Who is England’s first-choice penalty taker at the World Cup?

Harry Kane taking a penalty against Germany
(Image credit: Getty)

Penalties have historically been one of England’s biggest weaknesses in tournament football.

They have exited three previous World Cups on penalties, as well as four European Championships, including last year’s devastating defeat to Italy in the final.

In contrast, England have registered just two shootout victories in major tournaments, the most recent coming against Colombia in the second round of the 2018 World Cup. Harry Kane was successful from the spot twice that day as Gareth Southgate’s side progressed to the quarter-finals in dramatic fashion.

Three of Kane’s six goals in Russia, which was enough to secure the Golden Boot, came from penalties, as England proved adept at drawing fouls in the box.

Their captain has an excellent record as a penalty taker for club and country, converting 53 in total and missing just nine. His three misses at international level came in a friendly against Turkey, a European qualifier against Kosovo, and, most significantly, the semi-finals of Euro 2020 against Denmark.

In extra time, Kasper Schmeichel did well to deny Kane at the first attempt, but he pounced on the rebound to send England through.

In the final, Kane was first up and converted calmly but misses from Marcus Rashford, Jadon Sancho and Bukayo Saka enabled Italy to claim victory. 

Fifteen of the Spurs striker’s 50 goals for England have come from the penalty spot and he’ll be confident of adding to that tally if the occasion arises in Qatar. At the age of 29, he’s already just three goals shy of Wayne Rooney’s record tally having played 49 games fewer than the former Manchester United star.

It’s simply a matter of time before Kane overtakes him and sets a new benchmark for others to target.

When considering Kane's total goals from penalties for both club and country, the imperious striker's record is extremely impressive. Over the course of his career, Kane has taken 67 spot kicks, scoring 57 and missing just 10. 

Undeniably England's most astute penalty taker, don't be surprised to see the Spurs frontman net from 12 yards in Qatar once again. 

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