David Beckham called Harry Kane a “true leader” after the striker missed a crucial penalty in England’s 2-1 defeat to France in the World Cup quarter-finals on Saturday.
Kane had already converted from the spot to equalise for the Three Lions after Aurelien Tchouameni’s long-range opener, but Olivier Giroud headed France back in front with 12 minutes to play.
However, England found a golden chance to level for a second time when Mason Mount was bundled over in the France box by Theo Hernandez.
Kane stepped up once again, but blasted his second spot-kick well over the crossbar as France held on to knock Gareth Southgate’s side out of the tournament.
Beckham is no stranger to World Cup heartbreak, having been sent off in England’s 1998 round-of-16 penalties defeat to Argentina for a petulant kick on Diego Simeone.
Beckham received much abuse for the incident, and he wants England fans to remain behind Kane in a way that was not the case for him in 1998.
In an Instagram post, Beckham said: “It takes a true leader to step up in these moments and that’s what our captain [Kane] did.
“Our boys will continue to grow. It’s always the worst feeling waking up after being knocked out of a tournament but our players, Gareth [Southgate] the staff and all our fans can be proud of this team.
“The next time it will be a different ending. We walk away with our heads held high.”