Record-chasing skipper Harry Kane would love to start England’s final two fixtures of a mammoth season having reached 50 internationals goals in the hard-fought Nations League draw with Germany.
The 28-year-old made his 60th appearance for club and country on Tuesday evening in Munich, where he kept his cool to fire a last-gasp spot-kick past Manuel Neuer to secure a 1-1 draw.
England had been staring down the barrel of back-to-back Nations League losses after Jonas Hofmann struck to put Germany on course to compound Saturday’s shock 1-0 loss at unfancied Hungary.
But the Three Lions captain converted the penalty he won to seal an important point, reaching a half century of international goals in the process as he edges closer to Wayne Rooney’s all-time record of 53.
“It doesn’t get much bigger,” Kane said of the setting for his 50th England goal. “Germany is obviously one of our rivals over the years and a really big game, whether it’s Nations League, European competitions, World Cup, friendly.
“It’s always a big game for us, for our fans, for the country.
“It’s always nice scoring away from home in tough environments and it was a pleasing night. I probably should have got a couple more, if I’m totally honest, but that’s the way it goes.
“I thought it was really important that we didn’t lose, and we got a good point. Now we can go onto two home games and try get ourselves into a good position in the group.”
Following their matches in Budapest and Munich, England round off a testing run of four Nations League matches in an 11-day period with a Wolverhampton double-header.
Gareth Southgate’s side host Euro 2020 final foes Italy behind closed doors at Molineux on Saturday, before facing Hungary in front of a sell-out crowd at the same venue next Tuesday.
These Nations League matches have provided a physical and mental test at the end of a hectic season, but captain Kane would love the chance to go again despite playing the full 90 minutes in Hungary and Germany.
“Well, look, that’s down to Gareth,” he said. “Of course I want to play every game possible.”
Asked if he had told the England manager that, Kane said with a smile in the Allianz Arena interview area: “No, he knows that for sure. He knows that.
“But, look, we have a World Cup in not long so he has to look at players maybe and see who he wants in the squad and to be a part of that. But as a player I’ll always be ready to play, so we’ll see what happens.
“We travel back to England, recover well for the game on Saturday and whether I’m starting or on the bench I’ll be ready to go.”
Kane would love to beat Rooney’s scoring record this month – even if he says personal milestones are things he will only take in when he is “old and grey” – but he is aware of the bigger picture.
This is the penultimate camp before the World Cup gets under way, with just September’s Nations League fixtures against Italy and Germany to come after this month’s meet-up.
Kane’s main ambition is to help England head to Qatar in the best possible place and, while acknowledging the need for improvements, believes the comeback draw in Germany was an important step.
“Really big, really important to get that point after the result we had last week,” Kane added. “It was important to bounce back. We were coming into a really tough environment, against a really good side.
“Going 1-0 behind, we showed great character, great mentality to get ourselves back into the game. We probably played our best football in that last 20 minutes and even when we got it back to 1-1 we had a chance to nick it.
“Really pleasing, it shows good mentality, good character. We know we still have stuff to improve on and work on, but we are in a good place and hopefully we can finish this camp with a couple of wins at home.”