London: Harry Kane’s winner against Denmark to send England to their first major tournament final in 55 years was his 275th goal for club and country.
Yet at 27, the England captain has yet to win a trophy.
All of that could change dramatically tonight if Kane becomes the first Englishman since Bobby Moore in 1966 to lift a major piece of international silverware.
Personal accolades also await the Tottenham striker if he manages to maintain his return to scoring form in the knockout stage of Euro 2020.
All-time top scorer
Kane’s fourth goal in the last three games on Wednesday has him tied with Gary Lineker as England’s all-time top scorer in majors with 10.
One more goal would also be enough to take him alongside Cristiano Ronaldo and Patrik Schick as the tournament’s co-top scorer.
Two more and he would win the Golden Boot for the second tournament in a row after scoring six times at the 2018 World Cup.
“The Golden Shoes are a bonus and if I end up getting that it means I scored a goal or two in the final which gives our team a great chance to win it all,” said Kane. “This is the ultimate goal.”
Any chance of scoring more goals seemed far away as Kane made it through the group stage without scoring and barely threatened to do so against Croatia, Scotland and the Czech Republic.
Kane looked so uncomfortable that Gareth Southgate even replaced his skipper with 15 minutes remaining in the 0-0 draw against Scotland.
A grueling 49-game club season in which he tried unsuccessfully to bring Spurs back to the Champions League seemed to have taken its toll.
Kane made it clear ahead of the start of the tournament that he might have to leave his childhood club to fulfill his ambitions of winning major trophies, with Manchester City keen to make him Sergio Aguero’s successor at the Etihad.
He can look longingly at the trophies picked up by his international teammates Raheem Sterling, Kyle Walker, John Stones and Phil Foden under Pep Guardiola at City.
But tonight, Kane has a chance to achieve legendary status that would rank higher than anything he could achieve in the club match.
“One more game and a few more goals and he will have marked his path to immortality,” former England captain Alan Shearer wrote in The Athletic.
A moment in the dying embers of the Three Lions’ round of 16 victory over Germany changed the course of Kane’s tournament and perhaps his career.
Already leading 1-0 thanks to Sterling’s opener, Kane leaned home on Jack Grealish’s cross to spark scenes of crazy celebrations at Wembley as England ended the first in a series of 55-year-old hexes in beating Germany in the round of 16 of a major tournament.
Even British Prime Minister Boris Johnson exclaimed “Harry Kane has finally scored” as he gazed into Downing Street Gardens.
Kane then took just four minutes to open the scoring against Ukraine in the quarterfinals, adding a second in the second half of a 4-0 beating.
Fortune was on their side in the last four as Kasper Schmeichel saved his penalty only for the ball to bounce gently on its way to crush the house.
On the edge of history
“He scored. It’s Harry Kane’s transformation. A goal against Germany transformed his tournament and leaves him and England poised to make history,” added Shearer.
“If you think it sounds too simplistic to be true then you don’t understand the obsessive nature of the goalscorer and how his existence is governed by a very basic metric. Kane didn’t play his way into form, he marked his way there. “
Just 94 behind, Kane is set to one day break Shearer’s Premier League scoring record of 260.
Shearer could also have won many more trophies than his only Premier League winner’s medal at Blackburn had he joined the Manchester United squad under Alex Ferguson rather than returning home to Newcastle to become a club legend in 1996.
This world record came a few weeks after winning the Golden Boot at Euro 96.
Kane could also have a big decision to make in the coming weeks, but at that point he could be a hero for all of England rather than just darling at Tottenham.