Kane says he plays with 'point to prove' against Arsenal after being released when he was 9

Bayern Munich star Harry Kane celebrates with teammate.[Bayern Munich]

Harry Kane was released by Arsenal when he was 9 years old. He has been on a revenge mission ever since.

The England captain has scored 15 goals in 20 appearances in all competitions against Arsenal — first as a Tottenham player and now while at Bayern Munich — and will look to add to that record in the second leg of the Champions League quarterfinals.

Bayern held Arsenal to a 2-2 draw in the first leg in London last week, with Kane scoring.

He opened up Tuesday about his feelings when playing against Arsenal after being rejected as a kid.

“Up until this year, I’ve played them at least twice a year for the last 10 years,” Kane said at a news conference ahead of Wednesday’s game at the Allianz Arena. “It was always a big occasion, a big moment. Of course, always maybe it was in the back of my mind, being released from a young age, that there was always a point to prove and I feel like I’m the type of player who throughout my whole career has had points to prove along the way.

“I don’t feel that ever leaves you. It will always be in my DNA until I’m retired. There will always be a reason to prove someone wrong or prove to myself I can do something.”

Liam Brady, who was Arsenal’s academy manager when Kane was at the club, has since said Kane “was a bit chubby, he wasn’t very athletic but we made a mistake.”

Writing in a piece for The Players’ Tribune in 2018, Kane said being released by Arsenal “was probably the best thing that ever happened to me, because it gave me a drive that wasn’t there before.”

On Tuesday, Kane said there was more at play now that he had joined Bayern.

“I don’t think specifically I look back to that and think that because I was released at 9 years old, I really need to make a difference tomorrow,” he said. “Now I’m at Bayern Munich, it’s just they are a top team in the Champions League.

“Of course I have history with (Arsenal) but all I can do is help Bayern Munich qualify for the semifinals of the Champions League.”

Arsenal captain Martin Odegaard trained Tuesday after coming off in the second half of the team’s 2-0 loss to Aston Villa in the Premier League on Sunday with what manager Mikel Arteta said was an injury.

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