Needing one goal to match Lionel Messi's final tally of 54, Harry Kane struck a hat-trick against Southampton to become Europe's top scorer for club and country in 2017.
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Harry Kane has left Lionel Messi, Cristiano Ronaldo, Edinson Cavani and Robert Lewandowski floundering in his wake, scoring a second hat-trick in as many games for Tottenham to become the top European marksman of 2017.
With Messi, Ronaldo, Cavani and Lewandowski having already played their final games of the year, Kane – who scored his seventh hat-trick of 2017 on Saturday – needed one more goal to draw level with front-runner Messi on 54. He hit that one after 22 minutes at Wembley, and then took sole command at the top of the leaderboard with a second 17 minutes later, completing his treble after the break. His tally of 56 has come in just 52 games, and he is the only player in the top five to have scored at a rate of over a goal per match.
Kane's second was his 38th of the year, breaking a Premier League of 36 set by Alan Shearer in 1995. "It has been a fantastic year," he said. "To get compared to those players - the Messis and Shearers - is what it is all about. To get another hat-trick is a great way to end the year. It is always about improving every year. That's what I always have done throughout my career and it is what I will continue to do."
50 goals or more in 2017*
56 Harry Kane (52, 1.08 goals per game)
54 Lionel Messi (64 appearances, 0.84)
53 Robert Lewandowski (55, 0.96)
53 Cristiano Ronaldo (59, 0.89)
53 Edinson Cavani (62, 0.85)
Does Kane get your vote?
All five players are shortlisted for the UEFA.com fans' Team of the Year 2017 along with Karim Benzema, Antoine Griezmann, Paulo Dybala, Radamel Falcao, Neymar, Kylian Mbappé and Dries Mertens. But you can only choose two or three so who is it to be?
*For club and country, excluding club friendlies