Harry Kane will lead England out against Denmark
Harry Kane has urged England to seize their chance of a lifetime on home soil this week and warned it may never happen again.
Kane will lead out his team-mates in Wednesday’s Euro 2020 semi-final against Denmark and, with Sunday’s final also at Wembley, expects it to be his last chance to win a major tournament at the national stadium.
The England captain admitted he has dared to dream about lifting the trophy at the weekend should Gareth Southgate’s team finish the tournament unbeaten on home turf.
“It’s going to be an experience that we probably won’t have as players again, unless we have a home tournament for the younger boys,” said Kane.
“For me and a few of the older, more experienced ones, it will be the last chance to play a major tournament game at Wembley.
“What an opportunity. What a moment it will be. Hopefully we can win and have similar scenes to what we had against Germany.”
After missing the quarter-final win against Ukraine with a knock, Bukayo Saka trained on Monday at St George’s Park, where the squad had a delivery from two ice-cream vans for their afternoon refreshments.
Sterling’s brilliant pass for Kane’s first goal
Saka had started in the 2-0 win over Germany and his return is the major selection dilemma for Southgate, who used Jadon Sancho for Saturday’s game in Rome.
Morale in the camp has been high and Kane is among the players driven by the pain of losing in the semi-final of the World Cup three years ago and is determined to go further this time around.
“I try not to let my mind get too far ahead. But I’d be lying if I said I hadn’t thought about it, but the whole playing for England and captaining England is a dream,” Kane said. “As a kid growing up you have a vision of what you want to do and what you dream about and this is it –playing for your country and captaining your country at a major tournament, having games at Wembley, scoring goals and winning games.
“Of course it would be a dream come true but I always go back to Russia. It was a great tournament but it can be cut short so quickly.
“You lose a semi-final and all of a sudden it is what we could have done better, where we can improve and we’ve had to wait a long time, three years to have the chance again. We have that chance again to go one step further. We have to grab it with both hands and not let it go.”
Kane, speaking on BBC Five Live, has returned to form with three goals in two games after failing to score in the group stage. He described his celebration after scoring against Germany as almost like an out-of-body experience.
Gareth Southgate's faith in Kane has been unwavering
Credit: Getty Images
“Your body just goes into this mode,” he said. “The energy and elation just takes over.”
Denmark defender Andreas Christensen believes the English-based players in the Danish team will know how to stop Kane after facing him in the Premier League. Kane will also be facing his Tottenham team-mate Pierre-Emile Hojbjerg.
“We know his qualities, and everyone has an idea of what we can do to stop him,” Christensen, of Chelsea, said. “Pierre-Emile Hojbjerg also knows him, and it may be that he can share some things. All football players have their habits, and we must take advantage of them.
“He is good with his feet and he is one of the best finishers in football. I react a lot on instinct. He is very big, so it is hard to get into his body, but he also has great qualities with his feet, so you should not get too close either.”