Nations League can be 'stepping stone' towards greater England success – Kane
The Tottenham striker is looking forward to a semi-final encounter with the Netherland as the Three Lions seek to build on recent progress
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Lifting the Nations League trophy will be a stepping stone for England to go on and achieve even greater success, according to Harry Kane.
Gareth Southgate’s men will face off against the Netherlands in the last four of the competition on Thursday, with Portugal and Switzerland set to meet the day before.
The Three Lions have not won any major silverware since the 1966 World Cup, but they have already overcome Croatia and Spain to reach the business end of UEFA’s inaugural tournament.
England have taken great strides forward since Southgate’s appointment in 2016, reaching the semi-finals of the 2018 World Cup and moving up to fourth in FIFA’s official world rankings.
Kane, one of the stars who will arrive in Portugal late for international duty following Saturday’s Champions League final, feels Nations League glory can be a springboard towards greater achievements in the near future – with the 2020 European Championships right around the corner.
“It’s a new tournament, but it’s still a chance to win a trophy in an England shirt, and 1966 was a long time ago,” the England captain said. “We’re going to try and take full advantage.
“We all want to win trophies and have the experience of sharing that with the group and the fans, so it’s a huge incentive.
“The fans are going to be out in numbers and hopefully be part of history.
“You want to bring that joy to people – as a footballer that’s what you want to be a part of.
“I think if we go on and win, it will be another stepping stone to go on to achieve big things in the future.
“Winning trophies breeds that mentality to go on to do more and more, so it’s a chance for us to start early and try to achieve that.”
Kane played the full 90 minutes as Tottenham lost 2-0 against Liverpool in an all-English Champions League final in Madrid at the weekend and alongside Eric Dier, Danny Rose and Dele Alli, he was forced to watch a number of international colleagues lift the trophy in opposition colours.
Jordan Henderson, Trent Alexander-Arnold and Joe Gomez were part of the winning Reds squad, but Kane insists club rivalries are put to one side when everyone meets up on the international stage.
“We’ve got such a great bond and, although we’re at different clubs, when we come here everyone’s fully focused on here,” he added.
“You don’t have to talk to people about switching off from club football.
“Everyone just naturally does it and I think the fact we’ve played with each other in club sides and younger England sides (means) we’re all good friends.
“Whether you’re at Spurs or (Manchester) City or Liverpool, we’ve known each other long enough that we’ve become mates.”