Euro 2020 features some of the best players on the continent. England’s Harry Kane hopes to add his name to the illustrious list of players who have lifted the trophy.
England captain Harry Kane is just one away from reaching Cristiano Ronaldo on the list of Euro 2020 top scorers with five goals. Kane hopes to score that goal, if not more than one, come Sunday when the Three Lions face Italy in the final.
If football’s coming home, then Kane will be a big reason why it does. The Tottenham striker is a major factor behind England’s success at this European Championship after dazzling audiences three years ago at the World Cup with his six goals. That was good enough to make him the tournament’s top scorer.
But England finished fourth at Russia 2018, and Kane would trade the top scorer title for a World Cup. He has the chance at these Euros to do both after England defeated Denmark Wednesday 2-1 in the semifinals at Wembley Stadium in London.
Kane scored the winning goal in extra time, just when some were starting to wonder whether the game would go to a penalty-kick shootout. Instead, England found a way to win.
“We dug deep and we got there when it mattered,” the 27-year-old Kane told reporters after the match. “We’re in a final at home. What a feeling.”
Kane missed the spot kick (it was one of the worst he’s ever taken), but converted the rebound as goalkeeper Kasper Schmeichel dived in vain to try and stop it a second time.
“I was fortunate to have it bounce back,” Kane added. “That’s football — sometimes it falls your way.”
It did fall their way. The loud Wembley crowd of 60,000 sang “It’s coming home” as Kane and his teammates controlled the tempo in the waning minutes of extra time. At the final whistle, history had been made. After 55 long years, England was back in a major final for the first time since winning the World Cup, at home inside the old Wembley Stadium, against Germany to lift the World Cup.
That was in 1966, 27 years before Kane was even born. That team had Bobby Moore as their captain. Kane hopes to emulate the legendary defender and lift a trophy before the home crowd.
You’d have to excuse the English players if their post-match celebrations after downing Denmark were a bit excessive. The ability to reach the final, especially after more than five decades, unleashed celebrations across London and England not seen in a long time. A year that has included pandemic lockdowns certainly contributed to the newfound enthusiasm.
Indeed, Kane’s abilities are a major reason why England fans have reason to rejoice this week. He will need to muster his best stuff if England hopes to score against an Italian side that’s known for their wonderful defending. Spain exposed a few vulnerabilities in their semifinal defeat to the Azzurri. The English players are certainly going to rewatch that game over the next few days as they prepare for the final.
But Kane needs to stay focused and do his thing. It’s worked so far for him and his side and could work again in the final at Wembley. History beckons. It’s time for Kane to once again rise to the occasion when his country needs him most.