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Abu Dhabi, UAEThursday 19 July 2018

Is England's Harry Kane the world's best penalty taker?

The top scorer at World Cup 2018 is proving unstoppable from 12 yards

England's Harry Kane walks up to take his penalty during the shootout between England and Colombia on July 3, 2018. Carl Recine / Reuters
England's Harry Kane walks up to take his penalty during the shootout between England and Colombia on July 3, 2018. Carl Recine / Reuters

As several Colombia players remonstrated with the referee, others started digging up the penalty spot.

The delay for England fans watching the World Cup last-16 match on Tuesday evening was nerve-shredding. But, more than three minutes after the initial foul was given, one man appeared ice cool while all others were ready to burst.

Harry Kane struck his penalty down the middle to give England the lead, and later scored again during his side's triumph in the penalty shoot-out, following on from two goals from the spot against Panama in the group stage.

Currently the top scorer at this World Cup with six, Kane has also shown various attributes as captain, though it is his accuracy from 12 yards which is helping England progress through the tournament.

Other high-profile names, such as Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo, suffered costly penalty misses in earlier rounds. Kane however looks totally at ease. But is he the best penalty taker in the world?

Here's a look through the statistics of Kane and the other current contenders:

- Note: the figures do not include goals scored during penalty shoot-outs

So, impressive as Kane's form has been during the World Cup, he has some way to go to match the record of Robert Lewandowski.

The Pole though has some scoring to do to reach the level of Mexico's Cuauhtémoc Blanco, who scored an impressive 71 out of 73 penalties (97.2 per cent).

Other notable mentions go to Graham Alexander who spent most of his career in England's lower leagues, scoring 77 from 83 (92.8%), and Southampton legend Matt Le Tissier, who netted 49 from 50 (98%).

Italian forward Roberto Baggio scored 94 from 110 (85.4%) during a distinguished career, while Messi is further down the list with 79 from 103 (76.7%).

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Read more:

World Cup free-kicks: Where does Alexsandar Kolarov's against Costa Rica rank in the top 5?

Ghosts laid to rest: A look back on England's past penalty shoot-outs

England joy after World Cup penalty shoot-out win over Colombia - in pictures