Scoring a goal is perhaps the hardest part of and definitely the most important aspect of football. 

Finding the back of the net is never easy at any level in football and even more so at the highest level of the game on the international stage where only a select few strikers leave a mark.

Representing your country on the international stage is one of the biggest honours in world football but to end up as the leading goal-scorer for your nation is another unparalleled achievement in itself.

Harry Kane is one of the few players who can lay claim to the title of the leading goal-scorer for their respective international team.

During England’s UEFA EURO 2024 qualifiers campaign opener, Harry Kane netted his 54th goal of the English and became England’s top scorer of all-time.

The Tottenham Hotspur legend scored his 54th goal in his 81st appearance to surpass Wayne Rooney’s tally of 53 goals in 120 appearances for the Three Lions.

Here’s a look at the leading goal-scorers for the England national football team.

England top scorers of all-time

Name Goals Caps Years
Harry Kane 54 81 2015-present
Wayne Rooney 53 120 2003-2018
Sir Bobby Charlton 49 106 1958-1970
Gary Lineker 48 80 1984-1992
Jimmy Greaves 44 57 1959-1967
Michael Owen 40 89 1998-2008
Nat Lofthouse 30 33 1950-1958
Alan Shearer 30 63 1992-2000
Sir Tom Finney 30 76 1946-1958
Vivian Woodward 29 23 1903-1911

Harry Kane

Harry Kane is the fastest player to reach 50 goals for the Three Lions and the current English skipper took just 81 games to net his 54th England strike to become the country’s all-time leading scorer. He scored in his first England appearance during a 4-0 win over Lithuania in 2015. Kane’s netted five hat-tricks in English colours over the years and is likely to score more, meaning he will in all likelihood finish his international career with a big gap to Wayne Rooney, who is second among England’s top scorers of all-time.

Wayne Rooney 

When Wayne Rooney first burst onto the football world, very few defenders fancied going up against him both at the club and international levels. His UEFA EURO 2004 displays for England still remain one of the standout displays by any English player in an international tournament over the last couple of decades. Not an out-and-out striker and more of a team man, Rooney had a tireless work ethic on the pitch to go with his prodigious talent. He scored 53 goals in 120 games for England before hanging up his boots.

Sir Bobby Charlton 

A living legend, a World Cup winner, and a Ballon d’Or recipient, Sir Bobby Charlton held the record for being England’s leading goal-getter for 45 years before Rooney surpassed him in 2015. An attacking midfielder who wasn’t shy of getting stuck into opponents on the other end of the pitch either, Charlton scored 49 goals in 106 games. He was key to England’s only World Cup triumph in 1966 and also netted four hat-tricks for the Three Lions.


Photo Credit: Alamy