Roberto Soldado is reminiscing about his Tottenham days: the frustration of not doing himself justice in north London, and the blistering form of a young lad called Harry Kane in his first season in the first team.
‘If there is one thing I will not be totally at peace with the day I retire it will be the way I performed in England,’ says the 34-year-old enjoying a swansong back in La Liga at Granada.
‘I don’t regret going to Tottenham. I thought I was going to fit in well with my style of play and the form I was in. But I had the boom of Harry Kane to contend with. That set me to one side a bit.’
Roberto Soldado failed to impress at Tottenham, partly due to Harry Kane's emergence
It was the 2014-15 season, Soldado’s second and last at White Hart Lane, and it coincided with the arrival of Mauricio Pochettino and his decision to make Kane his No 9.
‘I understood it perfectly because you could see immediately what a massive impact he could have on games, and he’s maintained that incredible level,’ says Soldado.
‘I saw it in training everyday. And I’ve seen players who trained well but when it came to performing they did not reach the same level.
‘But from the first time they put him in the team he started to show that he was prolific in front of goal and that he could hold the ball up.
‘I don’t think there is a limit to what he can do. I still don’t think we have seen the best of Harry Kane.’
Roberto is not the only Soldado who is a fan of Kane.
‘My son is into football,’ he says and if we watch a Premier League game or we see him scoring for England I’m there saying: “I played with this guy”. I’m really happy for him above all for the way he is as a person. He really deserves it.’
Soldado, 34, is thriving in the latter part of his career with newly-promoted Granada
There is some pride in that boast to his son that he was Kane’s team-mate.
‘My son doesn’t remember the Galaticos period,’ he says. ‘When we see [Zinedine] Zidane as a coach I tell him I was a team-mate of his too and he says: “Oh yeah, was he any good”? Out comes the YouTube and I show him.’
‘I was part of the B-team that got promoted and they told five of us we were going on the pre-season tour to the US and Japan.
‘What I experienced with the Galaticos was extraordinary. There would be 50,000 to watch training. I was just a kid and too daft to know how to make the most of the situation. I wasn’t mentally prepared for it.