Thursday, December 2, 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 has equated himself with Jimmy Greaves after his hat-trick against Albania in England’s top scorer charts and has his sights set on the all-time record

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 managed a perfect hat-trick against Albania on Friday night. After opening his account with a routine header, he thundered his left foot in his second before scooping a spectacular third hit with a bike kick from his right foot.

Kane now has 12 goals for England this calendar year, which in itself is a joint record. He achieved this feat for the first time in 2019, on a par with sepia legends George Hilsdon and Dixie Dean, and is only the second player after Vivian Woodward to double-digit in a year.

His hat-trick also gave 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 Jimmy Greaves with a total of 44 goals for England. This puts him in fourth place on the list of the most productive players in the Three Lions, ahead of only Rooney, Bobby Charlton and Gary Lineker.

Lineker, third, has 48 goals for England, while Charlton scored 49 and Rooney 53. As such, Kane is five goals away from beating Lineker, six from overtaking Charlton and 10 from the all-time record.

With England facing San Marino on Monday night, Kane has an excellent chance to narrow the gap further before the international break is over. After the Albania game he said: “[It was] Nice to get the hat trick, hopefully there will be a few more on Monday. “

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 44 in just 66 games at a ratio of 0.67.

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, with Kane needing two 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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