European Championship qualifying is set to reach its conclusion this month, as teams secure their place at next summer’s major tournament in Germany.
Romelu Lukaku rounded off Belgium’s campaign with a four-goal haul against Azerbaijan, a return which moved the 30-year-old into the top five scorers in the history of European Championship qualification.
Here, we look at the top five.
All-time European Championship qualifying scorers:
Romelu Lukaku – Belgium (21)
Romelu Lukaku’s four-goal haul against Azerbaijan saw the Belgian climb into the top five, overtaking Turkey’s Hakan Şükür and Sweden great Zlatan Ibrahimovic (19).
Lukaku’s four goals saw him end the Euro 2024 qualification phase on a staggering 14 goals in eight games, setting a new record for the most goals in a single campaign, eclipsing David Healy of Northern Ireland and Poland’s Robert Lewandowski (13).
Romelu Lukaku scored four first-half goals against Azerbaijan…
He is now the seventh-highest scorer in men’s international football history 😮 #BBCFootball pic.twitter.com/ScWBw6R7is
— Match of the Day (@BBCMOTD) November 20, 2023
Lukaku has now scored 83 goals in 113 games for Belgium at international level, a whopping 50 goals more than the nation’s second-highest goalscorer, Eden Hazard.
Only six players have ever scored more international goals than Lukaku, an exclusive group that includes Cristiano Ronaldo and Lionel Messi.
Robert Lewandowski – Poland (22)
Robert Lewandowki has scored 22 goals in European Championship qualification and was the leading scorer as Poland reached the 2016 tournament.
Lewandowski scored 13 goals during that qualifying campaign, a joint-record until Lukaku surpassed his mark this week.
Harry Kane – England (23)
Harry Kane is England’s all-time record scorer (62) and his country’s record scorer in competitive games (55), with 23 of his goals for the national team coming in European Championship qualifiers.
The 30-year-old also holds the England records for most goals in a single World Cup qualifying campaign (12) and in a European Championship qualifying campaign (12).
He set the latter landmark as Gareth Southgate’s side reached Euro 2020, where the Three Lions went on to reach a first major tournament final since 1966.
Robbie Keane – Republic of Ireland (23)
Robbie Keane ranks second on this list, having been the Republic of Ireland’s go-to man for more than a decade. Keane made his debut for the Boys in Green as a teenager and went on to spend 18 years as an Ireland international, becoming the most capped player and top goalscorer in the country’s history.
The cart-wheeling centre-forward featured in two European Championship tournaments, having scored 23 goals during qualification fixtures across his career. He ended his Ireland career with 68 goals in 148 appearances.
Embed from Getty Images
Cristiano Ronaldo – Portugal (41)
It will come as little surprise to see the name leading this list, with Cristiano Ronaldo boasting a lengthy list of goalscoring records.
Ronaldo is the record scorer in European Championship qualifiers after scoring his 41st goal against Liechtenstein last week. The Portugal captain is also the top scorer in final tournaments, with 14, and the only player to score in five different editions of the European Championship.
The 38-year-old will have the chance to make that six when Portugal travel to Germany next summer, having secured qualification with 10 wins from 10 games, scoring 32 times and conceding just twice.
🇵🇹 Portugal completed 10 wins in 10 games in the EURO Qualifiers with Cristiano as top goalscorer (10).
Roberto Martínez: “Cristiano Ronaldo is as hungry as an 18 year old player. He is a role model. He always tries to be in the right position and is looking for the goal”. pic.twitter.com/dmWIl4gwTx
— Fabrizio Romano (@FabrizioRomano) November 20, 2023
Ronaldo has now scored 128 goals in 205 appearances for Portugal, each of which are international records. He’s has showed no signs of slowing down when it comes to scoring goals for the national team.
Read – Most goals in a single UEFA EURO qualifying campaign
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