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Klinsmann praises 'exceptional' Kane ahead of '50-50' tie against Milan
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David Segar
Stats Perform
Harry Kane has been praised by former Tottenham striker Jurgen Klinsmann
Harry Kane has been praised by former Tottenham striker Jurgen Klinsmann

Jurgen Klinsmann heaped praise on Tottenham striker Harry Kane ahead of the Champions League last-16 tie against AC Milan.

Kane has been in excellent form for Spurs this season, scoring 17 goals in 23 Premier League games, though he only managed to find the net once in six Champions League group outings.

Klinsmann, who had two spells with the club in the 1990s, called Kane a "symbol" for club and country, and hopes he can win some silverware at some point in his career.

Speaking to Stats Perform, Klinsmann said: "Harry Kane is exceptional. He dedicated all his career to Tottenham and he is not only their symbol, but the symbol of English football.

"He breaks one record after the other, but unfortunately he didn't win anything so far and this is a bit sad because a player like him has to quit with at least a couple of trophies in his pocket.

"For Tottenham he is very important, he can energise the team, keep the spirit up in the changing rooms. He never hides away, as you could see in the World Cup when he stepped up on the second penalty [in England's quarter-final defeat to France]. He missed it but he always takes responsibility. Always. He has character and dedication to his club."

The former Germany striker believes the clash with reigning Serie A champions Milan will be "50-50", though also pointed to Spurs boss Antonio Conte's knowledge of his opponents as a potential difference maker.

"Milan are trying to get themselves together in this difficult period but their squad have quality with great players who need to bounce back," he said. "This game v Tottenham is 50-50, especially because Antonio Conte knows everything on Serie A and Milan, so that gives him the edge."

Neither team arrive in ideal form, with Milan's 1-0 win against Torino on Friday their first victory in eight games, while Spurs were on the end of a 4-1 hammering at Leicester City on Saturday.

"It must all come together, the spirit of the squad and the history of the club," Klinsmann added. "For example a couple of months ago we were all praising Milan's spirit and [head coach, Stefano] Pioli, underlining how that club has understood how to build a great team and now they are in a trough. It happens in football and it happens fast, like for Milan.

"Same thing for [Spurs] in England. You always have to be on the same page with the board, the manager and the squad. If they have any problem, and we don't know from here, so it is difficult for us to have an opinion."

Another of Klinsmann's former clubs, Bayern Munich, also play the first leg of their Champions League last-16 tie on Tuesday when they travel to face Paris Saint-Germain, and he predicts it could be a contest decided by individual brilliance.

"When you hear those two names, you expect a show... especially with PSG and [Kylian] Mbappe, who is back training and so maybe he will play," he said.

"And [Lionel] Messi, of course, who is back from winning the World Cup, and then Neymar. You can't beat that as offensive players.

"But Bayern are always the same strong squad. Their spirit is always in their great belief in themselves. Even after a couple of bad games, it is not a problem because eventually they always find a way to be successful.

"It will be a very interesting fixture that can be decided by a small detail like a set piece or a corner. Or maybe a moment of brilliance from Messi, Neymar or Mbappe, or even from Thomas Muller who can smell something in the box and slashes it in the back of the net.

"Never underestimate Bayern Munich, they always find a way to advance in the Champions League. Just like Milan v Tottenham, this is another game of 50-50 where anything can happen."


Champions LeagueTottenham HotspurAC MilanHarry Kane
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