Harry Kane surpassed Wayne Rooney’s 53 goals for England as his first-half penalty in the Three Lions’ Euro 2024 qualifying match in Naples moved him onto 54 goals.
Gareth Southgate’s side beat the reigning European Champions 2-1 to kick off their Group C campaign with a big away win. Kane netted from the spot after 44 mintues after Declan Rice had put England ahead.
Mateo Retegui pulled a goal back for the home side as Luke Shaw was sent off with 10 minutes remaining. However, England held on as Kane celebrated his record-breaking night in style.
Kane scored his first England goal in March 2015, as he netted in a 4-0 victory over Lithuania. He was introduced with 18 minutes remaining and headed home on debut after just 79 seconds.
He claimed the World Cup golden boot in 2018 after helping England reach the semi-finals of the tournament. He scored six times and again played a key role at the next major tournament.
After not scoring in the group at Euro 2020, Kane found the net in the 2-0 last-16 win over Germany, twice in the quarter final against Ukraine and claimed the winning goal in the semi-final, as he tucked home the rebound in extra-time after Kasper Schmeichel had saved his penalty in a 2-1 victory over Denmark.
In 2021, Kane scored 13 goals in total, becoming the first player to reach that amount in a calendar year for the Three Lions. He netted twice at the World Cup in Qatar last year, with his penalty in the quarter-final loss to France equalling Rooney’s record.
Of Kane’s 54 England goals, 18 have been from the penalty spot. At the age of 29, Kane has plenty of years remaining in his career to add to his record-breaking tally.
Rooney has hung up his boots while Lioness Ellen White, who has scored 52 times for England, has also retired.
Kane told Channel 4: “Yeah, it means everything, you know. We were so excited to put the England shirt back on and get back out here and get the campaign started for the Euros next year. It had to be a penalty of course and once it hit the back of the net it was just so much emotion.
“Just thanks to all the players, the staff, the fans, my wife, my family back home and everyone who has helped me get to this stage. It is just a magical moment.”
It was England’s first win in Italy since 1961 and Kane added: “Thankfully I put it away and just a great night. We haven’t won in Italy for so long. To score and win the game is special.
“The World Cup was obviously a difficult way to end. It was tough to finish it that way. We spoke about getting back to it. We feel like we are one of the best teams in Europe and we just need to keep knocking on the door.
“We’re getting close but coming here and putting in a performance like that today shows we’re ready for the next challenge.”
England’s leading male goal-scorers
1. Harry Kane - 54 goals
2. Wayne Rooney - 53 goals
3. Bobby Charlton - 49 goals
4. Gary Lineker - 48 goals
5. Jimmy Greaves - 44 goals
6. Michael Owen - 40 goals
7. Nat Lofthouse - 30 goals
7. Alan Shearer - 30 goals
7. Tom Finney - 30 goals
10. Steve Bloomer - 28 goals
10. Vivian Woodward - 28 goals
10. Frank Lampard - 28 goals