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When Harry Kane could break England goals record

Harry Kane’s penalty against Andorra on Sunday was his 40th England goal, moving him into a share of fifth place on the Three Lions’ all-time list.

The Tottenham striker has scored almost two goals every three games across his 63 caps as he continues to chase Wayne Rooney’s all-time record of 53 for the men’s national team.

Here, the PA news agency looks at how he compares to the leading group and when he could hope to catch Rooney.

England’s leading scorers

Wayne Rooney: 53 goals in 120 caps, 2003-18

Wayne Rooney celebrates his 53rd and last England goal, against Iceland at Euro 2016 (Jonathan Brady/PA)

(PA Archive)

Also England’s most-capped outfield player, Rooney only scored once at a World Cup finals tournament, against Uruguay in 2014, but his six European Championship goals leave him fourth among England scorers at major tournaments behind Kane, Gary Lineker and Alan Shearer.

Sir Bobby Charlton: 49 goals in 106 caps, 1958-70

The 1966 World Cup winner scored on his debut in 1958, just two months after surviving the Munich air disaster which killed eight of his Manchester United team-mates. He broke Sir Tom Finney and Nat Lofthouse’s previous record of 30 by 1963 and scored twice in the 1966 semi-final, finishing one short of a half-century. He eventually saw his United and England records both overhauled by Rooney.

Harry Kane is into England’s top five goalscorers (PA graphic)

Gary Lineker: 48 goals in 80 caps, 1984-92

The 1986 World Cup Golden Boot winner scored 10 major-tournament goals for England – a record since matched by Kane – and managed five international hat-tricks including four-goal hauls against both Spain in 1987 and Malaysia in 1991. A missed penalty against Brazil in 1992 would have equalled the record then held by Charlton.

Jimmy Greaves: 44 goals in 57 caps, 1959-67

Jimmy Greaves is next in Kane’s sights (PA)

(PA Archive)

The next name in Kane’s sights, as well as his target as Tottenham’s record scorer should he stay with the club long enough. Greaves’ average of three goals every four games (0.77 goals per match) is comfortably the highest on this list.

Harry Kane: 40 goals in 63 caps, 2015-present

Kane has reached 40 goals in just six-and-a-half years in international football, and in the same number of caps it took Alan Shearer to score his 30 England goals. He won the World Cup Golden Boot in 2018 and, just 28, has time on his side to continue climbing the ranks.

Michael Owen: 40 goals in 89 caps, 1998-2008

Despite an injury-hit career, Owen’s 10 years in the England team are more than many of the names ahead of him. He scored at four separate major tournaments, most memorably as a teenager at the 1998 World Cup when his solo goal against Argentina marked his emergence on the world stage.

Kane v Rooney

Harry Kane is in pursuit of Wayne Rooney’s England record (PA graphic)

Scoring at his current rate of 0.63 goals per game, Kane is on course to match Rooney’s record of 53 goals during his 84th cap.

That is 22 games away and would most likely happen during 2023, assuming Kane remains fit and regularly available in the meantime.

However, his scoring rate has slowed somewhat in the last couple of years – when he passed Shearer, Finney and Lofthouse’s 30 goals in November 2019, Kane had 31 from just 44 caps. With nine in 19 since then – albeit while scoring in 14 successive major tournament qualifiers – he will need to either return to his previous rate or face a longer wait to challenge the record.

He remains well ahead of Rooney, who had just 25 goals after the same number of caps, and has reached 40 in 31 fewer caps after Rooney took 94 to get to that total. The record seems assured at some stage then, barring a major long-term injury or loss of form.

When Rooney was the same age Kane is now, he had 38 goals. Rooney won another 31 caps over the following three years, before a farewell appearance against the United States after two years away, and something similar will be required for Kane unless his scoring rate picks up again.

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