When Harry Kane scored his penalty to take England 2-0 up in their eventual 2-1 Euro 2024 qualifying win over Italy, most of the discussion centred around him becoming the Three Lions’ all-time record goalscorer.
Yet it was also redemption for the World Cup quarter-final miss of three months earlier, blasting his spot-kick so far over Hugo Lloris’s crossbar that it is now officially a comet.
Penalty prowess is a fundamental part of Kane’s game – hence the Football Twitter moniker Parry Pane – and the England captain has scored a significant proportion of his international goals from 12 yards.
In total, 18 of Kane’s 54 national team goals have come from spot-kicks – exactly a third. Alongside those, he has failed to score four, including his Euro 2020 semi-final and World Cup 2022 misses.
Across his whole the career, the 29-year-old has scored 60 out of the 71 penalties he’s taken, around an 85% success rate.
Research indicates that around 85% of top-level penalties are scored, meaning Kane does exactly what is expected of him as a designated penalty taker.
However, this number drops significantly at major international tournaments, where he has only scored 67% of his penalties, including an average of 50% in knockout games.
Kane actually missed his first international penalty – against Turkey in 2016, before scoring his second against Lloris in a 3-2 loss to France in 2017.
Kane’s spot-kick against Italy now means he has scored twice as many pens as any England men’s international. He overtook the previous record holder, Frank Lampard, when he scored his tenth in a World Cup qualifier against Poland in March 2021.
That goal also meant Kane joined Lampard and Wayne Rooney as the only two England men’s players to score on all seven days of the week.
Top penalty scorers in England history
- Harry Kane – 18
- Frank Lampard – 9
- Wayne Rooney – 7
- Alan Shearer and Ron Flowers – 6
- David Beckham – 5
- Gary Lineker and Geoff Hurst – 4
Of the 15 men’s players to have scored more than three England penalties, six have a 100% record.
Rooney is the most prolific of these, having dispatched all seven of his, while Geoff Hurst, Alf Ramsey, Marcus Rashford, Mick Channon and Ron Flowers also never missed.
Analysis: With Tottenham in meltdown again, England look like Harry Kane’s best chance of a trophy
By Oliver Young-Myles, isports journalist
Tottenham’s annual meltdown aside, 2023 has been a profitable one for Kane so far. Next up: Alan Shearer’s Premier League record, 204 down, 56 to go.
The celebration followed the usual four-step routine: 1) kiss the wedding band, 2) jog to the corner flag, 3) spring off the floor as though assisted by an invisible trampoline, 4) swing the right hand forward purposefully like a malfunctioning robot.
Only this time, it was different. There was raw emotion plastered all over Kane’s face as he savoured a career-defining moment, a mixture of joy and ecstasy. And palpable, unmistakable relief.
Kane admitted after England’s World Cup exit against France that the penalty miss six minutes from time would haunt him for the rest of his career.
Sleepless nights no doubt followed, but as much as one can on a Thursday night in Naples, he would have nodded straight off after settling down for the night in his hotel room. The penalty curse has been lifted at the first attempt.
“It means everything,” Kane told Channel 4 after the final whistle. “I was so excited to put the England shirt 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… huge emotion. Huge thanks to all the players, the staff, the fans, my wife, my family back home, everyone who has helped me get to this stage. Just a magical moment.”
He added: “I worked hard in training yesterday, picked my spot and thankfully put it away so just a great night. We haven’t won in Italy for so long and to score and win this game is just special.”
You can read Oliver’s full analysis here.