HARRY KANE looks on course to finish 2023 as the world's top goalscorer following his latest stunning strike to round off an epic year in style.
But he will be hoping Cristiano Ronaldo and Erling Haaland don't produce a late Christmas surge to overtake him.
The clinical Bayern Munich forward, 30, produced a stunning strike away at Wolfsburg to rack up his 52nd goal of the year.
Kane let fly from just outside the D and curled the ball wonderfully into the top corner for what proved to be the winner for Bayern in their final match until January 12.
The Bavarian giants sit second in the Bundesliga, four points behind leaders Bayer Leverkusen with a game in hand.
And Kane has been involved in more than half of their 49 league goals so far this term.
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Since his £104million arrival from Tottenham in the summer, the England captain has wasted no time in delivering for his new club and breaking records galore.
He has 25 goals and eight assists in 22 games in all competitions – including 21 goals and five assists in just 15 Bundesliga appearances.
On top of that, he managed 18 goals between New Year's Day and the end of last season for Spurs with two against Leeds in his final game before leaving his boyhood club.
And Kane also found the net nine times in nine caps for the Three Lions as he overtook Wayne Rooney as the England men's all-time record goalscorer.
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Together those goals combined to take his 2023 tally to 52.
Writing on Twitter after the Wolfsburg win, he said: "Perfect way to sign off for the winter break!
"Have loved my first few months at Bayern and in Munich.
"Looking forward to a rest then back in the new year to go again."
According to TNT Sports, the 52-goal haul ties Kane level with Paris Saint-Germain and France hero Kylian Mbappe.
But like the Bayern man, Mbappe does not have another fixture in 2023 so cannot add to his total.
However, Ronaldo and Haaland are hot on their heels.
The superstar forwards find themselves tied on 50 – but do have the chance to catch Kane and Mbappe.
Haaland, though, is desperately trying to get back from injury and is banned from playing the Club World Cup final in against Fluminense in Saudi Arabia.
That leaves him games against Everton and Sheffield United in which to beat Kane and Mbappe's total.
Cristiano Ronaldo's Al-Nassr, meanwhile, still have three Saudi Pro League games before the new year – making the Portugal captain arguably the favourite to end 2023 as top scorer.
Remarkably, there is no one in the 40s for 2023 goals.
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But Belgian striker Romelu Lukaku – on loan at Inter and then Roma from Chelsea this year – and Fluminense's uncapped 35-year-old Argentine forward German Cano are level on 39.
Cano's last chance to hit the 40-goal mark will be against Manchester City on Friday evening while Roma have massive Serie A ties against Napoli and Juventus on the next two Saturdays.
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