Wednesday, December 8, 2021

Where Kane is one of England’s greats – and how many goals it takes to break Rooney’s record

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Kane is level with Gary Lineker after his four-goal win against San Marino in England’s top scorer charts and has the record in his sights

Despite all of his battles at Tottenham this season, Harry Kane is showing little sign of slowing down with England.

After scoring three consecutive World Cup qualifiers against Hungary, Andorra and Poland in September, he scored a perfect hat-trick against Albania and then four goals against San Marino on Friday night.

Kane has scored 16 goals for England this calendar year, which is a record in itself. He had 12 goals before the last international match of the year, in line with his own performance in 2019 and that of sepia legends George Hilsdon and Dixie Dean, and he is only the second player to double-digit in a year after Vivian Woodward.

His seven goals in the two qualifiers also give him the legitimate claim to be England’s all-time striker as he became the Three Lions’ top scorer in competitive games. Wayne Rooney previously held the record at 37, despite the fact that the Manchester United icon remains at the top of all-time goalscorers.

Kane has now drawn level with Gary Lineker with a total of 48 goals for England. This puts him in third place on the list of the most productive players in the Three Lions, with only Rooney and Bobby Charlton ahead of him.

Lineker has 48 goals for England, Charlton 49 and Rooney 53. That puts Kane two goals from Charlton and six away from the all-time record.

Given the goal-to-game ratio, Kane’s scoring record for England seems even more impressive. While it took Rooney 120 caps to score 53 goals at a ratio of 0.44 per game, Kane has scored 48 in just 67 games at a ratio of 0.71.

Lineker scored 0.6 goals per game for England in his eight-year international career, while Charlton scored 0.46 per game over a 12-year period. It may seem surreal, but Kane only made his England debut in March 2015, a little over six and a half years ago.

Of England’s top five goalscorers, only Greaves has a better ratio than Kane, who scored 44 goals in just 57 games at 0.77 per game. It helped that he hit a record six hat-tricks, and it took Kane one more to keep up with him.

However, only one of Greave’s hat tricks came in a competitive game, which means Kane has the most in competitive games. Kane also holds the joint record for the most goals in a World Cup tournament with six in Russia 2018, which is Lineker’s record in Mexico ’86, as well as the joint record for most consecutive goals in a row – six – and the most goals scored on penalties with 10.

While Kane’s claim to the title of England’s greatest striker is still up for debate, there is plenty of evidence to support him. At 28, despite the current slump in his home form, he should have a lot more time to add the 10 goals that would settle the dispute once and for all.

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