Harry Kane has vowed to make Sunday “special” after firing England into the European Championship Final.
The captain’s extra-time strike means Gareth Southgate’s team will face Italy at Wembley for the chance to emulate the World Cup-winning heroes of 1966 by lifting a major trophy for only the second time in the nation’s history.
Kane insists England have answered every question asked of them after coming back from a goal down last night to beat Denmark 2-1 and reach a first final in 55 years.
The Tottenham striker scored his fourth goal of the tournament when turning in the rebound after his 104th-minute penalty was saved by Kasper Schmeichel.
Mikkel Damsgaard had given Denmark the lead in the first half, but Simon Kjaer’s own goal levelled the scores before the break.
Now Kane is dreaming of following in the footsteps of Bobby Moore by leading his country to a trophy.
“It’s going to be an amazing occasion, for sure,” he said. “I’m extremely proud to lead the boys out in any England game, let alone making history and getting to our first final [as a team].
“As the game gets closer, I’m sure the excitement and nerves will kick in. There’s going to be a winner and a loser, so we’ve got to make sure we’re on that winning side. We want it to be a special day after the 90 minutes, the 120 minutes. We’re looking forward it.”
Victory went a long way to erasing the pain of semi-final defeats by Germany at the 1990 World Cup and Euro 96.
Kane believes it proves England have grown since losing to Croatia at the World Cup in Russia and answers any doubts about Southgate’s side.
“We can talk all we want about how we learned from 2018, but it’s about doing it on the pitch and we managed to do that,” he said. “It was the first time we’ve been behind — credit to them it was a great free-kick — but we didn’t panic. We stayed calm, we kept the ball, kept getting into spaces, created a few more chances. These games are about character, digging in, belief. We definitely had that as a squad and this will only give us more going into Sunday.
“I know the boys are buzzing. What an occasion to see the fans after the game. It’s hard to take it all in, but I’m sure we’ll all enjoy it.”
It was an unforgettable night for the 60,000 at Wembley and the fans watching on television, with the audience peaking at a mammoth 25.8million.
Kane added: “It’s hard to sum up in words. As a professional, it’s always about onto the next one. It’s sometimes really hard to take it all in, the crowd, everyone at home watching.
“Sometimes nights like tonight you just have to be here with the fans, sing with the fans. We know we haven’t won anything yet, but you have to enjoy nights like these, enjoy winning, which we’ve done well in this tournament.
“But, of course, there’s always that feeling in the back of your mind that there’s one more to go. We don’t want to get too carried away. But I’m extremely proud to be the captain of this side. We showed great resilience, we’re a credit to each other, not just the players who played but the whole squad, the staff, and we’re excited for a final on our home ground.”
Another 60,000 crowd will be at Wembley on Sunday, with Kieran Trippier hoping for another iconic night.
“All the players have been playing without supporters over the past year and a half,” he said. “Even with the Germany game and the fans since the start of the tournament, tonight was like something I’ve never experienced before. The fans were unbelievable.
“The atmosphere, the national anthem, everything. They never stopped.
“The good thing is we never give up. We try to play good football, exciting football to put a smile on our nation’s faces. We’re in a final, and it’s something for the fans to be happy about and proud of and enjoy the moment. The fans and everybody in this nation absolutely deserve it.”