Harry Kane said the hurt of England’s penalty shoot-out defeat to Italy in the Euro 2020 final would stay with his team-mates throughout their careers, but urged those who missed like Bukayo Saka to hold their heads up high.
After the Wembley showpiece finished 1-1, Kane scored England’s first penalty of the shoot-out but Marcus Rashford, Jadon Sancho and Saka all failed to convert from the spot.
That left England to reflect on a missed opportunity to end their 55-year wait for a major trophy, but Kane insisted Gareth Southgate’s team are moving in the right direction.
Kane told BBC Sport: “We couldn’t have given more, the boys couldn’t have given more. Penalties are obviously the worst feeling in the world when you lose. It wasn’t our night.
“It’s been a fantastic tournament and we should be proud, hold our heads up high. Of course it’s going to hurt now, it’s going to hurt for a while but we’re on the right track and we’re building. Hopefully we can progress from this next year.
“Obviously we got off to the perfect start. Maybe dropped a little bit too deep. Sometimes when you score that early it’s easy to try soak up the pressure and hold onto that.
“They had a lot of possession but to be fair we looked fairly in control. They didn’t create too many chances. They got their breakthrough from the set-piece and then after that it was probably 50-50.
“In extra time we grew into the game, had a few half-chances, and then obviously penalties is penalties. We went through our process, the boys did everything they could and it wasn’t our night.
“You’ve just got to hold your heads up high. Fantastic tournament. These things can happen. Penalty shoot-out you go through a process, put it where you want to put it, but anyone can miss a penalty.”
Kane was seen consoling Saka at the final whistle and he underlined the togetherness of Southgate’s squad and their ambitions to achieve highly at the World Cup in Qatar in 2022.
The 27-year-old Tottenham striker is yet to win a major trophy in his career, but insisted he is surrounded by players with a winning mentality in the England squad.
“We win together, we lose together,” said Kane. “We’ll learn, we’ll grow from it, and it’ll give us even more motivation to do well in the World Cup next year.
“We should be extremely proud as a group of what we’ve achieved. We’re all winners and want to win, and it’ll probably hurt for the rest of our careers, but that’s football.
“We’ve progressed well from Russia [2018 World Cup, where England reached the semi-finals], and now it’s about continuing that.
“We’ve got a great squad, loads of great players hungry for more football like this. All we can do is build and learn, and hopefully go into next year in a better way.”