Striker Harry Kane has overtaken Wayne Rooney to become England's all-time record goal-scorer after reaching 54 goals for his country in their European Championship qualifier against Italy on Thursday. Kane scored from the spot right before half-time after VAR awarded a penalty for handball to England against Leonardo Spinazzola. The Tottenham striker's goal put England up 2-0 over Italy at the break as Gareth Southgate's team went on to hang on for a 2-1 win.
Kane made his England debut in March 2015 aged 21 and scored moments after being introduced from the bench by then boss Roy Hodgson against Lithuania. Gareth Southgate, who took over as England boss the following year, made Kane the side's captain for the 2018 World Cup and subsequent European Championship where he led his country to semifinal and final appearances, respectively. He also won the Golden Boot award as top scorer with six goals at his debut World Cup. His record-breaking strike comes just weeks after becoming Spurs' all-time leading scorer when he netted his 267th goal for the club in a win over Manchester City last month.
In 2021, Kane became the first player to score 13 goals in a calendar year for England, twice scoring first-half hat tricks against San Marino and Albania. He then captained England at the World Cup in Qatar, where he scored twice - including one that levelled scores in the quarterfinals against France.
Rooney previously held the record with 53 goals in 120 appearances spanning 15 years and congratulated Kane on breaking it through Twitter: "Congratulations to Harry Kane on becoming England's all-time leading goalscorer... Great man, unbelievable goalscorer and an England legend." Bobby Charlton is third in England’s men’s all-time scoring charts with 49 goals.
England will now host Ukraine at Wembley Stadium this Sunday and Kane is looking forward to more success with his nation: "Playing for England is probably my greatest feeling in football and I want to do it for as long as possible."
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