If I have to imagine a party full of the best football players of the planet, it would be like this: Neymar surrounded by screaming girls, a drunk Marcelo dancing on a table, Messi would be the guy that is forced to drink and have fun, Ronaldo the cool cocky guy that shows up late. Then looking with more attention I would spot in a lonely corner drinking a Coke Zero a big English guy. It’s a pretty cruel metaphor to describe the spot that Harry Kane is occupying in the contemporary football, but from the interview of last FIFA award night, it seems exactly like this.

 

Harry Kane has everything to be considered a global star but still, he is not. At the age of 24, he has scored 86 goals in 125 caps in the most watched championship of the planet, he is the captain of a young and ambitious English national team and he is now probably the best striker around right now. Nonetheless, these facts are not enough to collocate Kane in the Olympum of Messi, Ronaldo and Neymar but he also doesn't reach the recognition of other strikers and rising stars like Pogba, Lewandowski, Aguero, Dybala, Mbappè and Suarez. His big English face appears rarely on banners and commercials, kids don’t wear his jersey: the character Harry Kane hasn't broken through into the mainstream consciousness of global football. And there are some solid reasons for that, that tells us something about how contemporary football works.

 

Where he plays: Tottenham Hotspur FC

Why the world doesn't give a shit about Harry Kane Three reasons that explain why the best striker in the world is not a global star | Image 0

Let’s face the elephant in the room straight away: Kane plays for Tottenham. The London-based club is a solid team, with good players, an excellent manager. It also reached remarkable achievements: it is a stable presence in the European football and it was the only real competitor for Leicester 2015-16 title. Nonetheless, Tottenham’s storytelling is halfway between being the underdog against the big mainstream clubs or be one of those clubs. It’s matter of position on the audience that Manchester City resolved brilliantly passing from a low range English club to a top global team. As Bleacher Report has written, the Tottenham’s popularity outside the country is still low, especially in the US and Asia which is the most growing market. Harry Kane states that he would love to be a one-club man, bounding his image to Spurs’ one. Another cause that is necessary to mention is that Tottenham was the Under Armour unicorn of football until last year when they switch to the Swoosh. The American brand tried to invest in football and repeatedly run away, Kane has always been a Nike man, but the fact that he was playing in a different brand team surely freeze Nike’s investment on the player.

How he plays: the big-English-striker misunderstanding

In England, the bookmakers are already taking bets on when Kane will break Alan Shearer top scorer record. And the Big Al tweeted ironically about it last week, after Kane’s hat-trick against Liverpool.

The comparison between Kane and Shearer is becoming a Premier League topos of last five years. The problem is that they are two radically different players, just because Kane has his same size doesn't mean that he has to join the macro category of big-English-box-striker. Instead many supporters and press perceive Kane like this. In my opinion is an offense to the incredible work that Pochettino has done on the player, making him a complex contemporary striker that scores like no other and makes the team play a wonderful football. He has also a particular style of play: he dribbles rarely and strikes with a mechanic beauty that aims to outplay the opponents rather than humiliate them. It’s not difficult to understand why kids from USA or Asia are not into this style of play, they prefer Neymar’s YouTube’s compilation, or crazy shots from Ronaldo, or even the funny Dani Alves’ Insta stories.

 

How he is: ugly

He’s British, very British. But not with that Gazza’s or Rooney’s Britishness, more that lame taste of Christmas romantic comedies with Hugh Grant. He is a very nice guy, now I'm gonna list a bunch of facts to prove it:

- He doesn't go to discos, he prefers golf
- He has two beautiful Labradors, Brady and Wilson
- He married his high school girlfriend, they have a daughter
- His Instagram is super boring
- He doesn't drink alcohol during football season and he hired a nutritionist
- His idol is Teddy Sheringham
- He has a ‘30s look like combing

Why the world doesn't give a shit about Harry Kane Three reasons that explain why the best striker in the world is not a global star | Image 0
Why the world doesn't give a shit about Harry Kane Three reasons that explain why the best striker in the world is not a global star | Image 1

He doesn't lack on charisma - try to wear an English armband -, it’s just that he is not photo or videogenic. Simple as that. Try to watch this commercial for Beats by dree with Harry Kane and later watch this other one with Neymar, to have a benchmark. You will understand by yourself.