Harry Kane says Manchester City’s procession to the Premier League title is not down to money, the Tottenham talisman told ESPN Brasil, and added that Spurs will be stronger next season in their new stadium.
Unbeaten City lead second-place Manchester United by 15 points after 22 matches, while they are 21 points clear last season’s runners-up Spurs.
City, who are backed by the petrodollars of Abu Dhabi, spent £170 million in Pep Guardiola’s first season in charge, only to finish third, before splashing a further a £220m last summer.
They have been linked with another big move for Arsenal’s Alexis Sanchez this month but Kane disputed the suggestion that it was increasingly difficult for Spurs to compete with the league leaders.
“I don’t think so,” he said. “This year, City have deserved it. They’ve been the best team. But they spent similarly last year and it was us up there fighting with Chelsea [for the league title]. I don’t think it’s down to the money but it helps from a squad point of view.”
And Kane believes Spurs’ move from White Hart Lane to Wembley, while their new stadium is being built in time for the start of next season, has disrupted their hopes of mounting a third consecutive title challenge.
“From our point of view, it’s been a good season,” he said. “We’d have liked to have done better of course but City have run away with it so far. We have to focus on ourselves but we’ve changed stadium which has had a big impact on everything.
“We can’t get too down about how our season’s been so far. We’re still in the Champions League and the FA Cup.
“We’ve just got to focus on that and look forward to next year in the new stadium. It’s going to be amazing. The way it’s been designed, the atmosphere will be great. The crowd will be right on top of the pitch. Being brand new and creating that atmosphere will make it tough for teams to come and play there.”
Kane finished 2017 as the top scorer in elite European football with 56 goals for club and country — one more than Barcelona superstar Lionel Messi.
The 24-year-old has targeted matching the personal accolades and club trophies of Messi and Real Madrid’s Cristiano Ronaldo, who have dominated the Ballon d’Or for the past decade, but he admits that his quest for greatness is not without sacrifices.
“They’ve been such good players over the last ten years or so, and dominated football and rightly so,” Kane said of Messi and Ronaldo. “They’ll go down as two of the best ever players. To even be up there and beat them is something I’m proud of. For me, it’s about doing it every year. Not just beating them but winning as many trophies as they’ve won.
“I’ve sacrificed most of my time, especially with the schedule of games,” he added. “You come in, you train, you play, you recover, you rest. That’s a footballer’s life. I don’t complain. It’s something I love doing.
“But you lose maybe the social part of your life. It’s a matter of opinion. Not every player does what I do. Some players may go out, go for meals — that kind of thing. From my point of view, to get the best out of myself, it’s about going home, resting, recovering, spending time with my family and do everything I can in that short period of time to achieve what I can.”
Asked what foods he had had to give up, Kane, who has employed a personal chef, said: “Most of them! Sweets, chocolate. The normal stuff that everyone likes. I haven’t cut it out of my life completely — I just have it in the right portions and that’s the thing with the chef.
“It’s not about cutting out all the bad food. It’s about when to eat what, what days you need more carbs or more protein. And that’s what’s helped me recover well.”
Asked to name a former striker he would love to partner, Kane said: “Brazilian Ronaldo. His ability, his all-round game was incredible. He had everything: pace, power, finishing, skills, passing.
“I didn’t get to watch a lot of him of TV growing up but when I’ve watched YouTube and highlights of clips from the past, I’d have loved to have played alongside him.”
Dan is ESPN FC’s Tottenham correspondent. Follow him on Twitter: @Dan_KP.