Patriots star Tom Brady inspired Spurs talisman Harry Kane
Tottenham star Harry Kane revealed how New England Patriots and NFL icon Tom Brady inspired him to become one of the most lethal strikers in world football.
Brady is a future NFL Hall of Famer, having won five Super Bowl rings, four Super Bowl MVPs and three regular-season MVPs among other accolades.
However, it was a long way to the top for the Patriots quarterback after he was overlooked in the 2000 NFL Draft – eventually taken with the 199th pick. The rest is history.
As for Kane, he is the two-time reigning Premier League Golden Boot winner, while he already tops the charts this season with 22 goals amid reported interest from Spanish and European champions Real Madrid.
Kane faced similar hurdles to Brady, after he was released by Arsenal as a youngster before he was snapped up by London rivals Tottenham after a spell in Watford's youth academy.
After progressing through Tottenham's ranks, the 24-year-old was then loaned out to Leyton Orient, Millwall, Norwich and Leicester City – where he endured a difficult period.
Reflecting on his path to Tottenham's first team, England international Kane said Brady was his source of motivation after questioning his ability.
"I was sitting in my flat again — and at the time I was really getting into the NFL," Kane wrote for The Players' Tribune. "If I wasn't training, then I was playing Madden or watching New England Patriots videos on YouTube. So one day, I happened to stumble on this documentary on Tom Brady. And it's all about the six quarterbacks who were taken before him in the NFL draft.
"Turns out, Tom Brady was the 199th pick in his draft class. Imagine that. It just blew my mind — but in a good way. The film really struck a chord with me. Everyone was doubting Tom his whole life. Even when he got to college the coaches were trying to replace him with another quarterback. They showed this picture of him being weighed by the scouts before the NFL draft, and he's got his shirt off … and it's so funny, because he's just looking like a regular guy, you know? And this one coach says, 'We're looking at this Brady kid, and he's tall and gangly, and he looks like he's never even seen a weight room'.
"He reminded me of me. People were always making the same assumptions about me. 'Well, you know, he doesn't look like a proper striker'.
"It was genuinely inspiring to me. Brady believed in himself so much — and he just kept working and working, almost obsessively, in order to get better. It really connected with me. This might sound strange, but it really was like this light flicked on inside my head that day, right there on my sofa in Leicester — and all of a sudden, I said, 'You know what? I'm going to do it. I'm going to work as hard as possible, and my chance is going to come, and I’m going to grab it'."