England captain Harry Kane said a “band of brothers” spirit is driving Gareth Southgate’s side towards World Cup glory as they prepare to face Sweden in the quarter-final on Saturday.
Kane is the tournament’s leading scorer with six goals and the 24-year-old will carry England’s biggest threat in the searing Samara heat, as they attempt to reach a first World Cup semi-final since Italia 90.
And while Kane is happy to share his responsibility, he believes England’s progress to the last eight for the first time in 12 years is also down to the special bond among this group of players.
“We are just like family,” said Kane, who is expected to line up in an unchanged starting XI on Saturday. “We spend a lot of time together and we all get on with each other very well. It is about togetherness and trust.
“I look at them like my brothers and they look at me the same. We will do anything for each other.”
England’s dramatic victory on penalties against Colombia in the last 16 – in which Kane scored from the spot in normal time and again in the shootout – ended a run of three defeats from three in World Cup shootouts for the national team.
The match was also full of controversy, with England defender John Stones saying Colombia were probably the “dirtiest team” he has faced.
“When you go through a battle like that and come through it, that gives you so much energy, so much belief to go and do it again,” said Kane.
“The feeling after is amazing. We’re hungry for more. We want that feeling. If it goes to extra time and penalties, then we’ll be ready for that.”a