Mauricio Pochettino admits he loves Harry Kane so much his wife has grown jealous after the striker hit a hat-trick in Tottenham’s 3-0 thrashing of Apoel Nicosia.
Kane’s ‘perfect’ treble, delivered by his left foot, right foot and head, was his first in the Champions League and ninth overall for Tottenham , who now own a commanding position to qualify from Group H.
They rode their luck at times against a spirited Apoel side, who were spurred on by a buoyant home crowd, but in Kane Spurs have arguably the deadliest striker in the world on current form.
The 24-year-old has now scored 11 goals in his last seven games for club and country while his 2017 record shows 34 goals in 30 club appearances.
He becomes the seventh English player to score a Champions League hat-trick after Andy Cole, Mike Newell, Michael Owen, Wayne Rooney, Alan Shearer and Danny Welbeck.
Pochettino had said he was “in love” with Kane after his talisman’s double against West Ham on Saturday and he joked he should tread more carefully this time around.
Mauricio Pochettino suggests Harry Kane is BETTER than Cristiano Ronaldo after Champions League hat-trick
“Now my wife is so jealous – and his wife too,” Pochettino said with a smile. “No, I think it’s unbelievable. You know, it’s Harry Kane.
“He has unbelievable skills in front of goal. He has something special. That is why he is one of the best.
“All the strikers that have this type of level they have something special in front of goals. They are killers. Harry has this special skill.”
Kane himself told ESPN: “It’s a very proud night for myself and obviously the team as well.
“The first one was a close one, I’m not sure if it was offside or not but Toby’s (Alderweireld) played a great ball in, I’ve touched it inside and I was always going to take it on with my left foot.
“The two in the second half, Moussa (Sissoko)’s cut back a great ball and in those kind of positions it’s all about the touch and the touch was kind of perfect and that set me up and I stroked it home.
“The last one was an unbelievable delivery from Tripps (Kieran Trippier) and I made the run late into the box and I was happy to see it go in.”
In a group that is expected to finish with reigning champions Real Madrid and underdogs Apoel at the top and bottom respectively, Tottenham have stolen a march on Borussia Dortmund.
Dortmund’s defeat at home to Real on Tuesday means they sit six points behind Spurs, who travel to the Santiago Bernabeu next month.
That match is likely to be billed as a contest of Kane against Cristiano Ronaldo but Pochettino refused to stoke the fire.
“Cristiano is fantastic, one of the best,” Pochettino said. “Harry is one of the best and will get better because he’s so young. I cannot joke about that because both are fantastic.
“Both are the type of players you want in your team, in the same team.”
Tottenham will head to Spain in confident mood after taking maximum points so far and knowing even defeat would not seriously damage their chances of progress.
“We are going to play against the best team in the world because I think Real Madrid are the best right now,” Pochettino said.
“This season they are showing they are the best. You never know. We will be very motivated to play them. We know very well the quality they have.
“It’s a big challenge for us to try to see what is our level and if we can compete in this type of level.”
Before Kane worked his magic, Apoel could have turned the match their own way but Igor de Camargo was denied by the crossbar and Carlao nodded a free header wide.
“We congratulate the squad because today we competed in a very good way on a difficult pitch, a difficult atmosphere and we gave our best,” Pochettino said.
“I felt we maybe didn’t play our best, it wasn’t fantastic the performance, but it was a tough game to win. It was an important three points.”
Apoel manager Giorgos Donis rued his side’s wastefulness in front of goal.
“We played very well until the 60th minute,” Donis said.
“But I cannot say it was an unfair result. You have to put the ball in the net.”