because then again, most of Kane’s goals happened just because of luck. Take for example his goal during England’s opening game against Tunisia.
The ball came from John Stones, and Kane rebounded it and forwarded it right into the net.
His Tunisia victory happened after he drifted to the back post and nodded a second goal. Then there were his two penalties against Panama that placed England above by 2-0.
Another bagged penalty during their Colombia game also added to his record, thus promoting him again to the scoring leaderboard.
What made it even worse, according to reporter Henry Bushnell, was that Kane failed to do anything game changing during their games against Los Cafateros, Sweden, and Croatia.
This, according to him, and the other critics is one of the reasons why Kane's award might not be the perfect fit for him.
Kane had a huge chance to make up during their Croatia game, but unfortunately, he again failed to do it. This is perhaps because of his lack of experience in playing international football.
Leading the team as captain at such an early age could have been detrimental to his team because it led them to semifinal elimination. Nonetheless, they made it there, and that alone is a big accomplishment for The Three Lions.
Because of this, Kane does deserve to win the Golden Boot, but he could have done much better to earn not only the award but the hearts of football fans around the world.
He made sure that he aced his two Tunisia games, converted smoothly his penalties, and led his team to the verge of final contention. But then again, him winning the award is a sign that the sport of football is changing in a slightly undesirable manner.
It showed that goal scoring skills isn't the only factor to judging who the best player is because the goal itself is a combination of the hard work of the player or players who made the assists.
There were a lot of other players who scored far lesser had stronger campaigns throughout the World Cup. And to make things even better for them, these players had their numbers go against stiffer competitors.
Kane and Southgate tandem
As with previous years, there would be awards given to player and coach of the year for World Cup 2018. Ten players are part of the shortlist, including Golden Boot winner Harry Kane, who is also the team captain for England, as well as their coach, Gareth Southgate.
Other players from the Premier League to make it on the list of prospect winners are Eden Hazard and Kevin De Bruyne of Belgium, as well as Mohamed Salah, forward of Liverpool.
Unsurprisingly, players of the winning team are also on the list, including Raphael Varane, and Antoine Griezmann, defenders and forwards for France, respectively. The Croatian tea is, of course, represented by their captain, Luka Modric.
Competition for coach of the year is rather intense, with Didier Deschamps for France, Zinedine Zidane for the Champions League, and Zlatko Dalik for Croatia all in the running for the year.
Another player on the list is Jurgen Klopp, thanks to Liverpool’s performance during the finals of the Champions League. For the Premier League of Manchester City’s Success, Pep Guardiola has also made it in the shortlist.
England want to be on top
England didn't make the most of their playoff games to determine the third place for the World Cup, as the game ended with a 2-0 in favor of Belgium.
It’s where Eden Hazard's late strike, as well as a goal earned for the team by Thomas Meunier, managed to seal the Three Lions' fate on that day, with them finishing 4th behind Belgium.
Kane is happy for the team, as they have made it to the penultimate round, and that the players want to get to the next level. Despite the ending of their World Cup dream, they believe that they can learn from experience, and of course, get better with time.
They would not want to wait another 28 years just to get to the semis of the World Cup again, and he is hoping that they do not fall short of what they have achieved this time in the next few years.
For the meantime, however, they were able to show that they can still improve, and as what they have always been saying, they can get better and that every time they get together, they want nothing but improvement for themselves.
In round 2 of the game versus Belgium, the England team Coach added that they did play well, and the odds were in their favor for the next 30 minutes, just not enough, however, for them to get a goal.
This was despite the pressure they were placing on themselves, considering themselves unlucky, with the breakaway goal by Hazard not being enough to at least get even with Belgium.
Kane admits that Belgium was a great team, but he still is disappointed in the fact that they were not able to finish the best they could after the 120-minute play time from days ago.
England's Coach managed to wrap up his World Cup stint with an astounding six goals, which increases his chances of bagging this year’s Golden Boot title.
And should he be able to do so, this would mark as the first time since Mexico in 1986 that a player from England would bag the title, since Gary Lineker. Despite having the six goals, he does not want to take any consolation from this.
It’s because all of these goals were gained during the stellar group rounds, as the team didn't manage to goal in their later games. There still will be deliberations for sure, but getting the Golden Boot title would be one of his proudest moments, for sure.
Kane’s Golden Boot rivals
Even before the World Cup began, Harry Kane has always been in the running for this year’s Golden Boot award, with the young coach scoring, thanks to two hat-tricks in September, and how he managed to keep on scoring, even towards the end of the season.
He, throughout the tournament, was in great spirits, and with his spectacular ability in playing the sport, he has always had a great chance at winning the Golden Boot.
Other players who are in the running are Edinson Cavani, Uruguay's forward, who has consistently earned top goal scores for the top leagues of Europe, as well as earning seven assists and 25 goals for PSG in the current season.
Putting Mbappe and Neymar into the mix has caused the team to grow and receive many chances at the goal’s front, with him getting the support of attacking players.
Another player who has a great shot at this is Gonzalo Higuain, following his brilliant season as Juventus club front, with 23 goals made and seven assists.
He is expected to be motivated in getting back their place on top while being calm and collected, and lead his team to victory, the first in several years.
Charles Kane is also a player for Tottenham Hotspur, where which also makes him generate lots of cash. His first professional football match was played in 2011, two years after he managed to get on Tottenham’s training academy.
All this happened when he was just 18 years old. In 2016, his pay was at £100,000 with additional from bonuses. During his stint as a player, he managed to garner several records, one of which includes getting 39 goals for 2017.
His current contract with Tottenham is due to last until 2022, but just last month, he has signed a new contract to be on the team, lasting for another six years. This contract comes after the Spurs move to a bigger stadium next season, where it can accommodate 62,000 people.
The new, 6-year contract is expected to earn him twice of the current salary at £200, 000 weekly, and even more bonuses. He is expected to earn as much as £15 million on a yearly basis and putting all six years into consideration; the contract would cost him £90 million plus bonuses.
These bonuses include deals with sponsors like Hugo Boss, Nike, and EA Sports, just like other big players. While he earns a lot when he plays, Kane considers playing to not be about the money.
As a matter of fact, he has been loyal to Tottenham ever since he began. It's about his dedication to the team. This was further reaffirmed by him following Kyle Walker's departure from the team to sign a bigger-paying deal for five years with Manchester City a year ago.
He further adds that football is what it is and that different people have different reasons for going from one club to another. As for him, he loves the club and sees it becoming one of England’s best, and even in Europe.
He personally is excited to see his beloved club soar to greater heights in the future. Since his debut as a professional player in 2011, he has managed to gain 140 goals for the team, with 41 scores out of his 48 games.
He feels happy to have signed his contract, as he believes that it’s been great to make their way into the Champion’s League, and the FA Cup and the Premier League are two other paths they could go.
Other impressive records of games include having the most number of scores for European club and country, with 56 goals, managing to smash previous records, with Alan Shearer’s 39 a year ago.
Apart from that, he has also been included in the roster for the PFA Premier League team of the last four seasons, as well as winning the PFA Young Player in 2015, and the Golden Boot twice so far.
Kane’s humble beginnings
Kane has indeed, come a long way from his humble beginnings, where he would just watch the World Cup and other games participated by England in a pub, with the St. George’s cross painted on their cheeks.
Whenever the team lost, Harry would be in tears. He has, from the get-go, been able to highlight his pride for playing for the England team, and was willing to do so regardless of level and cost, despite the European Championships for the Under-21s, where Tottenham wanted him to rest for a while.
During his Wembley debut for England, 79 seconds was all it took for him to get a goal, which caused him and his family to rejoice in pride to the point of tears. Indeed, it can be said that Kane is living the dream, with him already having his set of fans and followers.
It's all happy in his camp, and he makes it a point to do what he can for the team, all equipped with a we mentality.
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