Create
Notifications

Top 10 international scorers in 2021

The 'big two' of Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo have scored many goals this year.
The 'big two' of Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo have scored many goals this year.
Sachin Bhat
ANALYST

International football for 2021 ended last night, but what a rollercoaster year it was! Qualifying games for the 2022 FIFA World Cup dominated the fixture list for almost every national team in the world. But there were various continental championships in the summer across the globe too.

Suffice to say, it was a busy year for national sides, who'd be relieved to see the end of the year. Throughout the past eight months, we saw a lot of enticing action that merits a look back. Many goalscorers enjoyed prolific years, scoring a glut of goals in qualifiers, championships and friendlies.

On that note, here's a look at the ten players who accumulated the most goals in the 2021 calendar year in all competitions:


#10 Lionel Messi (Argentina) - 9 goals

Nine goals and one trophy with Argentina for Messi
Nine goals and one trophy with Argentina for Messi

We'll start off arguably one of the greatest players of all time. Lionel Messi enjoyed arguably his best calendar year with Argentina, winning the 2021 Copa America to end his long senior international title drought.

Exactly four months ago, Leo #Messi and Argentina won the Copa AmericaThe GOATs crazy stats4 - Most goals 5 - Most ssists2 - Most free kicks22 - Most key passes26 - Most chances created36 - Most successful dribbles1 - Golden Boot1 - Golden Ball1 - Copa Champion https://t.co/QrNUeAlwXL

He was also the top scorer in the competition with four goals. In the 2022 FIFA World Cup qualifiers, the PSG ace netted five times in nine games, helping Argentina qualify for the showpiece event.


#9 Eran Zahavi (Israel) - 9 goals

The PSV Eindhoven striker was in red hot form on the international stage this year.
The PSV Eindhoven striker was in red hot form on the international stage this year.

One of the most underrated strikers in the world, Eran Zahavi was the face of Israel's FIFA World Cup 2022 qualifying campaign. He netted eight strikes - a tally bettered by only two players in Europe.

His efforts eventually proved futile, as Israel failed to qualify for the World Cup, but Zahavi did showcase his fearsome striking potential. He also scored once in a friendly win over Montenegro during the year.


#8 Yuya Osako (Japan) - 9 goals

Japan's shining light in the FIFA World Cup 2022 qualifiers
Japan's shining light in the FIFA World Cup 2022 qualifiers

Yuya Osako scored nine goals in only six games, managing the same tally in nine and seven fewer games, respectively than Messi and Zahavi. That explains why he's ranked above them on our list.

The 31-year-old striker netted all his goals in the 2022 FIFA World Cup qualifiers. That included two hat-tricks, with one of them being a five-goal salvo in Japan's 10-0 demolition of Myanmar.


#7 Romelu Lukaku (Belgium) - 11 goals

Belgium's talisman was on fire in 2021.
Belgium's talisman was on fire in 2021.

The big Romelu Lukaku continued his imperious exploits with Belgium this year. He netted 11 times across four different international tournaments, including four at Euro 2020.

11 - Romelu Lukaku's four goals at EURO 2020 took him to 11 goals at major tournaments, making him the first player to reach double figures for Belgium at the EUROs and World Cup combined. Leader. #BEL #EURO2020 https://t.co/MuHeMbTDMj

He also bagged one in the third-place play-off loss in the UEFA Nations League. Had it not been for his injury. Romelu Lukaku might well have added to his five strikes in the 2022 FIFA World Cup qualifiers.

1 / 3 NEXT
Edited by Bhargav
Fetching more content...
App download animated image Get the free App now