Antonio Conte reveals Tottenham striker Harry Kane is ready to lead England to glory

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Antonio Conte says Harry Kane is fit, firing and fully up for leading England to glory.

The England captain scored his 14th of the season as Tottenham came from behind three times to beat Leeds, and played the full 90 minutes. He even put his body on the line in stoppage time to shield the ball as Spurs held on.

Conte said: ‘Harry is now looking forward to play in the World Cup with great enthusiasm, in good physical condition, stronger mentally than before.

‘I see a player that is ready. I see in his eyes the desire to be a protagonist in the best competition in the world.’

Conte said Kane had exceeded his expectations since taking over as manager just over a year ago.

‘Before I knew Harry from watching him because we played sometimes against him. Then to be his coach and to see the way he has decided that he has to improve himself is really important.

‘I try with every single player to push them to become better whether it is a young player like Harvey White or Harry.

‘Now he is arriving at this World Cup in the best physical and mental condition. He feels a lot of responsibility because he is captain of England, and I consider them one of the best teams in the world — one of the candidates to have a great tournament — and he wants to play a fantastic tournament.

‘Italy are not in the World Cup so I can become a supporter.’

Conte was especially pleased with the way Kane stepped up while other forwards bowed to injuries.

‘I have to be honest, in this period, especially in the last 13 games, Harry played a really important role. We finished this period in the top four, and top of our Champions League group, and we have to praise Harry a lot.

‘We had many injuries and a lot of weight was on his shoulders.’

Conte is targeting the Champions League as a trophy because ‘it is a short tournament where anything can happen. It’s important to arrive in the best condition.

‘In the past, Tottenham reached the final. To win the Premier League, it is always the best team over 38 games.

In a short competition we will try to do our best. We will face important opponents when the game is in the balance. We try to improve on last season, do better. These are our targets.’

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