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The numbers behind Harry Kane’s England goal record

Harry Kane has become England’s all-time record goalscorer after the forward scored his 54th international goal during the 2-1 win over Italy this week.

Kane has moved past Wayne Rooney’s record to become the leading scorer in the Three Lions’ history, another goalscoring milestone for the 29-year-old who set a new club-record total for Tottenham last month.

Following his achievement, we’ve decided to look at some of the numbers behind Kane’s goalscoring record.

Rooney’s record beaten in style…

Kane’s record-breaking goal was thumped home from the penalty spot in Naples on Thursday, his 54th for the national side and one which saw him move past Wayne Rooney’s record.

The former England captain was among the first to congratulate Kane on becoming England’s leading goalscorer, having been the figurehead in the squad when the Tottenham forward made his international debut.

“He took my attention in training straight away. It’s not that he did anything special or out of this world, it was just his finishing. It was brilliant, as good as anything I had seen,” Rooney wrote in the Times this week.

“He more or less always hit the target and had a shot that was a bit like Frank Lampard’s. You could see it was natural to him. He didn’t have to look where the goal was — he already knew — and he would get his shot away at any opportunity.

“He was shooting from anywhere, all these mad angles, and that turned out to be a feature of his game. You’re in the box and think he’s going to cross it or pass, but he just shoots. You’re about to get frustrated and the ball flies in!

“The only other person I’ve seen like that is Cristiano Ronaldo and both he and Harry have what you would call a good kind of selfishness, an obsession with goals that is in-built. It is important to their success. I looked at the young Harry on the training pitch and thought: “You really want to score.”

Kane scored his 54th goal in his 81st appearance for England, 39 games less than it took Rooney to reach his 53 goals for the national side.

Kane’s 0.67 goals per game for England is better than all but three of England’s top ten goalscorers, with only Jimmy Greaves (0.77), Nat Lofthouse (0.91) and Vivian Woodward (1.23) producing a better goal-per-game return. Greaves – the most recent of those three forwards – made his last England appearance in 1967.

A breakdown of Kane’s England goals

  • World Cup qualifiers – 17
  • European Championship qualifiers – 16
  • World Cup – 8
  • International friendlies – 6
  • European Championship – 4
  • UEFA Nations League – 3

Kane’s record-breaking total has come almost entirely in competitive fixtures, with just six of his international goals arriving in friendlies. He has netted 48 goals in 68 competitive games for England, including a record 12 goals at major tournaments.

The countries Kane has scored the most goals against

  • San Marino – 5
  • Germany – 4
  • Albania – 4
  • Bulgaria – 4
  • Montenegro – 4

San Marino have often been the whipping boys of international football and Kane has scored more goals against them than any other opponent. His five goals against San Marino include four first-half goals in England’s 10-0 thrashing of the minnows in November 2021. He became the first Englishman to score four goals in a fixture since Ian Wright did so against the same opponents in 1993.

Kane followed that haul with a hat-trick against Albania, becoming just the fourth England player to score consecutive hat-tricks, after Vivian Woodward (1909), Dixie Dean (1927) and Tommy Taylor (1957).

Kane also boasts a fine record against old rivals Germany, with four goals in four appearances, including one in England’s 2-0 win over Die Mannschaft at Euro 2020.

How Kane’s record compares to other nations

Kane is now England’s all-time record goalscorer, but he has some distance to catch the leading scorers in international history.

Cristiano Ronaldo leads the way with an astonishing 120 goals in 197 appearances for Portugal, ahead of Iran’s Ali Daei (109) and Argentina’s Lionel Messi (99).

Behind Ronaldo and Messi, the leading active international goalscorers are India’s Sunil Chhetri (84), UAE’s Ali Mabkhout (80), Poland’s Robert Lewandowski (79), Brazil’s Neymar (77), Belgium’s Romelu Lukaku (71) and Uruguay’s Luis Suarez (68).

Top ACTIVE international men’s football goal scorers by country:

  1. Cristiano Ronaldo – Portugal (120)
  2. Lionel Messi – Argentina (99)
  3. Sunil Chhetri  – India (84),
  4. Ali Mabkhout – UAE (80)
  5. Robert Lewandowski – Poland (79)
  6. Neymar – Brazil (77)
  7. Romelu Lukaku – Belgium (71)
  8. Luis Suarez – Uruguay (68)
  9. Edin Dzeko – Bosnia (64)
  10. Zlatan Ibrahimovic – Sweden (62)

Kane’s England records

Kane has compiled quite a number of national records in an England shirt, with his status as all-time leading goalscorer not the sole record to his name.

  • Most England goals (54)

 

  • Most England goals as captain (46)

 

  • Most competitive England goals (48)

 

  • Most England penalties (18)

  • Major tournament goals for England (12)

 

  • Most goals in a calendar year (16 – 2021)

 

  • Joint-most appearances in a calendar year (16 – 2021 – also Jack Charlton 1996)
  • Joint-most consecutive internationals scored in (6)

 

  • Most England goals in a World Cup qualifying campaign (12 – 2022)

 

  • Most England goals in a European Championship qualifying campaign (12 – 2020)

  • Joint-most England goals in a World Cup fixture (3 vs Panama – 2018)

 

  • Joint-most England goals in a European Championship fixture (2 vs Ukraine – 2021)

 

  • One of two Englishman to win a World Cup Golden Boot (2018 – also Gary Lineker 1986)

 

  • Joint-most appearances at the European Championship (11 – also Gary Neville)

Read – Nine young midfielders that could dominate the game for the next decade

Read Also – Five uncapped England players hoping to make Euro 2024

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