Harry Kane's goal-scoring desire for Tottenham is what sets him apart
Strikers are often cast as uncompromising individuals, willing to do anything in pursuit of a goal. And, finally, there is evidence to suggest that Harry Kane -- often professional to the point of dullness -- is no different.
Kane's determination to claim Tottenham's second goal in Saturday's 2-1 win at Stoke, despite the Premier League's decision to award it to Christian Eriksen, prompted him to swear "on my daughter's life" that his teammate's free kick brushed him on the shoulder on the way into the net.
Although the Premier League did not take him at his word, Spurs have now taken the step, presumably at Kane's insistence, of appealing to have the goal reassigned to him. If the club can present sufficient evidence -- unrelated, one hopes, to 18-month old Ivy Kane -- that their talisman touched the ball, he will be awarded a 25th league goal of the season.
Kane is motivated by history. As it stands, he trails Liverpool's Mohamed Salah by five goals in the race for the Premier League Golden Boot, which he is hoping to win for a third consecutive season -- a feat last achieved by Arsenal's Thierry Henry from 2003-2006. An extra goal could make all the difference.
Long-term, too, there are records to break and milestones to pass. Kane has made no secret of his desire to surpass Alan Shearer's all-time Premier League record of 260 goals and he will want to finish as the top scorer in elite European football in 2018, just as he did last year. Clive Allen's 49-goal season in 1986-87 -- a Spurs record -- is not yet out of reach.
Kane's basic wage of £100,000 a week is supported by a flurry of performance-related add-ons, including a goal bonus, which can boost his salary by up to 50 percent, but the 24-year-old is not a mercenary man -- he would already have left Spurs if money trumped his insatiable desire for self-improvement and personal accolades.
Beyond involving little Ivy, Kane has also enlisted the help of ex-England captains Shearer, Gary Lineker and Frank Lampard, as well as the media, in trying to claim the goal and his reaction has been greeted by a mixture of mirth, eye-rolling and accusations of ego.
There is, undoubtedly, something slightly odd about wanting to score that badly. But that does not make it a bad thing.
Last week saw further celebrations of the genius of Cristiano Ronaldo after a wonderful bicycle kick against Juventus. That effort was never in doubt, but in general it takes a brave Real Madrid teammate not to pass to Ronaldo, let alone try to take a goal away from him.
Even in his 34th year, the Portuguese's desire to keep improving, keep confounding critics, and keep breaking records is what sets him apart and what has made him one of the greatest players ever.
Kane's aspires to be like Ronaldo and their personalities are not so different. Everyone who has coached or played alongside Kane, including the current Spurs manager Mauricio Pochettino, has said his mentality sets him apart.
The 24-year-old has admitted that he is obsessed with improving and silencing his critics, who have long since had nothing to criticise.
An uncompromising streak can make all the difference at the very top.
Eden Hazard, the Chelsea winger who was PFA Player of the Year in 2015-16, is a more natural talent than Kane or even Ronaldo. But the Belgian is a more placid character who seems unlikely to ever take a disputed goal all the way to the court of appeal and, for all his quality, he is prone to spells -- even seasons -- of underperformance. The two are not entirely unrelated.
Spurs now await the Premier League's decision but, whatever the outcome, Kane will continue to believe he can overhaul Salah until the very end -- don't forget last season he scored seven times in the final two matches to surpass Romelu Lukaku.
Kane's unwavering belief and uncompromising pursuit of greatness, and goals, is to be celebrated, rather than derided. It is what makes him so special.
Dan is ESPN FC's Tottenham correspondent. Follow him on Twitter: @Dan_KP.