Real Madrid boss Zidane hails Tottenham striker Harry Kane as ‘complete player’

16 October 2017 03:39

Real Madrid coach Zinedine Zidane has hailed Tottenham’s Harry Kane as the “complete player” ahead of Tuesday’s crunch Champions League clash between the sides.

But Zidane would not be drawn on any future move for the 24-year-old, who is regarded as one of the deadliest finishers in Europe after scoring 15 goals in his last 11 games.

Gareth Bale, who will not face his former club due to a calf injury, and Luka Modric swapped Spurs for Madrid in 2013 and 2012 respectively, and Kane has been linked with following suit.

“I don’t know what will happen in the future,” Zidane said. “But in the present, what he is doing has made him a very important player, a key player.

“He is very good at everything. But what he does, he always does it towards the goal, so to speak. He does not just stay (still) on the field, but he always attacks space at speed.

“He is a complete player. He did not seem to be one (at first), but in the end, he is.”

Kane already has five goals from Tottenham’s opening two group games against Borussia Dortmund and Apoel Nicosia, with some billing this week’s meeting at the Santiago Bernabeu as a showdown between him and Cristiano Ronaldo.

Ronaldo scored the winner in Madrid’s 2-1 win over Getafe on Saturday while Marca, a football newspaper in the Spanish capital, even pictured Kane’s face on its Monday front page, together with the headline ‘Harry el Fuerte’, meaning ‘Harry the Strong’.

“We know he is a very good player and things are going well for him but Tottenham is not just Kane – they are a very good team and we will prepare for the game very well,” Zidane said.

“We are playing against a very good team and that is good for us – it encourages us to play a good match.

“Tottenham has always been a great club, but they are constantly improving and they have a great coach. It will be a good game between two strong teams. It will be the group final.”

Madrid and Tottenham are certainly the early front-runners in Group H, each sitting on six points while Dortmund and Apoel are yet to get off the mark.

It means this fixture represents something of a free hit for Mauricio Pochettino’s side and they will also be boosted by the absence of their former hero Bale.

Zidane could not guarantee the Wales forward would even be fit for the return fixture at Wembley, which takes place in just over a fortnight’s time.

“I can’t tell you if he will be in the second match,” Zidane said.

“I hope he will be with us soon – if he can play against Tottenham in London, that’s great, but I can’t take it for granted.”

Mateo Kovacic is still out with a knee injury and Dani Carvajal is recovering from a heart problem but goalkeeper Keylor Navas is hoping to shake off a thigh strain and could return.

Source: By PA Sport Staff


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