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Harry Kane becomes England’s all-time top scorer after penalty in Naples

Kane surpassed Wayne Rooney with his 54th goal for his country

Harry Latham-Coyle
Thursday 23 March 2023 20:44 GMT
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Harry Kane celebrates after scoring England’s second goal against Italy
Harry Kane celebrates after scoring England’s second goal against Italy (Getty Images)

Harry Kane has become England’s all-time leading top scorer after scoring a penalty against Italy in Naples.

The Tottenham striker scored his 54th goal for his country, surpassing Wayne Rooney as the outright record holder after having drawn level with Rooney during the World Cup in Qatar.

Kane was involved in the penalty incident, which occured when Italy’s Giovanni Di Lorenzo handled the ball while trying to challenge the England captain at the back post, and the decision was given after VAR’s intervention. Kane made no mistake, putting the ball in the right-hand side of the net as goalkeeper Gianluigi Donnarumma dived the opposite way.

The 29-year-old made his senior England debut under Roy Hodgson in March 2015, scoring his first international goal against Lithuania in a 4-0 win. His first two-goal performance for his country came against France in June 2017.

Appointed England captain by Gareth Southgate ahead of the 2018 World Cup in Russia, Kane celebrated with a hat-trick against Panama, becoming only the third male England player to score thrice in a World Cup match after Geoff Hurst and Gary Lineker.

The centre forward finished the tournament as the top scorer, winning the Golden Boot and matching Lineker’s achievement from 1986.

After going almost a year-and-a-half between his 32nd and 33rd goals for England during the Covid pandemic, Kane notched again against Albania in March 2021, while his 38th proved crucial - Kane’s extra-time winner took England through to the final of the delayed Euros.

Seven goals in back-to-back games against Albania and San Marino later that year enabled the striker to power through the forties, becoming only the second Englishman to reach a half-century of goals for his country in June of last year.

The record goal came in Kane’s 81st England appearance, 39 fewer than it took Rooney to achieve his 53 goals at international level, and comes less than two months after the 29-year-old went past Jimmy Greaves as Spurs’ all-time leading goalscorer.

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