England have named striker Harry Kane as their captain heading into the World Cup in Russia this summer.
Kane, 24, has worn the armband four times since Wayne Rooney retired from international competition in 2017 and was given the responsibility by manager Gareth Southgate during a team meeting at St George’s Park on Monday.
“Last night, we told the rest of the players that we’ve named Harry as captain for the World Cup,” Southgate said in a video posted on the team’s Twitter account. “I think it’s a fantastic honour for Harry [and] really well deserved. He’s got outstanding leadership qualities. For me, the key for a captain is that you set the tone for everything that we do every day that we train, the way that we prepare, the professionalism toward the task.
He’s an exemplary model of that.
“He’s prepared to challenge people, and I think now is a moment in his life where he is prepared and wants to bring that into the team environment. He recognises that the success of the team ultimately is how we’re all judged as players.”
Kane had long been favourite to land the role but Southgate has rotated the captaincy since taking over in 2016 in a bid to encourage shared responsibility.
“It’s an amazing honour,” he said. “Obviously, you always dream of playing for England growing up, and to be the captain is a little bit more. I’m so excited for the World Cup and can’t wait to be there to experience it.
“To be leading the lads out is going to be special, but for me, nothing changes. I’m the same person and same player. It’s just about the team. We’ve just got to do what we can and go as far as we can.”