Euro 2024: Harry Kane passes self-fit for semi-final clash against Netherlands

Euro 2024: Harry Kane passes self-fit for semi-final clash against Netherlands

England captain Harry Kane has rebuffed suggestions he is struggling with his fitness as he aims to make history with an England side surrounded by a new “aura” at Euro 2024.

Kane was substituted during extra time of the quarter-final win over Switzerland, watching the penalty shoot-out from the side of the pitch.

Eyebrows were raised after a poor outing for the Bayern Munich striker but manager Gareth Southgate revealed “cramp” was the reason for Kane’s withdrawal and he is all but certain to start Wednesday’s semi-final clash with the Netherlands.

England’s all-time leading goalscorer has found the back of the net twice during the Euros but has drawn criticism for some of his performances and was also replaced with 20 minutes to go in the 1-1 group stage draw with Denmark.

“Of course, everyone is entitled to their opinion, I know everyone wants me to score three goals a game and I want to score three goals a game, but it’s not always the case,” he said.

“Maybe sometimes when I don’t score I think the fitness one is an easy one just to throw in –  ‘Why? Is there a reason? Is it his fitness? Is it not?’.

“But like I said before the tournament, I felt like I had a good preparation going into it, I’m getting better and sharper as the games go along.

“We have a semi-final ahead of us and of course, I’d love nothing more than to score a couple of goals and get through to the final.”

England’s quest to win Euro 2024 faces its toughest test with a semi-final showdown with the Netherlands.

The Three Lions have toiled through the tournament thus far, edging nervously through the group stage with two draws and a narrow win, before a 95th-minute Jude Bellingham overhead kick was required to avoid going

The Dutch have not lit up the tournament either. Having finished third in their group after losing to Austria, they strolled past Romania in the last-16 but needed to come from behind to get the better of a spirited Turkey team on Saturday.

Ronald Koeman’s team was not fancied to go all the way before the tournament yet are now in their first Euros semi-final for 20 years, as both they and England benefit from being on the ‘kinder’ side of the draw. The question is, who will take the final step to Berlin?