HARRY KANE spent hours on the training pitch perfecting his shooting technique with ex-Spurs assistant boss Steffen Freund.
So when the striker lines up for his first-ever Der Klassiker between Bayern Munich and Borussia Dortmund, there will not be a prouder observer in Germany than Freund.
Since joining Bayern, the England captain has delivered 14 goals and seven assists in 13 games — and the heavyweight clash away at the Westfalenstadion at teatime today will be his most eagerly anticipated battle yet.
Kane follows in the footsteps of Freund, who, after spending five years as a player with Spurs and Dortmund, knows all about featuring in both the North London derby and the biggest game in German football.
Freund, 53, was Tottenham’s assistant coach between 2012 and 2014 for both Andre Villas-Boas and Tim Sherwood.
He insists Kane is being rewarded for his remarkable dedication, evident when he struggled to break through at Spurs.
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Freund said: “I will always remember my first moment with Harry.
“We were at the old training ground, Spurs Lodge, and I was in a coaching staff room when Harry came back from the European Under-19s Championship with England.
"He had not had any holiday but he came straight back and said that he wanted to train with AVB.
“I said to him, ‘Harry, you need two weeks or more to be ready for the season’.
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“But he was excited and he wanted to train without any holiday. That summed him up.
"Today, Kane is a world-class striker and some of that is because he was always on the training pitch, always wanting to do more, always wanting to be better.
“At the beginning of his career, it was hard for him. He was on loan at Norwich and on loan at Leicester.
“But each time he came back to Spurs, he always asked me, ‘Can we do more shooting after this training session?’.
“I would say to him, ‘To be more successful, you have to be in a position to score and find the net inside from the post. You must always try to find the corner and not with the highest power but with 90 per cent power’.
“He practised, practised, then found the corner from every position.
"At training, it was just me and him. And then on other sessions, it was him and another one of our coaches. His attitude was amazing.
“At one stage, he had Emmanuel Adebayor, Jermain Defoe, Roberto Soldado and Erik Lamela in front of him at Spurs, so it was difficult.
"But Harry would never give up. That is why he is now one of the world’s best strikers.
“I understand why Tottenham fans will always say, ‘He’s one of our own’ but it is good to see him do so well in Germany.”
Freund now works as a TV pundit and co-commentator in Germany.
He is delighted at the way Kane has adjusted to life at Bayern after his move from Spurs in a £104million deal.
He added: “After Robert Lewandowski left, Bayern had not been playing with a striker and this was not good for the manager, Thomas Tuchel.
“Bayern were not controlling games but now Harry has come in and everything has changed.
“He is a legend at Spurs. But now he is at Bayern, a bigger club than Spurs, and he could win the Champions League and German silverware. Harry deserves that.”
Asked to compare Der Klassiker and Spurs’ clashes with Arsenal, Freund said: “It is not a similar derby. Dortmund v Bayern is closer to the Clasico, Real Madrid v Barca.
“North London is more like Schalke against Dortmund. If you support Spurs, you hate Arsenal. If you support Schalke, you hate Dortmund. If you support Bayern, you don’t hate Dortmund, you look forward to the game.
“As for the game on Saturday, it will be close. If Dortmund beat Bayern, which they could well do, it could be a close title race, while Bayer Leverkusen are great to watch and doing well.”
As for Spurs, Freund said: “I am sure Daniel Levy is sitting at home happy. He got a big transfer fee for Harry but his team are doing well.
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“It was the right moment for both Harry and the club to change.
“It is incredible to see Spurs doing so well under Ange Postecoglou. I would love it if Spurs won the title.”
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