‘It means everything… it just HAD to be a penalty’: Harry Kane speaks of his ‘huge emotion’ on a ‘special night’ after becoming England’s all-time leading scorer with winner against Italy
- Harry Kane became England’s record scorer with penalty in 2-1 win against Italy
- The England captain said achieving the landmark had been a ‘magical moment’
- Former record holder Wayne Rooney led the tributes to Kane’s accomplishment
Harry Kane made history on Thursday night to become this country’s all-time leading goalscorer as England recorded their first win in Italy for 62 years.
The captain scored the winner from the spot to bag his 54th international goal, overtaking Wayne Rooney at the top of England’s all-time list – and exorcise the demons of his heartbreaking penalty miss in the World Cup quarter-final loss to France.
The accolade topped off a largely positive night for Gareth Southgate’s side who got their Euro 2024 qualifying campaign off to a winning start, despite being reduced to 10 men after Luke Shaw picked up two bookings inside a minute.
‘It means everything,’ said Kane.
‘I was so excited to put the England shirt on, get back out here and get the campaign started for next year’s Euros. It had to be a penalty, and once it hit the back of the net, huge emotion. A magical moment.
Harry Kane scored his record breaking 54th goal for England with a penalty against Italy
The England captain said breaking Wayne Rooney’s record was a magical moment for him
Kane emotionally addressed his team-mates as the achievement was marked post-match
‘It’s just a great night, we haven’t won in Italy for so long. To score and win is so special.’
Kane emotionally addressed his team-mates in the England dressing room after the final whistle and will be presented with a landmark award ahead of the game against Ukraine at Wembley on Sunday.
Head coach Gareth Southgate paid tribute to his record-breaking captain saying: ‘To break the record in manner he did given recent events is a sign of his strength of character.
‘To do it as quickly as he has is an incredible achievement. His overall performance tonight was outstanding. I couldn’t be happier for him and his family.’
On Kane’s dressing room speech, he added: ‘The players gave him a brilliant reception. Everyone recognises this was very special moment. A historic moment and he deserves every bit of praise he is going to get.’
Rooney posted on Twitter: ‘Congratulations to Harry Kane on becoming England’s all-time leading goalscorer. I knew it wouldn’t take long but that was quick!
‘Great man, unbelievable goalscorer and an England legend. Congrats Harry.’
Kane was quick to repay the compliment after being told of Rooney’s words post-match.
Rooney led the tributes on social media by labelling Kane as an ‘England legend’
Kane’s record breaking goal came from the penalty spot in the first half against Italy in Naples
Gareth Southgate said his England team ‘showed two sides’ after a brilliant first period
‘I was on the pitch when Wayne broke the record. I know what it meant to him and I was so proud of him,’ Kane said.
‘I remember when I gave him the boot for breaking the record, he said he would be giving it back to me one day. A special man.’
On his team’s performance, Southgate added: ‘We showed two sides, we had great control in the first half and looked dangerous. We should have gone in 3-0 up at half-time.
‘But if we started any half like we started the second half, we’d be in trouble.’