LONDON (REUTERS, AFP) - Harry Kane rounded off a sensational 2017 by scoring a record number of English Premier League goals and hat-tricks in a calendar year, as well as toppling Lionel Messi as the top scorer in Europe as a rampant Tottenham Hotspur thrashed Southampton 5-2 on Tuesday.
He later described it a "great feeling" in what had been a "fantastic" year.
The England striker followed up his treble over Burnley on Saturday by heading in a Christian Eriksen free kick in the 22nd minute for his 37th league goal of 2017, beating Alan Shearer's 22-year-old record for the most goals in England's top flight in a calendar year.
Kane then overtook Messi as the top scorer of the year in Europe for club and country by tapping in Son Heung Min's low cross in the 39th minute. In the second half Kane scored his side's fifth goal of the game to become the first player to hit six Premier League hat-tricks in one year.
Impressive strikes from Dele Alli and Son had further stretched Tottenham's lead in the second half, while Sofiane Boufal hit back for struggling Southampton to make it 4-1 before the relentless Kane struck once again with a classy chipped finish over Fraser Forster in the 67th minute.
Substitute Dusan Tadic got a second goal for the visitors, who are 13th on 19 points and only three clear of the relegation zone. Spurs provisionally climbed up to fourth on 37 points, although Liverpool could overtake them again if they beat Swansea later on Tuesday.
"It was hard not to think about it, being level going into the game," said Kane. "I wanted to win the game but of course I wanted to score as a striker. Getting that record was a great feeling."
He has 39 Premier League goals in 2017, three more than Shearer's previous Premier League record of 36, set in 1995.
"I've improved physically - recovery for games, getting ready for each game, eating right and ice baths," Kane added. "I feel good and sharp and at my best at this busy period.
"They are fantastic players here. It's fantastic to play with them. We're a hard team to stop and I said to them before the game to try and set me up and they did that, so I'll have to take them out for dinner."
Former England captain Shearer was quick to congratulate the new record-holder. "You've had a magnificent 2017 @HKane. You deserve to hold the record of most @premierleague goals in a calendar year. Well done and keep up the good work," he tweeted.
Kane's third goal took him to 56 for club and country in 2017 - lifting him above Barcelona's Lionel Messi to become Europe's top scorer over the past 12 months in the five major leagues (England, Spain, Italy, Germany and France).