Harry Kane will captain England at 2018 World Cup
Spurs striker has been confirmed as the man to lead Gareth Southgate’s side in Russia
Harry Kane will captain England at this year’s World Cup in Russia. Photo: Mike Egerton/PA Wire
Three Lions boss Gareth Southgate named the 24-year-old as his skipper for the tournament during a meeting with the squad at St George’s Park on Monday night, the Football Association said in a statement on Tuesday.
“Harry has some outstanding personal qualities,” Southgate said. “He is a meticulous professional and one of the most important things for a captain is that they set the standard every day.
“He has belief and high standards and it is a great message for the team to have a captain who has shown that it is possible to be one of the best in the world over a consistent period of time and that has been his drive.
“My feeling is that over the last 18 months in the camps that he’s been with us he has shown that he has got the desire to take that into a team environment and he recognises the importance of bringing others with him.”
Kane, his Spurs team-mate Eric Dier and Liverpool captain Jordan Henderson had been considered the likeliest candidates for the role, and it had been thought that Henderson’s Champions League final-related absence from the St George’s Park training camp which began on Monday could delay any announcement, with Southgate expected to speak to all three before handing out the armband.
But confirmation arrived just before 9am on Tuesday morning that Kane, who has 12 goals from 23 appearances and first led his country during last summer’s World Cup qualifier in Scotland, has been given the honour for this summer’s showpiece event.
Southgate continued: “Of course, Harry will need the support of the other good leaders that we have got around him.
“You don’t become a top team by just having a good captain with good values because that has got to spread right throughout the group but I think he is the one who is ready to take that challenge on.”
Southgate and Kane, who burst onto the senior international scene with a goal 79 seconds into his 2015 debut against Lithuania, appeared in a live video posted on England’s Twitter account from St George’s Park soon after the official announcement.
“There’s obviously been a lot of speculation over our captain, but last night we told the rest of players that I’ve named Harry as captain for the World Cup,” Southgate said. “It’s a fantastic honour for Harry, really well deserved.”
Kane said: “It’s an amazing honour. Obviously you always dream of playing for England, growing up. To be the captain is that little bit more.
“So excited, obviously excited for the World Cup. I just can’t wait to be there and experience it. To be leading the lads out is going to be special. But for me nothing changes — I’m the same person, the same player, and it’s just about the team. We’ve just got to do what we can and go as far as we can.”