There could feasibly be generations of English strikers who try and fail to chase down Harry Kane’s new record for the Three Lions. He may have only just become the leading goalscorer but with a few years left in the tank, he can streak off into the distance.
His career is one of the biggest talking points in football given he is now England and Tottenham’s record goalscorer and, if things go really well, he could become the Premier League record goalscorer, but he is yet to win a trophy.
Regardless of that, he is undoubtedly one of the best players of his generation. His scoring figures can defy belief at times, but how does his international record compare to some of the other biggest names in his position?
Having just become the all-time leading goalscorer for England, Harry Kane is confirmed as a major figure of English football history forever. Being ahead of names like Michael Owen, Wayne Rooney, Gary Lineker, Alan Shearer and Sir Bobby Charlton is an incredible achievement.
He grabbed his first goal for England when he was 21 years and seven months old, meaning he was a slightly late bloomer when it comes to making an impact for the national team when you consider his immense quality. That is in keeping with his club career, however.
It would be very fair to assume Kylian Mbappe is going to end his career with a better international record than Kane. The figures he has racked up by the age of 24 are simply frightening.
Having played 66 times for his country at the time of writing, he has scored an incredible 36 goals. He had quite the head start on Harry Kane considering he made his debut when he had not long turned 18 years old.
He has also gone as far as the World Cup final twice with France which racks up the games. His hat-trick in the final of the 2022 World Cup against Argentina was an immense achievement, even if the French were beaten. He has fewer international goals than Kane, but it may not stay that way for too long.
This is where the jump in figures really comes. Kane may have broken ahead with 54, but it will be a huge ask if he is to start posting the sorts of international figures that Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo have reached.
Starting with the Argentine, he is currently chasing down a very special landmark figure. Following his superb display at the 2022 World Cup with Argentina, the crowning moment of his career, Messi now sits on 98 Argentina goals.
He made his debut even younger than Mbappe at just 18 years, one month and 24 days old. Since then, he has played 172 times for his country which is more than double Kane has played for England. If Kane were to have burst onto the scene as a teenager like others here did, he could have posted very similar figures. As it is, his scoring rate is incredible but there just won’t be enough of his career left to get towards the 100-goal mark.
That won’t stop him from trying, mind.
If by some superhuman effort Kane is able to end his career with more international goals than Lionel Messi, he surely will not get up towards Cristiano Ronaldo’s record.
The Portuguese forward may not have a huge amount left to give to build on his tally, but in his 197 national team appearances, he has scored a frankly silly 118 goals. The theme continues here, as he made his debut aged 18 years and six months.
He also played in Roberto Martinez’s first game as Portugal manager, becoming the leading appearance maker in men’s international football.