They should be his drooping eyelids, reminiscent of some grief and, you know, advertisers do not want sad faces. It would be necessary to attribute it to his lack of grace, since he runs bending his knees as he would bend a dromedary and is also chepudo. Perhaps it is even due to his apparent clumsiness with the ball, because he never gives a frivolity, let alone a lambretta. They count in his entourage, that, to evaluate his signing, last summer Florentino Pérez dismissed him because he did not find any noteworthy virtues. Harry Kane, the most phlegmatic star in world football, showed no interest in leaving London to go to Madrid in August. But the destination, which is spinning, imposed a mission in Seville in October. In half an hour he destroyed Spain. In his way: his decisive intervention in the three goals of England in minutes 16, 30 and 38, will go unnoticed in the highlights television
It was raining on Seville as it should rain on Chingford. The night smelled of wet grass and the ball rolled soaked. The atmosphere presented itself with a certain British air. The Irish pubs that overlook the Gualdalquivir smelled of beer spilled since Sunday morning, and a column of about 3,000 English fans were placed in the upper ring of Benito Villamarín to warm the hikers. When the PA system vibrated with God save the Queen all sang with religious fervor. The Spanish fans whistled with the same enthusiasm. The climate in the local fans was optimistic. It was enough to tie the classification for the final to four of the League of Nations.
The imagination of some was already heated with a week of apotheosis in the spring of 2019 when the most banal thing in the world happened. A goal kick. A pitch as English as beans with tomatoes in the morning. The ball Pickford throws 60 meters, which flies over the center circle and falls to Kane's right foot. From there, the extraordinary. The control, as if the ball were a wet sponge, and the fast opening to Rashford, who was unmarked by the left to the back of Jonny. In a second the Spanish defense was undone. Rashford had time to face and focus on the space that opened between De Gea and the defense. Sterling received the shipment to Alonso's counterpoint, controlled and shot crossed.
The goal was Sterling. But the one who saw the play before the play existed was Kane. Just as he saw it in the action that preceded the 0-2, when he received from behind, 40 meters from the area, in an area where any danger seems foreseeable and avoidable. It was not so. The Tottenham striker turned to the left, evading the Busquets mark and when he looked up he saw in an instant that Ramos and Nacho were closing the gap. Precisely the kind of maneuver he needed to put the pass in the gap left by the two central. The ball rolled into the area so that Rashford would receive it alone and free to Jonny's back. The goal was Kane's half gift.
Kane appeared again eight minutes later. As the herald of the Spanish disaster, he moved in silence, as if nobody detected his sad presence, and stuck to the left post of De Gea to pick up the ball that Winks pumped to the far post. It was a service on a silver platter so that Sterling, who arrived unexpectedly, pushed the third. Neither Ramos, taken by surprise, nor De Gea, too much under his arms, could anticipate an ax that would not admit a cure in what remained of the match. They were three shots between the three clubs of England in the first half and three goals. Only 27.6% of visitor possession in that first act. Less than half that of Spain.
It was the first defeat of the selection in Spanish territory in 15 years. It was the first time that Spain started losing 0-3 at home. Below the obvious statistics, the causes will be more or less obvious. Two goals from Sterling, a goal from Rashford, a string of errors, a handful of cuplables dressed in red. No sign of the great unnoticed. The silent genius who prefers to live in the rain and who, on the night of a Monday in October in Seville, did everything necessary to put Spain on her knees without anyone being able to understand very well how.