Tottenham’s pre-season preparations took an unusual turn in China as Harry Kane, Dele Alli and Erik Lamela played against 100 local children.
Mauricio Pochettino’s Champions League finalists are stepping up their work for the 2019-2020 campaign in sweltering Shanghai, where the heat and humidity is only adding to the workload demanded by their manager.
Spurs trained for the first time on Chinese soil on Tuesday morning – and a handful of lucky souls then returned to Yuanshen Stadium for an unfamiliar second session.
To celebrate club sponsors AIA’s 100th anniversary, Kane, Alli, Lamela and Juan Foyth took part in the ‘3 v 100 Challenge’ in the stifling midday heat in Shanghai.
“Another tough challenge,” Alli told PA with a smile before trotting out to face the local kids.
“Not quite like playing in the Premier League against XI but it’s exciting and it’s nice to have a bit of fun with them.”
Kane, Alli and Lamela certainly looked like they enjoyed themselves as they teamed up – even if they did take it a little seriously.
Just days after scoring a wonderful goal from the halfway line against Juventus, Kane tried his luck again. This time, though, it just cleared the crossbar.
But having fallen a goal behind in their mini match, Tottenham were not to be denied and Alli slammed home a penalty to secure a 3-2 aggregate win – albeit after going down in exaggerated circumstances.
It was a good workout for the first-team players and the children did not appear too upset by the dodgy manner of their defeat.
In fact, they all came together to sing happy birthday to England captain Kane ahead of his 26th birthday this weekend.
But with pre-season in full flow, the cake – a white Tottenham shirt with ‘Kane 10’ on it – unsurprisingly went untouched.