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The four England captains who joined foreign clubs following Harry Kane transfer

Harry Kane is just the fourth player to represent a foreign club while being England captain after completing his transfer to Bayern Munich. 

The £100 million deal, which includes £20m in add-ons, will see the striker leave Tottenham Hotspur, the club where he has spent his entire senior career.

Kane left the door open to a potential return to Spurs and the Premier League in the future, posting on social media: “It’s not a goodbye because you never know how things pan out in the future, but it’s a thank you and I’ll see you soon.”


Although Kane is potentially passing up the chance to become the Premier League’s record goalscorer, he is joining one of the biggest clubs in world football and will be competing for major trophies.

Every previous permanent England captain who moved out of the country picked up at least one piece of silverware while abroad, something Kane will be keen to emulate over the course of his four-year contract.

Every England captain to play abroad following Harry Kane transfer:

Kevin Keegan

By moving to Germany Kane is following in the footsteps of Kevin Keegan, who was made England captain by Don Revie in 1976 while he was at Liverpool. The forward left the Reds after winning the European Cup the following year, but retained the armband at international level.

The Doncaster native continued to wear it through his three-year spell with Hamburg, winning the Bundesliga and Ballon d’Or twice. He returned to England in 1980 to join Southampton and continued as England captain for another two years.

Keegan led England to the 1982 World Cup after missing out in 1978, but could only manage 26 minutes off the bench due to a back injury.

How Newcastle went from Keegan’s Entertainers to Dalglish’s Dad’s Army

David Platt

David Platt earned his first cap while playing for Aston Villa in 1989 and was handed the armband for the first time three years later. He was made skipper on a permanent basis in 1993, while he was playing in Serie A.

The midfielder initially joined Bari from Villa, before moving to Juventus where he won the UEFA Cup. After one season he signed for Sampdoria, with whom he won the Coppa Italia in 1994.

Platt’s England career during this time was not going as well, with the Three Lions failing to qualify for the World Cup in 1994. He continued captaining the side until 1995, the same year he joined Arsenal, at which point he was replaced by club teammate Tony Adams.

Remembering the England XI that failed to reach the 1994 World Cup

David Beckham

Despite not wearing the armband at club level for Manchester United, David Beckham was named England captain by caretaker manager Peter Taylor in 2000 and continued in the role under Sven-Goran Eriksson.

After falling out with Alex Ferguson, Beckham left Man United in 2003 to join Real Madrid, where he won just one La Liga title during his four years in the Spanish capital.

The right-sided midfielder captained the Golden Generation to a treble of quarter-final exits at major tournaments as Brazil and Portugal (twice) eliminated them from the World Cup and European Championship.

Remembering David Beckham’s best free-kicks for Real Madrid

Harry Kane

The former Spurs striker was named captain by Gareth Southgate ahead of the 2018 World Cup in Russia. The team went on to have their best performance at the tournament since 1990 by reaching the semi-finals, where they lost to Croatia.

Kane scored the winning goal in the Euro 2020 semi-final against Denmark, putting them through to the decider against Italy and a first major tournament final since World Cup success in 1966. The Three Lions lost the game on penalties and Kane ended the tournament with four goals.

The 30-year-old once again captained the side at the 2022 World Cup in Qatar, scoring twice to go level with Wayne Rooney at the top of England’s goalscoring charts. But the team were eliminated at the quarter-final by France.

Southgate will retain Kane as captain heading into Euro 2024 in Germany, provided England qualify for next summer’s finals.

Read – Why Postecoglou is the right man to usher in the post-Kane era at Tottenham

Read Also – Ranking the smallest stadiums in Premier League history

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