The former England international took a few years until settling on the position he would later become renowned for.
The 35-year old became renowned for his qualities as a central defender but has revealed it took until Euro 2004 for him to fully realise the position and formation that suited him best.
“I was quite inexperienced at that time… I’d come off the back of the 2003-04 season playing in midfield but in the first game of the tournament I played against France in a flat back four which, now I’ve looked back, I realise I’d never really done up until that game,” said King.
“Before that I’d played in a back three, in midfield, all over the place really, but never in a back four….That was when I realised ‘this defending is alright!’ and I enjoyed it.”
King had become a mainstay at Spurs by this point, having made 130 appearances before his 24th birthday, but his experience with England was to shape his future on the pitch.
Jacques Santini was in charge of France for that encounter and he took the reins at Spurs the following season, providing King the opportunity to play centrally in a flat back four for the first time.
“I felt comfortable alongside Noureddine Naybet and I realised the potential I had playing there. It was a big tournament for me in terms of developing my favourite position in a back four and I took my career forward from there.”
King went on to appear 268 times in his 14 seasons at Spurs and is still revered by the fans, with a special chant on the 26th minute observed every game to recognise his contribution.
The cultured defender has been lauded by many of the game’s great strikers as the toughest defender they’ve faced and his quality is even more impressive given his inability to train for much of his career.