Lewandowski holds outright European Qualifiers goal record

Robert Lewandowski's goal against Montenegro not only helped Poland to Russia, it also means he finished one ahead of Cristiano Ronaldo with the outright European Qualifying record.

Robert Lewandowski celebrates scoring against Montenegro
Robert Lewandowski celebrates scoring against Montenegro ©AFP/Getty Images

A hat-trick by Robert Lewandowski in Armenia not only made him Poland's all-time top scorer on 50 goals but also broke a European qualifying record set as recently as August by Portugal's Cristiano Ronaldo, who two days later drew back level, but for less than 24 hours.

Lewandowski began Thursday on 47 goals in 89 Poland games, but possibly less aware of the fact Ronaldo's treble against the Faroe Islands on 31 August had moved him on to 14 goals in these European Qualifiers for the 2018 FIFA World Cup – equalling Predrag Mijatović's record haul for Yugoslavia in the 1998 preliminaries (which included seven play-off goals).

Lewandowski's three goals at Group E rivals Armenia took the 29-year-old on to 15 strikes – the most ever in a European qualifying campaign for a World Cup or EURO – and outright first place. Ronaldo, though, came off the bench to score against Andorra on Saturday and also reach 15.

However, the following afternoon Lewandowski scored against Montenegro to help Poland on their way to a qualification-clinching 4-2 win and reclaim his outright record. It also means he is level with Saudi Arabia's Mohammed al-Sahlai and Ahmed Khalil of the United Arab Emirates as joint top scorer in 2018 qualifying across all confederations.

One thing Lewandowski cannot eclipse is that Ronaldo is now on 30 career World Cup qualifying goals, three ahead of Andriy Shevchenko with whom he previously shared the record. Ronaldo now has 33 career World Cup goals including finals, again giving him the outright record.

  • Most goals in a single UEFA senior men's qualifying campaign
Watch Lewandowski's hat-trick against Armenia
Watch Lewandowski's hat-trick against Armenia

16
Robert Lewandowski (Poland) World Cup 2018

15
Cristiano Ronaldo (Portugal) World Cup 2018

14
Predrag Mijatović (Yugoslavia) World Cup 1998

13
David Healy (Northern Ireland) EURO 2008
Robert Lewandowski (Poland) EURO 2016

12
Klaas-Jan Huntelaar (Netherlands) EURO 2012
Davor Šuker (Croatia) EURO 1996

11
Romelu Lukaku (Belgium) World Cup 2018
Robin van Persie (Netherlands) World Cup 2014
Pauleta (Portugal) World Cup 2006
Raúl González (Spain) EURO 2000
Toni Polster (Austria) EURO 1996
Ole Madsen (Denmark) EURO 1964

10
Edin Džeko (Bosnia and Herzegovina) World Cup 2014
Theofanis Gekas (Greece) World Cup 2010
Eduardo (Croatia) EURO 2008
Andriy Shevchenko (Ukraine) World Cup 2002
Hristo Stoichkov (Bulgaria) EURO 1996
Darko Pancev (Yugoslavia) EURO 1992

  • Most goals in a World Cup qualifying campaign (any confederation)
Seven from CR7: Stunning Ronaldo goals
Seven from CR7: Stunning Ronaldo goals

19
Karim Bagheri (Iran) AFC 1998

16
Mohammed Al-Sahlai (Saudi Arabia) 2018

Ahmed Khalil (UAE) 2018
Robert Lewandowski (Poland) UEFA 2018

Archie Thompson (Australia) OFC 2002

15
Cristiano Ronaldo (Portugal) UEFA 2018

Carlos Pavón (Honduras) CONCACAF 2002

14
Jared Borgetti (Mexico) CONCACAF 2006
Kazu Miura (Japan) AFC 1998

  • All-time top UEFA EURO and World Cup qualifying scorers

Cristiano Ronaldo (Portugal) 50 (including 6 in play-offs)
Robbie Keane (Republic of Ireland) 41 (including 5 in play-offs)
Zlatan Ibrahimović (Sweden) 38 (including 5 in play-offs)
Edin Džeko (Bosnia and Herzegovina) 37 (including 1 in play-offs)
Andriy Shevchenko (Ukraine) 36 (including 3 in play-offs)
Hakan Şükür (Turkey) 36 (including 2 in play-offs)
Robert Lewandowski (Poland) 32
Wayne Rooney (England) 30

Ronaldo's first 100 UEFA club competition goals
Ronaldo's first 100 UEFA club competition goals

ALL RONALDO'S RECORDS (we think)

National team

  • Most EURO finals appearances: 21
  • Most EURO finals goals: 9 (level with Michel Platini)
  • Most EURO final tournaments scored in: 4
  • Only player to score three goals in multiple EUROs
  • Most EURO goals including qualifying: 29
  • Most World Cup goals including qualifying by a European: 33
  • Most European World Cup qualifying goals: 30
  • Most goals in UEFA EURO and European FIFA World Cup qualifiers: 50
  • Most Portugal caps: 146
  • Most Portugal goals: 79

Club & individual

  • Most UEFA club competition goals: 112
  • Most UEFA Champions League goals: 109
  • Most goals in a UEFA Champions League season: 17 (2013/14)
  • Most Real Madrid goals: 411
  • Most ESM Golden Shoe awards (equal with Lionel Messi): 4 (2007/08, 2010/11, 2013/14, 2014/15)
  • Most appearances in UEFA.com users' Team of the Year: 11 (2004, 2007–2016)
  • Most UEFA Men's Player of the Year awards: 3 (2014, 2016, 2017)

Europe's all-time top international goalscorers

Ferenc Puskás (Hungary & Spain) 84
Cristiano Ronaldo (Portugal) 79
Sándor Kocsis (Hungary) 75
Miroslav Klose (Germany) 71
Gerd Müller (West Germany) 68
Robbie Keane (Republic of Ireland) 68

Five great Ronaldo free-kicks
Five great Ronaldo free-kicks

Top scorers in all UEFA competitions (men's/women's/club/national team/youth/futsal/amateur)*

1 Cristiano Ronaldo 146
2 Raúl González 106
3 Lionel Messi 99
4 Klaas-Jan Huntelaar 91
5 Andriy Shevchenko 90
6 Zlatan Ibrahimović 87
7 Filippo Inzaghi 86
8 Margrét Lára Vidarsdóttir 84
9 Thierry Henry 81
10= Gerd Müller 77
10= Ruud van Nistelrooy 77

*Competitions comprise: UEFA European Championship, UEFA Champions League/European Cup, UEFA Europa League/UEFA Cup, UEFA Cup Winners' Cup, UEFA Super Cup, UEFA Intertoto Cup, UEFA Women's EURO, UEFA Women's Cup/UEFA Women's Champions League, UEFA Women's Under-17, Under-18 and Under-19 Championships, UEFA Futsal Cup, UEFA Futsal EURO, UEFA Meridian Cup, UEFA Regions' Cup, UEFA European Under-16, Under-17, Under-18, Under-19, Under-21 and Under-23 Championships, UEFA European Under-21 Futsal Tournament, UEFA Under-18 Champions League, UEFA Youth League. Does not include FIFA World Cup inc qualifiers.

Data correct as of 08/10/2017