The first international break of the 2021/22 season began with a lot of surprising results. France were held to a draw, while Portugal where losing in home soil until the 86th minute. In the last few minutes of the game, Ronaldo scored a brace to break Irish hearts. In the process, he also broke Ali Daei’s record of 109 international goals and became the all-time top scorer in men’s internationals. In this article, we will look at five players who could become men’s international top scorer in the future.
#5 Kylian Mbappe
Mbappe currently plays as a winger for France, but he is expected to become a centre-forward in the near future. In 49 appearances for France, he has 17 goals. At this rate, he will reach 100 appearances for his county in 4-5 years, by which time he will also become the central cog of the team.
With age on his side, Mbappe could become men’s international topscorer before his retirement. However, this could also mean sacrificing any recovery period in a very congested football calendar.
#4 Erling Haaland
Haaland debuted for Norway in 2019 and is, without doubt, their great hope for the future. Norway is not a European heavyweight when it comes to football, and hence a lot rests on Haaland’s shoulders. So far, Haaland has 8 goals in just 13 appearances for Norway.
The only reason Haaland is placed low on this list is because of the quality of his teammates in Norway. Apart from Odegaard, Norway does not have any notable playmakers, which could make life difficult for Haaland in big games. However, he can catch up to Ronaldo by scoring regularly in qualifiers and friendlies.
At just 29, Neymar is well on his way to overtake Pele as Brazil’s leading goal scorer. Neymar’s celebrity image and his antics on and off the pitch have overshadowed his terrific record for Brazil. He has 68 goals for Brazil and a goal ratio of 0.61, a remarkable number for a playmaker.
If Neymar continues to represent Brazil in all competitions, he is set overtake Ronaldo before he turns 35. But the main concern is his fitness, as he has become injury-prone in recent years. Also, he has not scored braces or hat-tricks regularly, which could stop him from bettering Ronaldo’s tally.
#2 Ali Mabhkout
A name not prominent among fans of European football, but Mabhkout is famous in the Middle East for his goals tally. In 92 appearances for the UAE, Mabhkout has 76 goals, and he turns 31 in October. Since he plies his trade in a relatively weaker confederation, Mabhkout has a solid chance of scoring over a hundred goals for the UAE.
In 2021 alone, Mabhkout has scored 11 goals in just 7 appearances. He was at the peak of his powers before the COVID outbreak, and his goal ratio of 0.86 is simply outstanding.
#1 Romelu Lukaku
Lukaku debuted for Belgium as a teenager and has since broken several international goalscoring records. At just 24, he became Belgium’s all-time top goalscorer and is currently among the best strikers in the world. In 2018, Lukaku became the first player to score consecutive braces since Diego Maradona in 1986.
He was impressive in EURO 2020 as well, but Belgium was knocked out in the quarter-finals. Lukaku currently has 66 goals in 99 appearances for Belgium. At this goalscoring rate, he will need 72 more games to equal Ronaldo’s 111 goals. The presence of world-class playmakers such as Kevin de Bruyne and Eden Hazard is another reason why Lukaku is likely to become the men’s international topscorer in the future.