Harry Kane has eclipsed Wayne Rooney to turn out to be England‘s all-time prime aim scorer however he’s nonetheless battling to keep away from the identical destiny as his predecessor.
Rooney was among the many first to congratulate the 29-year-old striker after his record-breaking 54th aim in Thursday’s 2-1 win over Italy, a second which has been inevitable for a while given Kane’s efficiency but no much less historic when it lastly arrived.
The chase additional intertwined two gamers whose connection dates again to March 2015, when Kane changed Rooney for his debut in a European Championship qualifier towards Lithuania at Wembley. Rooney had already scored; Kane took 79 seconds to hit the web himself. Later that yr, Rooney beat Sir Bobby Charlton’s 45-year report (49 objectives) and was introduced with a golden boot by Charlton. Afterwards, he gave a speech within the dressing room.
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“I stated that I hoped the younger gamers within the squad would come near the report themselves and even have the ability to surpass me.” Rooney advised The Times on Friday. “Harry had scored solely three England objectives at that time, however I stated these phrases as a result of I knew he might do it. Even then, with solely 4 caps beneath his belt, I knew he might turn out to be England’s biggest scorer if he saved going the way in which he was and I needed to present him encouragement.”
Rooney has been readily available ever since to supply Kane steerage and recommendation, however his England profession additionally serves as a warning. He scored his record-setting 53rd and ultimate worldwide aim in England’s humiliating Euro 2016 defeat to Iceland — the chasm between particular person and collective achievement by no means wider within the striker’s lifetime.
Rooney scored simply as soon as in three World Cups, by no means capable of produce his devastating finest on the most important stage and endlessly dwelling within the shadow of his teenage self who burst onto the scene at Euro 2004 with such pressure earlier than his metatarsal damage and a penalty shootout ended England’s hopes within the quarterfinals towards Portugal.
His remorse over by no means successful something together with his nation is replicated by lots of the so-called “Golden Era” of which he is a component. Kane will recognise that ache, too, particularly having additionally been on the pitch when England misplaced to Iceland seven years in the past. He already holds the report for many England objectives at a event finals (12) however what drives him now’s silverware.
Not less than Rooney had an illustrious membership profession at Manchester United to console him, ending his profession with 5 Premier League titles, three League Cups and one FA Cup, Champions League, Europa League and FIFA Membership World Cup. In addition to the all-time scoring report for United (253 objectives in 559 video games). Kane is now the all-time prime aim scorer for Tottenham (lately surpassing Jimmy Greaves with 267 objectives in 416 video games) and England, however whereas he’s a World Cup Golden Boot winner he doesn’t possess a solitary workforce trophy to point out for it.
England’s palpable progress beneath Gareth Southgate — reaching the 2018 World Cup semifinals and Euro 2020 ultimate — has created a way that they’ve by no means been nearer to ending a 57-year look forward to a significant honour, even accounting for the nice margins of event soccer. However they must take these final steps to grasp that potential at Euro 2024.
That job is clearly not solely inside Kane’s grasp so, for now, all he can do is preserve main by instance. He would, in fact, have most popular to interrupt Rooney’s report by changing that now-infamous second penalty in England’s 2022 World Cup quarterfinal defeat to France however there was a minimum of some poetic justice in attaining the milestone from one other spot-kick in Naples on Thursday.
No person can significantly query his mentality today however Kane’s willpower to set the tone at first of Euro 2024 qualification led to an excellent all-round show towards Italy and a fillip for Southgate as he appears to be like to rally the troops for his fourth event cycle. Beating their Euro-2020 conquerors Italy away from residence for the primary time since 1961 is one other step in direction of England breaking down the long-standing inferiority complicated that has inhibited them towards prime opposition.
Kane is an entire centre-forward and with 19-year-old Jude Bellingham making thrilling strides to inject much-needed dynamism in central midfield, England are edging in direction of changing into an entire workforce. Points stay, nevertheless. Centre-back continues to look an space of weak point and the second-half wobble towards Italy was a reminder that an issue of surrendering the initiative nonetheless exists. However qualification already appears to be like a neater proposition now the hardest Group C fixture is received and there may be time to nice tune their strategy.
Sunday’s go to of Ukraine, earlier than which Kane will likely be introduced with a memento marking his goal-scoring achievement, represents an excellent likelihood to ascertain a dominant place. England are a younger facet however Kane turns 30 this yr. A mannequin skilled in elite bodily situation, his profession will certainly endure on the highest degree for years to return however Kane’s time is now; Euro 2024 and the 2026 World Cup are clear targets.
Kane performed in a superb Tottenham facet for 5 years beneath Mauricio Pochettino and received nothing. It could rankle endlessly if the identical destiny awaited him for England. Simply ask Rooney.
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