(Reuters) – England manager Gareth Southgate said Harry Kane is the favourite to overtake Wayne Rooney as the country’s all-time leading scorer and hoped the striker would reach the landmark in the final of this year’s World Cup in Qatar.
Kane scored a late penalty in England’s 2-1 win over Switzerland in a friendly on Saturday as the 28-year-old moved level-second with Bobby Charlton on 49 goals and behind only Wayne Rooney’s record of 53.
“The names he is in and amongst now are incredible,” Southgate said.
“Harry will appreciate that history, it will mean a lot to him to be in and amongst those names. You have to say he looks favourite to go and do that (break the record).”
Asked whether he would prefer Kane to wrap up the record before World Cup in Qatar, Southgate said: “I would like him to break the record in the World Cup final!
“I think he’s quite calm about it, he’s confident he can get there, his goals-per-game record is phenomenally good. I don’t know where that compares to Jimmy Greaves, but I imagine he would be the only other player close.”
The World Cup will be held from Nov. 21-Dec. 18 in Qatar.
England, who won the World Cup in 1966, finished fourth at the last edition in Russia in 2018.
(Reporting by Manasi Pathak in Bengaluru; Editing by Christopher Cushing)