Kane vs Rooney: How do England strikers' international goal records compare?

16:18 WAT 29/03/2022
Harry Kane Wayne Rooney England
The Manchester United legend set a new benchmark for Three Lions forwards in 2015, but that record is under serious threat from the Spurs star

Manchester United legend Wayne Rooney remains England’s all-time leading goalscorer for now, but his haul of 53 efforts for the Three Lions is under serious threat from prolific Tottenham striker Harry Kane.

A star man for Spurs, and the current wearer of the captain’s armband at international level, has pulled alongside 1966 World Cup winner Sir Bobby Charlton on 49 efforts for his country.

It appears to be only a matter of time before the history books are re-written, but how do the respective records of Rooney and Kane compare? GOAL takes a look...

Kane vs Rooney: Who has the best England goals per game record?



1 in 1.38

1 in 2.26

Rooney, who is also the all-time leading marksman at Old Trafford, recorded his record-setting tally of goals for England across 120 appearances.

His senior account was opened when earning a sixth cap against Macedonia on September 6, 2003.

He moved above Charlton on a notable roll of honour when converting a late penalty in a 2-0 victory over Switzerland on September 8, 2015.

Kane, meanwhile, has made it to 49 goals for the Three Lions through just 68 appearances.

He got off the mark at international level on his debut against Lithuania on March 27, 2015.

The Tottenham talisman has achieved on five occasions (against Panama, Bulgaria, Montenegro, Albania and San Marino) what Rooney was unable to do across his distinguished career – hit a hat-trick for England.

Kane’s strike rate as things stand is one goal every 1.38 games, while Rooney only found the target on average once every 2.26 outings.

Kane vs Rooney: Who has scored the most England goals at major tournaments?





Rooney burst onto the tournament scene with England at Euro 2004, netting four goals across meetings with Switzerland and Croatia, before recovering from a broken metatarsal in time to grace the 2006 World Cup – with that event ending early for him following a red card against Portugal in the quarter-finals.

A further blank on the goal front was drawn at the 2010 World Cup, after hitting nine efforts in qualifying, but he did return from suspension to find the target on one occasion at Euro 2012.

Rooney finally broke his duck on the grandest of sporting stages at the 2014 World Cup when netting in a costly 2-1 defeat to Uruguay and was England captain when converting a penalty in a humbling Euro 2016 defeat to Iceland – his last goal for his country.

Kane, in contrast, has only graced one World Cup finals and one European Championship, but has reached the semi-finals and finals of those competitions.

He bagged a brace in England’s opener against Tunisia at the 2018 World Cup, before claiming the match ball in a meeting with Panama and breaking the deadlock in a tense second-round clash with Colombia.

Kane had been short on goals heading into Euro 2020, but got back in the groove when helping to down arch-rivals Germany at Wembley and also found the target in the quarter-finals against Ukraine and the semis versus Denmark.

Despite seeing fewer games at major tournaments, Kane has hit 10 goals at them compared to Rooney’s haul of seven.

Kane vs Rooney: Who has scored the most England goals in friendlies?





While major tournaments are a true marker of contribution to a collective cause, international friendlies often present opportunities in which to fill goal-getting boots.

Once again, that was more the case for Rooney than it has been with Kane, with the former Everton and United star making the most of his outings on a non-competitive stage.

His first friendly goal came in the familiar surroundings of Old Trafford against Denmark in November 2003, nine months prior to a record-setting transfer to the Red Devils being made.

Rooney’s record in friendlies is actually quite impressive when you consider the calibre of opponents that he scored against, with Argentina, Netherlands, Brazil, Scotland and France all figuring on his sporting CV that includes 16 strikes in such contests.

Kane has only recorded six goals in friendly fixtures, with alternative options often given a run-out as he is saved for the games that really matter.

His haul includes efforts in away meetings with Germany and France, while he drew level with England legend Charlton when converting from the spot in a clash with Switzerland.

Kane vs Rooney: Who has scored the most penalties for England?





After seeing David Beckham and Frank Lampard take charge of penalty duties during the early part of his international career, Rooney registered his first effort from 12 yards for England in a 5-0 World Cup qualifying win over San Marino in October 2012.

He would go on to enjoy similar success from the spot in meetings with Norway, San Marino on two more occasions, Slovenia, Switzerland and Iceland.

Kane was a natural successor to Rooney on the penalty front and has become the go-to man for England when spot-kicks are awarded.

He has rarely let them down, with his account opened against France at Stade de France in June 2017.

The Spurs superstar recorded three penalties at the 2018 World Cup and emulated Rooney by enjoying outings against San Marino – with a four-goal showing against the European minnows in November 2021 seeing him net twice from 12 yards.

Kane is now England’s all-time leading scorer from the spot with 14 efforts to his name – a tally that sees him five clear of Chelsea icon Lampard in second.