‘It’s why we went abroad’: Kane relishes semi-final clash with Real’s Bellingham

Harry Kane says the Champions League semi-final meeting between Bayern Munich and Real Madrid justifies the decisions he and Jude Bellingham made to continue their careers on the continent.

Two of England’s biggest stars will face each other in 12 days’ time after their clubs overcame Arsenal and Manchester City, respectively. A final on familiar territory at Wembley will be at stake and Kane welcomed the match-up with his international teammate, who has enjoyed a stellar season since moving to Spain from Borussia Dortmund in June.

“I’m really happy for him but it will be another war against his team,” Kane said. “That’s the experiences we both went abroad to try to achieve: to play in these big nights in the Champions League, to play in these big semi-finals. It will be one to enjoy and I’m sure there will be a lot of English fans watching both of us.”

Bayern were well worth their 1-0 win over Arsenal, earned through Joshua Kimmich’s second-half header. “It feels amazing,” Kane said of the victory against a side with whom his personal rivalry is well established. “Arsenal, credit to them, put up a tough test but we knew we had an extra 5%, which was the crowd behind us. We knew we could find a way to get through and that’s what we did.

Kane was glowing in his praise for Thomas Tuchel, whose short-lived reign at Bayern could yet end in triumph. Tuchel was appointed manager in March 2023 but it was announced in February, during a stuttering domestic season, that he would leave when this campaign has finished.

“He’s very proud of us,” he said. “I said before that we are going to stick behind Thomas as long as he is here, until the end of the season. He has given all his energy to make us successful in this competition and we feel we can come together and finish his reign here on a high.

“We need that togetherness. We’ve lacked it a bit in the Bundesliga this year, we’ve had it in the Champions League, so we are going to need more of it in the semi-final.”

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The thought of that Wembley showdown will give the semi-final added spice. “With Wembley being our national stadium, it’s extra motivation there for us,” he said, referring again to the unique prize awaiting him or Bellingham. “But there are two games ahead of us before that, which are going to be really tough, so we have to focus on that.” Bayern play Union Berlin and Eintracht Frankfurt before hosting the first leg; they can no longer win the league but face a fight with Stuttgart for second place.


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