Kane, England’s captain, said he can’t bring himself to watch his teammate and friend Lloris, France’s captain, play for Les Bleus’ second World Cup title, and will also forego staying to possibly receive the Golden Boot trophy, returning to London with his teammates instead.
‘I will probably keep an eye on the score but I am not too fussed. I will send a good luck message to Hugo Lloris. Hopefully, he does well, he is a good friend. We will see who wins, though it makes no difference to me.’
It’s hard to imagine the disappointment that Kane is feeling right now, knowing that his friend and club captain will be playing to lift the World Cup trophy. And even though Kane can still win the prestigious Golden Boot by being the tournament’s top goal scorer — assuming Romelu Lukaku, Antoine Griezmann, or Kylian Mbappe don’t catch him in the last game — you can’t really blame him for wanting to just avoid thinking about England not getting that boulder over the hill.
But first, there’s the matter of the third place game on Saturday, again against their group stage opponent Belgium. Kane said that, reports on social media to the contrary, he is uninjured and ready to play against the Red Devils, though he’ll submit to manager Gareth Southgate’s decision as to who plays.
“The third-place game is not a match we wanted to be in, but we will try to play with as much pride as we can and finish on a high. We will still be thinking of the semi-final defeat, and what could have been, but of course I want to play. Everyone will want to.
“We are extremely proud of what we have achieved. We know we have restored pride in the England shirt, back home as well, so we can hold our heads up high. But we know that it is an opportunity lost. The aim now is not to have to wait another 20-odd years to get into another big semi-final.”
Going out on a high by leading England to its highest finish since the Three Lions won the World Cup in 1966 won’t really stop the hurt, even if it is a remarkable achievement. And if France wins and Harry can’t look at his friend Hugo in the eye for a little while, this remarkable tournament will make for some lively topics of conversation in the Tottenham locker room when all are reunited in August.