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Harry Kane at the World Cup: goals, assists, participations, awards, best team finish…

For Harry Kane, whose England team kick off their World Cup campaign against Iran on Monday, Qatar 2022 represents a second crack at FIFA’s elite men’s international tournament. His first, it’s fair to say, went pretty well.

Kane emulates Lineker with Russia 2018 Golden Boot win

In Russia four years ago, Kane scored six times in six games for England, leading the Three Lions to the semi-finals of the World Cup for the first time since 1990. The Tottenham Hotspur striker’s goal haul earned him the Golden Boot – only the second occasion, after Gary Lineker in 1986, that an England player has finished the World Cup as top scorer.

Kane’s performances also earned him a place in FIFA’s 2018 World Cup ‘Fantasy Team’ and the tournament’s ‘Fan Dream Team’.

Five goals in first two World Cup games

Appointed England captain ahead of Russia 2018, Kane marked his World Cup debut with a double in the team’s opening game against Tunisia. With 11 minutes on the clock in Volgograd, he tapped in from close range to give Gareth Southgate’s men the ideal start to their campaign – but Ferhani Sassi equalised with a penalty late in the first half, and that goal looked set to secure the Tunisians a point.

However, Kane’s 92nd-minute back-post header earned England a last-gasp, 2-1 victory. It was only the sixth time in 15 World Cup appearances that the English had started the finals with a win.

A hat-trick then followed in a 6-1 thumping of Panama, as England qualified from Group G with a game to spare. Kane’s first two goals came from the penalty spot, before he completed the rout in Nizhny Novgorod when he deflected Ruben Loftus-Cheek’s shot into the net.

Just two other England players have scored hat-tricks at a World Cup: Geoff Hurst in the 1966 final against West Germany, and Lineker in a group-stage clash with Poland in 1986.

Having netted from the spot twice against Panama, Kane – who was rested in England’s final group game against Belgium – was again on target from 12 yards in the last 16, against Colombia. After he was hauled down in the box by Carlos Sánchez, the striker sent goalkeeper David Ospina the wrong way to give England an early second-half advantage in Moscow.

Yerry Mina then equalised for the Colombians in time added on, but Kane was among four England players who scored their penalties as Southgate’s side triumphed in a shootout.

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Kane celebrates scoring at World Cup 2018.
Chris Brunskill/FantasistaGetty Images

Finished two clear of nearest challengers at World Cup 2018

Though Kane was unable to add to his tally in a quarter-final win over Sweden, a semi-final defeat to Croatia and a third-place playoff loss to Belgium, he still finished two goals clear of the 2018 World Cup’s next-highest individual scorers: Belgium’s Romelu Lukaku, France’s Kylian Mbappé and Antoine Griezmann, Portugal’s Cristiano Ronaldo and Russia’s Denis Cheyshev.

In the last 11 World Cups, stretching back to 1978, the only player to score more than Kane at a single tournament finals is Brazil’s Ronaldo, whose eight goals in 2002 fired the Seleção to their fifth world title.

The Spurs star is four shy of Lineker’s England record of 10 career World Cup goals – scored in 1986 and 1990 – but has rather more of a way to go to catch the competition’s top overall marksman. That distinction is currently held by Miroslav Klose, who bagged 16 for Germany at four World Cups between 2002 and 2014.

Harry Kane’s England goals and assists record:

At the World Cup (2018)

Appearances: sixGoals: sixAssists: none

In his entire England career (2015-)

Appearances: 75Goals: 51Assists: 14

No World Cup assists – yet…

Kane did not provide any assists at Russia 2018, but at that time he was at a stage of his career where he tended to set up fewer goals. Indeed, he registered only three assists in his first 33 England appearances – which include the last World Cup – but has 11 in his 42 caps since then. That’s an evolution from an assist every 11 games to one every 3.8 games. His Spurs figures also show a similar trend. In 2017/18 and 2018/19, for example, he provided five and six assists, respectively. In 2020/21 he totalled 17, and the following year he racked up 10.

Such stats appear to illustrate Kane’s development into a No. 9 who is also capable of dropping deep and fulfilling creative duties more readily associated with a No. 10. So will he be a more active provider of goals at Qatar 2022 than four years ago? Potentially, although his assist-giving in an England shirt has in fact dropped away again of late. Indeed, he has managed just once since March 2021.

See also:

Kane on patchy scoring run for out-of-form England

His England scoring form hasn’t been the best in recent games, either. After a purple patch of 11 goals in seven international appearances between late 2021 and early 2022, the 29-year-old now has just two in his last seven (both of which were penalties).

As a team, England head to Qatar in iffy shape, having failed to win any of their last six. If the Three Lions are to recapture their form and put together another deep World Cup run, it’s imperative that Kane – who is just two goals shy of Wayne Rooney’s England goal record – is at his best.

Kane’s early-season figures for Tottenham offer cause for optimism on that score. He has plundered 13 goals in 22 appearances for Antonio Conte’s side this term, including 12 in 15 in the Premier League. Add in three assists, and he has 16 goal involvements for Spurs in 2022/23.

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