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.

England was given a golden chance to level the score when Mason Mount was put in Theo Hernandez’s France box.

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 was subjected to a lot abuse and he wanted England fans to support Kane in a way he didn’t 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] This team can be proudly displayed by our staff and all our fans.

“The next time it will be a different ending. We walk away with our heads held high.”

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