Harry Kane chasing European Championship goal record ahead of semi-final

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Sportem
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Harry Kane is chasing a European Championship record that he could claim when England face the Netherlands in Wednesday night’s 2024 semi-final.

Despite a career-high 44 goals in his debut season with Bayern Munich, Kane has struggled to hit top form so far at this summer’s Euro competition. But he has two goals to his name and could feasibly still end the tournament with the Golden Boot with a strong finish.

One goal came in the group stage draw with Denmark, while the other was an extra-time winner against Slovakia in the last 16. That goal took Kane onto five in European Championship knockout rounds, tied for the most in the competition’s history with Antoine Griezmann – the Frenchman didn’t add to his tally at Euro 2024 prior to Les Bleus’ semi-final exit this week.

Expansion of the tournament over the last 30 years has certainly helped modern players in terms of racking up knockout goals. The first five European Championships contested between 1960 and 1976 featured just four teams, while it was an eight-team competition until 1996.

During the first 32 years, a semi-final and final were the only knockout games contested. From 1996 onwards, players got the opportunity for an extra-game with a quarter-final, while a last 16 round was introduced with the expansion to 24 teams in 2016.

Antoine Griezmann

Kane is currently tied with Antoine Griezmann on five knockout goals / Alex Grimm/GettyImages

These days, a player with a team that reaches the final can play up to four knockout games in a single tournament. For Kane, who made his Euros debut in 2016, Wednesday night’s semi-final will be the eighth European Championship knockout game in which he has played.

For comparison, late Germany legend Gerd Muller scored four European Championship knockout goals during his illustrious career, but made only two appearances – both in 1972.

With Euro 2028 falling in the weeks leading up to Kane’s 35th birthday, it is plausible that this summer could be his last continental level tournament with England.

Tournament

Fixture

Round

Euro 2020

England 2-0 Germany

Last 16

Euro 2020

Ukraine 0-4 England

Quarter-final

Euro 2020

Ukraine 0-4 England

Quarter-final

Euro 2020

England 2-1 Denmark (AET)

Semi-final

Euro 2024

England 2-1 Slovakia (AET)

Last 16

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