Romelu Lukaku continued his remarkable record on the international stage with a four-goal haul as Belgium thrashed Azerbaijan 5-0 on Sunday.
The forward’s display saw him end Belgium’s European Championship qualifying campaign on 14 goals, setting a new record for the most goals ever scored in a single campaign.
Following Lukaku’s latest achievement, we’ve looked at the players to have scored the most goals in a single UEFA EURO qualifying campaign.
Most goals in a single UEFA EURO qualifying campaign:
Harry Kane – 12 (England – 2020)
Harry Kane was the leading scorer in Euro 2020 qualification after scoring a dozen goals as England cruised to a place at the tournament. The Three Lions scored 37 goals from just eight group games to finish six points clear of the Czech Republic.
Kane’s 12-goal return included hat-tricks against Bulgaria and Montenegro, while the forward scored in all eight group games. Kane scored four goals – one short of leading scorers Patrik Schick and Cristiano Ronaldo – as England reached the final of Euro 2020.
Klaas-Jan Huntelaar – 12 (Netherlands – 2012)
Klaas-Jan Huntelaar fired the Netherlands to a place at Euro 2012 after scoring 12 goals during the Oranje’s qualification campaign.
Huntelaar scored an impressive 42 goals in 76 appearances for the Dutch at international level, despite competing with the likes of Ruud van Nistelrooy, Dirk Kuyt and Robin van Persie for a starting role.
His Euro 2012 qualification campaign saw Huntelaar score 12 times, including a hat-trick against San Marino and braces in wins over Finland and Sweden. He also scored the decisive goal in 1-0 home and away wins against Moldova.
Davor Šuker – 12 (Croatia – 1996)
The 1996 European Championship was the first major tournament Croatia competed in as an independent nation, having reached the finals – held in England – on the back of Davor Suker’s prolific goal record.
The Sevilla striker struck 12 times during Croatia’s campaign, as the nation topped their qualification group ahead of Italy on goal difference. Suker’s goals accounted for 54.5% of Croatia’s total in qualification, before impressing as the team reached the quarter-finals at Euro ’96.
His three goals at the finals saw Suker finish as joint runner-up for the Golden Boot, behind England’s Alan Shearer.
David Healy – 13 (Northern Ireland – 2008)
David Healy’s club career was comparatively modest to his international achievements, where the well-travelled striker became Northern Ireland’s all-time record goalscorer.
Healy’s club career was spent mostly outside of England’s top flight, with a solid but unspectacular goal record in the second tier. Healy, however, shone in a Northern Ireland shirt and scored 36 goals in 95 games for the national side, including a then-record 13 goals in qualification for Euro 2008.
— Northern Ireland (@NorthernIreland) September 6, 2016
His haul included a sensational hat-trick against a Spain side who would go on to win the European Championship, in a famous 3-2 win at Windsor Park.
Another hat-trick against Liechtenstein and braces in wins over Sweden and in the reverse fixture with Liechtenstein put Northern Ireland in contention to qualify, but the Green and White Army fell short to finish third in the group, behind the Spanish and Swedes.
Robert Lewandowski – 13 (Poland – 2016)
Robert Lewandowski matched Healy’s goal record as Poland reached Euro 2016.
Lewandowski’s goals led Poland to a runners-up finish in Group B, behind Germany, with an unbeaten home record behind their success.
The forward opened the campaign with four goals as Poland thrashed Gibraltar, and scored the crucial winner in the final fixture to defeat the Republic of Ireland in Warsaw. That goal ensured Poland finished three points ahead of Ireland to reach the tournament.
Romelu Lukaku – 14 (Belgium – 2024)
Romelu Lukaku has broken the record for the most goals scored in a European Championship qualification campaign.
Lukaku has scored 14 goals to seal Belgium’s place at Euro 2024 next summer, after scoring four times in the Red Devils’ final fixture against Azerbaijan. The 30-year-old opened the campaign with a hat-trick against Sweden and scored in all but one of Belgium’s games, as Domenico Tedesco’s side sceured qualification without losing a game.
Romelu Lukaku has surpassed the goal record in a UEFA European Championship qualifying campaign after finishing with 14 goals 🆕
Just six players have EVER scored more international goals than the Belgian 🇧🇪
Does he remain underrated in English football? pic.twitter.com/vY5E8vE8pz
— The Football Faithful (@FootyFaithful_) November 20, 2023
Lukaku has now scored 83 goals for Belgium, with only six players – from any nation – having ever scored more international goals.
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