Harry Kane: England striker takes up to '50 penalties' a practice session

Harry Kane
Kane has scored nine penalties from his last 10 efforts from the spot

Practice makes perfect.

England strolled to another Euro 2020 qualifying victory by easing past Bulgaria 4-0 to maintain their hold at the top of Group A.

The Three Lions were helped by Raheem Sterling's goal and a Harry Kane hat-trick, two of which came from the penalty spot.

The Tottenham striker has converted nine out of 10 penalties for club and country since the start of the 2017-18 season, so is it by luck that he hits the back of the net so regularly from 12 yards out?

"I work quite a bit on it," Kane told BBC Radio 5 Live. "The team we have and the skill set we have, I think we are going to get quite a lot of penalties at international level.

"We did them on Friday with a few of the lads for 20 minutes or half an hour, making sure I felt good over it and luckily I put them away today."

He added: "I always go with my feeling - it could be 10, it could be 50, it depends how I feel on the day. We have such explosive, skilful players so we're always going to get penalties."

How does Kane's record compare?

Nabil Bentaleb
Recognise this player? He is Europe's most prolific penalty taker

When Kane stepped up to the spot against Bulgaria, there was little doubt where his efforts were going to end up.

Both were unstoppable strikes into the top corner of each side of the net, with goalkeeper Plamen Iliev getting nowhere near them.

Kane's conversion rate of 90% is better than that of Cristiano Ronaldo, who has scored 13 out of 15 penalties in recent years and Lionel Messi, who has a lowly rate of 66.7% having missed four of his 12 efforts.

England manager Gareth Southgate told BBC Radio 5 Live: "He was practising for a good 20 minutes on Friday and with the process that he goes through you are so confident that he is going to connect well and he makes it difficult to know for the goalkeeper where he is going to put it.

"Of course there will always be a moment when a goalkeeper makes an excellent save, but you are as confident as you possibly can be because of his deliberate practice.

"He is a great example for any young kid."

But it is a former Tottenham team-mate, now with Schalke, who leads the way as the most prolific striker from the penalty spot:

Most penalties scored in Europe's top five leagues since the start of 2017-18
PenaltiesScoredConversion rate (%)
Nabil Bentaleb1212100
Cristhian Stuani1010100
Sergio Ramos111090.9
Nicolas Pepe111090.9
Fabio Quagliarella201890
Ever Banega10990
Harry Kane10990
Luka Milivojevic191789.5
Robert Lewandowski181688.9
Ciro Immobile151386.7
Cristiano Ronaldo151386.7
Mauro Icardi151386.7

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