Harry Kane is eager to sign off with Hungary win before going to play in star-studded golf event

Maybe Harry Kane wasn’t joking about that green jacket after all.

‘I guess the ideal career would be a World Cup, a Super Bowl and maybe a Masters green jacket,’ quipped Kane 10 days ago.

We all assumed he was pulling our leg. Perhaps not. When asked whether he would consider becoming a professional golfer at the end of his football career, Kane’s response was intriguing.

Last week, Harry Kane (above) joked about wanting to win 'a Masters green jacket' in the future

Last week, Harry Kane (above) joked about wanting to win ‘a Masters green jacket’ in the future

The England captain will set off for Icons Series in New Jersey after England national duty

The England captain will set off for Icons Series in New Jersey after England national duty

‘I think that’s a long way away — but never say never,’ said Kane. ‘I’m way off where the pros are at the moment. I know that for sure — I’m just concentrating on football. Golf is a great hobby to have to get away from football.’

Unlike as it sounds, it would take a brave man to bet against Kane becoming a success if he turned his attention to the putting green once he has had enough of the football pitch.

He has a scratch handicap and is gearing up to play in the Icons Series at the end of this month, a Ryder Cup-style tournament at Liberty National in New Jersey which will include some leading sporting personalities.

Boxer Canelo Alvarez, Liverpool’s James Milner, American swimmer Michael Phelps and cricketers Ricky Ponting and Brian Lara are among the household names participating. As is Pep Guardiola, who tried to sign Kane for Manchester City last summer.

That ship has sailed, of course. City have landed Erling Haaland from Borussia Dortmund and Kane is as happy as he has been for a long time at Tottenham. Although the 28-year-old dodged questions about the prospect of signing a new contract at Spurs yesterday, he said he will remain at the club next season.

The Tottenham star will take part in the Ryder Cup-style tournament at Liberty National

The Tottenham star will take part in the Ryder Cup-style tournament at Liberty National

‘The plan is to be get back (for pre-season) on July 8 and head to Korea with the boys,’ said Kane. ‘I look forward to another season. I got on really well with Antonio Conte in the time he was there and I’m looking forward to next season and what’s to come.’

For now, though, before golf and Tottenham’s pre-season, Kane has one more game of what must seem like a never-ending campaign to negotiate.

He will lead England out against Hungary at Molineux tonight, intent on salvaging what has been a difficult international break for Gareth Southgate’s side thus far.

One defeat, two draws and no goals from open play in three Nations League fixtures has led to fierce criticism.

Southgate is content to take those objections on the chin.

England boss Gareth Southgate (above) has responded to recent criticisms of his management

England boss Gareth Southgate (above) has responded to recent criticisms of his management

‘It would be a more enjoyable couple of months if we beat Hungary but it won’t change how I would view the next period,’ said the England boss.

‘But I accept it would change external perceptions. We all want to leave with a win tomorrow. The noise will still be there because if we win we’ll only have beaten Hungary — that’s the reality. If we don’t win, then different story, of course.’

Kane has an altogether different view on the mounting pressure Southgate is facing. The England captain has been present for the entire Southgate journey. But he was also there before it began. He suffered the embarrassment of crashing out against Iceland at Euro 2016. It doesn’t get much worse than that.

So Kane is a little flummoxed by the lack of faith from afar in an England manager who has led the team to a World Cup semi-final and a European Championship final.

‘If you look at where we were in 2016 compared to now, we’ve made massive improvements and strides,’ added Kane.

The England captain said the national side have 'made massive improvements and strides'

The England captain said the national side have ‘made massive improvements and strides’

‘We’ve knocked down a lot of hurdles in major tournaments by doing stuff an England team hasn’t done for a long time. Of course, we haven’t won anything yet, but we’re knocking on the door.

‘Being an England player you’re always going to have criticism when you don’t win for a couple of games and that’s part and parcel of it.

‘But within this squad and the staff and manager, we have a bigger vision of where we want to go. The World Cup is the most important thing for us this year.

‘I can’t speak highly enough of Gareth. I had him with the Under 21s and then with the senior team. He understands what the England team needs to be successful.

‘We have been one of the most successful England teams in the past 50 years or so. So we are on the right track. We have still got stuff to improve, that’s just the bottom line.’

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