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Stop comparing Harry Kane with Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo

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Feature
2.81K   //    10 Jan 2018, 11:51 IST

Tottenham Hotspur v Southampton - Premier League
Harry Kane was probably the best striker in Europe last year

Harry Kane has been the talk of the football world.

After his blistering performances for Tottenham Hotspur lately, fans and followers of the sport have applauded the young striker for his efforts and contributions to his team.

Kane's performances have only been improved from earlier and this has made many fans and followers of the sport to believe that the Spurs forward has a lot more to offer in the near future. Many have even gone on to say that he will match the likes of current footballing greats Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo.

Now, I'm not saying he can't and I believe it is only a matter of time before he comes close to matching the achievements of the two superstars. However, using them to compare and contrast his achievements is just undermining his potential.

Please keep in mind that this article is not trying to prove that Harry Kane is better than the phenomenal stars that I am referring to.

Here, we have a look at why it is just not right to compare Harry Kane to Messi and Ronaldo.

Positional differences

Real Madrid v Tottenham Hotspur - UEFA Champions League
Many see Kane as an ideal partner for Ronaldo at Real Madrid

Let's get the most important thing out of the way first. Messi and Ronaldo aren't naturally pure strikers like the Spurs forward. Kane exhibits various traits of a true out-and-out striker, possessing useful qualities such as height, strength, intelligent movement off the ball, the ability to exhibit true poacher-instincts, goal-scoring abilities with both feet and head, etc.

Fact: Kane initially played as a holding midfielder for Spurs when he was 11, and later advanced into an attacking midfielder role before advancing higher up the pitch and turn into the deadly finisher that we see today.

Ronaldo has actually converted himself into a striker after playing as a winger or an attacking midfielder almost all his life, but this is a recent transition. Besides, Kane also isn't one to use flashy skill moves and step-overs to beat defenders. He has a shoot-on-sight policy.

A common trait that he shares with the Portuguese is his ability to score from range, rise highest and nod the ball into the net and score with both feet. Quite clearly though, Ronaldo has been in the game for a longer time and has had more experience while playing in both, the Premier League, and La Liga.

In fact, Kane can learn endlessly from the way the ex-Manchester United man takes to the pitch.

The 5'7" Messi has never played as a striker in his entire professional career. The Argentine has covered the right flank and has owned that little bit of area just behind the striker. He's not a number 9.

On the contrary, he's a false-nine option. Harry Kane and Messi have a completely different physique which only makes the comparison harder, and more unfair to make. What Kane can do, is inculcate important aspects of Messi's perfectly-polished traits like high positioning awareness and the ability to spot a teammate's run.

Is age just a number?

Apoel Nicosia v Tottenham Hotspur - UEFA Champions League
Harry Kane is just 24 and is exhibiting huge amounts of potential

England's brightest star is just 24 and hasn't hit the peak of his career yet. Kane has a lot more to do, a long way to go and many more achievements to achieve.

It's a tad inaccurate to compare Kane to present-day Messi and Ronaldo because the age gap is quite big - 6 years between him and the Argentine and a couple more with the Portuguese, which means the other two have played for a much longer duration, amassing greater experience on their respectively wonderful journeys in football.

A better way to make this comparison is to compare the stats of Messi and Ronaldo when they were of the same age. Messi had scored 197 goals for both, club and country, at the age of 24, and Ronaldo amassed a tally of 132 goals.

Harry Kane has 139 goals right now (this value includes the goals he scored during his tenure at Leicester City, Millwall and Leyton Orient. He also had a short spell at Norwich City but failed to score any goals in the 3 appearances he made).

Numbers don't lie. Clearly, Kane has a long, long journey to make if he is to reach such astronomic levels that the Ballon d'Or winners have hit. But those are some pretty neat figures as well - keep those up and he may well and truly be on his way to glory.

He's not as successful

Barcelona Return Home Victorious With Champions League Trophy
Kane must win team trophies and individual accolades to prove that he's on the same level as Messi and Ronaldo

Trophies add weight to a sportsman's resume, be it winning silverware with the team or earning an individual accolade. It's the same in football too.

What's the point of breaking and brushing aside goal scoring records when in the end you have nothing to show for it? The one major obstacle that the Englishman has to overcome is the emptiness of his trophy cabinet, which he must start filling up fast, considering he's 24 years old, and isn't getting any younger.

Here are a few numbers for those of you who love your math:

Lionel Messi has won a total of 29 major club titles with Barcelona, while Cristiano Ronaldo has won a total of 24(1 with Sporting CP, 9 with Manchester United, 14 with Real Madrid) major club titles.

More specifically, at Harry Kane's age, Messi and Ronaldo had won 17 and 10 major club titles, respectively.

On the other hand, Harry Kane, in all his goalscoring might, has none.

Perhaps a couple of domestic league titles, and maybe a Champions League medal later, with all this culminating in at least one Ballon d'Or /"The Best" award, maybe then, people can start truly analyzing his stats and stacking it up against the other two greats.

How can he do that? Leave Tottenham Hotspur for greener pastures. There really isn't any shortage of major clubs that are looking for his signature.

Apart from all this, Kane's development as a player is not as complete as that of the Argentine and the Portuguese. They've done it in the past and can still do whatever Kane can do and much, much more along with it. Harry Kane is freshly brewed wine; the other two are finely aged ones.

Right now, though, at this point in his career, Harry Kane is no match for either Messi or Ronaldo.

Stop putting unwanted pressure on England's star striker

Hull City v Tottenham Hotspur - Premier League
Many more to come? Only time will tell

Media hype always puts pressure on players. Kane has shown that he can deal with the critics and doubters well over the past few seasons. However, an unnecessary share of the limelight can cause any player to falter. The same applies to the former Arsenal youth player (yes, Kane was actually with Arsenal for a year between 2001-02).

Just let the man be! He's broken Alan Shearer's record for most Premier League goals scored in a calendar year. The Spurs forward even took it further by breaking the 7-year duopoly maintained by Messi and Ronaldo for the record of most goals scored in a calendar year. These are achievements which prove that Kane is a superstar in the making.

Things look bright for one of the best strikers in world football right now and there's no holding him back. Harry Kane sure looks set to light up 2018 and beyond, but how about we stop making comparisons and simply enjoy what these 3 wonderful superstars have to produce?

Ah, how long it has been since we've seen a near-perfect traditional English striker! Let's not ruin it.

Disclaimer: The views expressed in this article belong to the author and don't necessarily reflect Sportskeeda's opinion on the matter.

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