Harry Kane has urged England to seize the opportunity to win a tournament on home soil, as they prepare for a semi-final clash against Denmark at Wembley on Wednesday night.
The Three Lions secured a place in a second successive major tournament semi-final, after thrashing Ukraine to set up a clash with Kasper Hjulmand’s side, having previously reached the last four at the 2018 World Cup in Russia.
While it ultimately ended in heartbreak three years ago against Croatia, Gareth Southgate’s men will be hoping to go one better this time around and reach a first major final since 1966.
As was the case for Sir Alf Ramsey glorious side 55 years ago, the current crop of talent will once again have the backing of a home crowd, the quarter-final encounter having been the only fixture they will play away from Wembley, with the showpiece also set to be at the nation’s iconic stadium.
According to skipper Harry Kane – who netted twice in the win over Andriy Shevchenko’s side last time out – the increased capacity of 60,000 supporters should work in their favour against the Danes, as the players look to soak up a once in a lifetime opportunity.
“To think there is going to be another 20,000 people in there, it is an added motivation,” said Kane.
“It’s going to be an amazing atmosphere. It’s going to be an experience that we probably won’t have as players again, unless we have a home tournament for the younger boys.
“For me and a few of the older more experienced ones it will be the last chance to play a major tournament game at Wembley. What an opportunity. What a moment it will be. Hopefully, we can win and have similar scenes to what we had against Germany.”
With Kane and co just two wins away from completing a first-ever European Championship triumph, the Tottenham Hotspur striker has admitted it would be a ‘dream come true’ to win the tournament, although the 27-year-old is unsurprisingly wary after the disappointment of the World Cup.
“I try not to let my mind get too far ahead,” said Kane. “But I’d be lying if I said I hadn’t thought about it but the whole playing for England and captaining England is a dream.
“As a kid growing up you have a vision of what you want to do and what you dream about and this is it – playing for your country and captaining your country at a major tournament, having games at Wembley, scoring goals and winning games. Of course it would be a dream come true but I always go back to Russia.
“It was such a great tournament but it can be cut short so quickly. You lose a semi-final and all of a sudden it is what we could have done better, where we can improve and we’ve had to wait a long time, three years to have the chance again. We have that chance to go one step further. It is about grabbing that with both hands.”
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Author: Robbie Walls