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Rooney backs Kane to smash his goals record in Qatar

Harry Kane heads to the World Cup just two goals behind Wayne Rooney’s all-time record for England.

Soccer Football - Carabao Cup Third Round - Nottingham Forest v Tottenham Hotspur - The City Ground, Nottingham, Britain - November 9, 2022  Tottenham Hotspur's Harry Kane looks dejected after the match Action Images via Reuters/Andrew Couldridge EDITORIAL USE ONLY. No use with unauthorized audio, video, data, fixture lists, club/league logos or 'live' services. Online in-match use limited to 75 images, no video emulation. No use in betting, games or single club /league/player publications.  Please contact your account representative for further details.
ANDREW COULDRIDGEAction Images via Reuters

England’s all-time top goal scorer Wayne Rooney hopes Harry Kane smashes his record during the World Cup. Kane heads to the tournament with 51 goals for the Three Lions - just two behind Rooney’s record, with the pair standing as the only England players to have hit the half-century mark.

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Records are there to be broken

Having scored six times in Russia four years ago to win the Golden Boot, Kane will be confident of surpassing Rooney’s tally in Qatar. While others may wish to hold onto such a record, Rooney is fully behind Kane taking a record that is “there to be broken”.

“I’m delighted for him, I think he’ll go on and smash the record, I think he’ll end up on 70-odd goals,” Rooney told TalkSPORT. “He deserves it for the work he puts in. It’s a huge honour to have the record but the record is there to be broken and I couldn’t think of anyone better to take that record. Hopefully, he gets it during this World Cup because it will mean he’s doing well for England.”

Kane was one of the sure-fire picks for Gareth Southgate’s 26-man squad, which was named on Thursday, though the England manager’s selection of Harry Maguire has come under some criticism. Rooney, who took up a coaching role with D.C. United in MLS earlier this year, believes Southgate has made the right choice in picking the Manchester United centre-back, though he questioned the exclusion of Milan’s Fikayo Tomori.

“Harry has been great in the last two tournaments. When I was in the squad, Gareth reiterated to me that he is picking players on form and I wasn’t playing, so I didn’t get picked, but he seems to have gone away from that now,” he added. “There’s a couple of players within the squad who haven’t been playing but I think Harry is a very good professional, he’ll start the games, I have no doubt, and I’m sure he won’t let England down. The squad is probably as strong as it could be, if I’m being honest. The only one really is Tomori, from my point of view. He was the one who was pushing to be in the squad, and he will be disappointed that he is not. Everything else is really what I expected. With Maguire not playing as much as he wants, I think Southgate might go for the protection with three centre-backs and that is obviously why he’s gone with Eric Dier ahead of Tomori, because he fits into the back three. I hope we go for four [at the back] and get an extra attacker on the pitch but I think he might go for the back three.”

England kick-off their group stage campaign against Iran on 21 November, then tackle the United States and Wales in Group B.