By George Sessions, PA
Tottenham forward Harry Kane will celebrate a milestone birthday this summer but has talked up the possibility of playing until he is 40 after receiving his latest accolade on Thursday.
Kane was officially awarded the Freedom of the City of London during a ceremony at Guildhall alongside wife Kate, his three children and various members of his family.
Kane was nominated for one of the city’s most ancient traditions due to his outstanding sporting achievements, with the England captain only 50 goals away from becoming the Premier League’s record goalscorer.
Very proud to have been awarded the Freedom of the City of London at a ceremony yesterday and it was special to have my family there with me too. I hope it can inspire others in all walks of life to be the best they can be. pic.twitter.com/duyS7mfB7t
— Harry Kane (@HKane) May 26, 2023
While it has been a difficult season for club Tottenham, Kane has netted 28 times in the Premier League ahead of his 30th birthday in July.
When reflecting on his own potential longevity, the Spurs academy graduate referenced the ages of Karim Benzema, Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo, who were all in their mid-thirties when celebrating recent Ballon d’Or wins.
“I am someone who always wants to push, always wants to get better, so if I am scoring goals at 39, then for sure I probably will play until I’m 40,” Kane told the PA news agency.
“I always said I think it depends how your career has gone and what you’ve achieved, what kind of mindset you are in at that stage.
“Sometimes there is a perception when you reach 30 that you’re coming to the end but in recent history some of the players who have been Ballon d’Or winners or Champions League winners have been 35, 36, 37.
“I think as long as you stay mentally hungry and physically in a good place, which I am, then I feel like you can play as long as possible.
“For sure I want to be playing another seven or eight years at the highest level and hopefully I can do that.”
There remains uncertainty over Kane’s future with only one year left on his deal at Tottenham, although the club have no intention of selling their star forward this summer.
Kane has repeatedly insisted his focus is on finishing another prolific season strongly as Spurs prepare to visit Leeds on Sunday with Europa Conference League qualification up for grabs.
Despite Tottenham’s poor campaign, Kane has closed in on Alan Shearer’s record haul of 260 Premier League goals.
He added: “This season has been difficult on a whole as a team. It has had its challenges but I always set myself little targets throughout the season, month by month.
“To score 28 goals is something I am proud of with one game to go and hopefully I can score a couple more on Sunday and finish strong.
“I just have to keep improving and every year I try to do that, finding different ways to score and that is something I will continue to do for the rest of my career.
“As I have said before, with any record you are not focused on the record, you are focused on helping the team and scoring goals to do that, so then when the records come, you take them and you’re extremely proud of them.
“Yeah, that could be another couple of years away yet but I am feeling in a good place and hopefully I am playing for many more years so it is definitely a target that can be reached.”
After Kane added the Freedom of the City of London to the MBE he received in 2019, he joked it would take a major tournament win with England to earn a knighthood.
Whatever the future holds, he is determined to help the next generation through The Harry Kane Foundation, which was launched in October with the aim of changing perception about mental health.
“I reckon we’d have to win the Euros or World Cup and then it (knighthood) might be in the conversation but these things are incredible,” Kane said after he received the Freedom of the City of London.
On his Foundation, Kane explained: “We have had amazing feedback, (taken) amazing steps so far.
I’m very proud to launch the Harry Kane Foundation – it marks the start of a journey for me as my Foundation aims to transform a generation’s thinking about mental health. pic.twitter.com/oZzNcviyp3
— Harry Kane (@HKane) October 10, 2022
“I wanted to start the journey to learn more about mental health and especially with younger boys and younger girls, to see what they are going through and to use some of my experiences to help them.
“It has been a great journey and is something I want to build year on year. It is something I want to continue after I am finished, (in) 10 years or so.
“We’re on a good journey so far and it is not just London, it is for the whole country and the whole world to try to help as many people as possible.”