Harry Kane could make history in Qatar. The England captain needs just two goals to match Wayne Rooney’s record of 53 goals for the Three Lions.
But if Kane doesn’t lift the World Cup at the Lusail Stadium on December 18, he won’t have won a major trophy before he turns 30.
Kane is already a legend at Tottenham Hotspur, where he is just seven goals away from tying Jimmy Greaves’ club record of 265. If he leads Gareth Southgate’s team to their first major tournament win in 56 years, he could become a legend on the international stage as well.
He has been agonizingly close to winning the biggest prizes in the game for both his club and his country.
Kane scored in the shootout, but England lost on penalties in front of their home fans in the Euro 2020 final against Italy 16 months ago.
He was also on the losing team when Tottenham reached the Champions League final for the first time in their history in 2019, but lost 2-0 to Liverpool in Madrid.
Instead, his career has been filled with personal awards and goalscoring records. This is a big change from his early loan stints at Leyton Orient, Millwall, Norwich City, and Leicester City, where he didn’t do much.
Kane is tied with Gary Lineker for the most goals scored by England at major tournaments with 10. He also has a World Cup Golden Boot and three Premier League Golden Boots to his name.
Kane said, “I’m close. I try not to think about it too much, but with the World Cup coming up, it would be an amazing place to go and do that.” Kane was talking about the possibility of becoming England’s all-time record goalscorer in Qatar.
“I’m sure that when the time comes, I’ll be ready to go, and if I do it this winter, it will be a great pleasure.”
Southgate has made it clear that he hopes the record-breaking goal comes in the final.
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But if England lose, it will be even more important what happens next to their star player.
With 18 months left on his contract at Tottenham, Kane’s career is at a turning point.
He tried to get Spurs and Manchester City to talk about a transfer in the weeks after England lost the Euro final last year, but he was not successful.
Erling Haaland’s move to Manchester seems to have closed that door, and Bayern Munich is now the favorite to get Kane if he decides to leave north London.
“I think people would forgive him if he said next summer or the summer after that, when his contract is definitely up, that he will move on to a club that might give him a better chance to win trophies,” Jurgen Klinsmann, who moved from Spurs to Bayern in 1995, told The Athletic.
England could also benefit from Kane going to a club that doesn’t depend on him as much as Tottenham does.
So far this season, he has played all but 12 minutes of every Premier League and Champions League game for Antonio Conte’s team. This is because they have been playing a lot of games in a short amount of time before the World Cup.
Up until now, his body and form have held up, and only Haaland has scored more Premier League goals.
The biggest worry for England is that their best player might be worn out even before things heat up in the Middle East.