Harry Kane would rather measure his worth in terms of achievements with England than against the lofty exploits of Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo.
Three Lions captain Kane will collect his World Cup Golden Boot ahead of Saturday’s Nations League opener against Spain at Wembley after netting six times on a buoyant run to the semi-finals for Gareth Southgate’s men.
The 25-year-old is already off and running with a pair of Premier League goals for Tottenham this season and, in 2017, outscored Messi and Ronaldo for club and country.
“I think it’s hard to compare myself with them two,” he told a pre-match news conference. “Those two have set a standard of football over the past 10 years that has been unbelievable.
“Those are the heights we all want to reach. To finish top goalscorer in a World Cup was something I am extremely proud of.
“I don’t think I can be up there with those two but I aim to improve.”
That ambition means Kane does not look completely fondly upon his exploits in Russia, where his prowess as a goal-poacher and penalty taker meant England’s relative struggles to craft chances from open play did not weigh too heavily.
“I feel I could have done better at the World Cup if I’m totally honest,” he said. “There was stuff I could have done better as well – certain finishes and certain movements.
“To win a Golden Boot at the World Cup is an exciting thing. There’s a lot of improvement there and I’m at a high level already.”
The highest level of achievement is also something Kane wants for his England team-mates – urging them not to rest on the accomplishment of reaching a World Cup semi-final for the first time in 28 years.
“I think at any major tournament you’re going to have to be able to handle the pressure. We’ve come a long way from a year ago,” he added.
“Now it’s about building on that. Can we do it every couple of years in the big tournaments and the big moments
“A semi-final was great for us but now we want to experience a final and lifting one of those trophies.”