True, he’s not exactly the next David Beckham: no over-the-top tattoos, no pop-star wife, no risqué underwear ads.
But that’s what makes the fervent soccer-fan love for Harry Kane, striker for the Tottenham Hotspur (a k a the Spurs), all the more remarkable. He’s a wholesome soccer star who’s all about scoring — on the field.
On Tuesday, the British soccer phenom brings his magic foot to Red Bull Arena in Harrison, NJ, taking on AS Roma as part of the International Champions Cup exhibition tour.
The clean-cut 23-year-old has been the top scorer in the English Premier League for the past two years, earning two consecutive Golden Boot awards.
Kane, who earlier this year got engaged to longtime girlfriend Katie Goodland — mother of his baby daughter, Ivy — told The Post he keeps his coveted hardware on display in the living room.
“It’s nice to look at them when I watch TV at night,” he added. “They’re in a cupboard where I keep my Man of the Match awards. It’s getting pretty full.”
New York City, it seems, has already been converted. “I went to New York a few years ago, and I got noticed quite a lot,” Kane said. “Walking down the street, I got stopped. At the Top of the Rock people asked for photos. You don’t think America is a big Premier League fan base, but it is.”
For those just getting into it, here’s what you need to know about Tuesday’s teams.
The North London underdog club, founded in 1882, hasn’t won a Premier League title since 1961 (which was then known as Football League First Division) — but in the past two years, its been in title contention. They’re also fan favorites, even on this side of the Atlantic: The Spurs have 61 official supporters clubs in North America, more than any other English Premier League team.(The New York arm meets at Chelsea bar Flannery’s to watch matches.) Get ready to see the Spurs inserted into the NFL conversation. Tottenham is building a state-of-the-art stadium, which will host American football games when completed in 2018.
Kane might not provide much fodder for the gossip pages, but his 21-year-old teammate does. Sensation Alli has all the trappings of a rock-star athlete: a lingerie-model girlfriend, reports of hotel trysts and the distinction of being the world’s most valuable player under 21. In June, he even flew his barber from London to Los Angeles for a quick trim.
“I see him as my younger brother,” Kane said. “I’m always trying to look after him and give him advice, but he hasn’t always listened.”
The French goalkeeper has rugged good looks and magic hands. He’s regarded as one of the top keepers in the league and is also the captain for the French National team. Off the field, he’s equally solid. The 30-year-old Nice native married his wife, Marine, in 2012 and the pair have two daughters. Marine, who Lloris converted into a soccer fan, is no slouch, either. The pretty WAG has an upscale children’s clothing line called Manège en Sucre.
Much of the credit for the club’s momentum goes to its Argentine coach. The 45-year-old shook things up by embracing young talent, and it paid off. He trains players hard, but is also superstitious: In March, he banned his wife, Karina, from the stadium because he was worried she would jinx the team’s winning streak.
Though it’s a historic Italian soccer club founded in 1927, Roma’s management is as American as apple pie. In 2011, it was bought by a US-based group, including New York defense attorney Joe Tacopina. (He resigned from the board in 2014 and later purchased Bologna F.C.) Bostonian James Pallotta — who co-owns the Celtics — is the current chairman. The Italian league has been dominated by Juventus for the last six years, but Roma has been closing the gap, finishing second in three of the past four seasons.
Stephan El Shaarawy
it’s impossible to miss the 24-year-old winger, who is known for having one of the craziest heads of hair in the sport. The flashy Italian, whose father is Egyptian, is called “The Pharaoh” by European press and fans.
Daniele De Rossi
The beloved veteran midfielder is a stalwart of the club, having played his entire 16-year career there. True to footballer formula, he’s married to a model (Sarah Felderbaum). But De Rossi, 33, is no fan of social media. Earlier this year he spoke out against players obsessed with it, saying he’d “like to take a baseball bat” to the teeth of players who use Instagram in the locker room.
The Dutch midfielder, 27, is a tough-tackling player who earned the nickname “Er lavatrice” — Italian for “the washing machine”— because he always cleans up on the field. During this US trip, Strootman ran through some football drills with players from the University of Michigan football team, which solidified his devotion to his original love. “I prefer a soccer ball,” he tweeted.