Teamwork makes the dream work

Harry Kane cannot cease scoring, however when will his trophy curse finish?


When Harry Kane moved to Bayern Munich final summer time, the expectation was that the merciless “curse” that has plagued an in any other case phenomenal profession would quickly be lifted.

Kane, the scorer of targets by the bucketload, the inspirational chief, the poised figurehead of English soccer, has performed every thing in his profession besides elevate a significant trophy, a painful proven fact that for a very long time was extra to do with Tottenham‘s enduring battle to interrupt by means of than any failing of his personal.

Switching to Bayern, it was pretty and fairly assumed, would repair the nagging downside. The German big collects trophies with the identical voracity that Kane racks up targets, and the staff entered this season with a grasping document of getting claimed 10 straight Bundesliga triumphs.

And but, as Kane heads into Tuesday’s Champions League first leg in opposition to Actual Madrid, it’s the hardest membership competitors of all that is still his solely rapid probability for silverware.

Even with him scoring 42 instances in all matches and remaining in competition to match Robert Lewandowski‘s all-time Bundesliga single-season scoring document, Bayern’s title streak has ended. Bayer Leverkusen already clinched the title on the again of an unimaginable, unbeaten marketing campaign.

“It might imply every thing,” Kane advised reporters, on the 2022 World Cup, when requested to think about the sensation of profitable his first trophy. 

For now at the least, the wait continues.

The truth that Kane’s trophy cupboard stays naked, one thing he referenced in a humorous tv industrial for Amazon Prime a couple of months again, is changing into an more and more odd actuality.

Repeatedly, the 31-year-old has upheld his a part of the cut price. Within the ultimate of Euro 2020 with England, Kane smashed dwelling the opening penalty of the shootout in opposition to Italy, however might solely look on as three of his teammates missed.

With Tottenham, Kane tasted defeat in opposition to Liverpool within the 2019 Champions League ultimate. There was frustration within the Carabao Cup in 2015 and 2021. Tottenham’s finest shot on the English Premier League got here unstuck in 2016, when +5000 outsider Leicester Metropolis produced a traditionally stunning upset.

“As a lot as that is nice, I wish to be profitable the largest staff prizes,” Kane stated three years in the past, when accepting the Premier League’s Participant of the 12 months award. “We’re not fairly doing that. It is bittersweet.”

In 2018, Kane was the World Cup’s prime scorer, however defensive lapses value England a late lead within the semifinal in opposition to Croatia, leading to extra disappointment.

It might be a unusual — and in some methods applicable — finish to the dialog if Kane can assist Bayern win the Champions League this 12 months, from a path the place the issue might scarcely be increased.

Actual Madrid cherishes this competitors greater than another, having received it a document 14 instances. On the Allianz Area, and once more eight days later within the Spanish capital, Kane and his colleagues will face a Madrid aspect spurred by the driving power of his England teammate Jude Bellingham, whose exploits in his debut season in La Liga have led to requires anointing him because the world’s finest participant.

The winner of the two-legged semifinal will tackle Borussia Dortmund or Paris St. Germain on June 1, lower than two weeks earlier than the European Championship kicks off to resolve the continent’s finest nationwide staff. Kane tried to play it cool when talking to the media final weekend, however there isn’t any doubt that this represents an enormous alternative for him.

“I will hopefully rating a couple of in opposition to Madrid,” he stated. “I am assured I am in a great second and I can put some away. I am trying ahead to the ambiance — I am anticipating it to go up one other degree and I am excited.”

Madrid is aware of all about Kane’s hazard in entrance of aim. Certainly, the membership tried to signal him earlier than he in the end selected to maneuver to Bayern.

“We’ve world-class defenders who’ve been by means of each second at this membership and have been to Champions League finals,” Madrid midfielder Federico Valverde stated. “However we now have to respect (Kane and Bayern) first.”

Kane is coming right into a magnified window that may really feel considerably acquainted, toeing the road between private accolades and staff success. If he can rating six instances within the final three video games of the Bundesliga season and equal or break Lewandowski’s document, the plaudits, already loud, could be deafening.

And but, if Bayern cannot get previous Bellingham and firm en path to a Champions League triumph, the subject of Kane’s trophy curse will likely be entrance and middle as soon as extra.

By each metric his profession has been spectacular already. As confirmed by how shortly he has tailored to a brand new setting, his degree of efficiency has by no means been higher. He has basically written the ebook on scoring on the highest degree, and there’s no higher pure striker on the earth.

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“In that place, that job — Harry — he’s untouchable,” France goalkeeper and former Tottenham teammate Hugo Lloris, now with Main League Soccer‘s LAFC, advised me.

It feels unfair in that sense to talk of the curse, much more harsh to guage Kane on his trophy drought. However since when was soccer, and the way in which we discuss it, honest?

Maybe no participant in world soccer deserves a triumph extra — or wants it extra. Not essentially for validation, however to scratch the itch. And, lastly, to finish the dialogue.

Martin Rogers is a columnist for FOX Sports activities. Observe him on Twitter @MRogersFOX and subscribe to the every day e-newsletter.

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