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Top 10 highest goalscorers in a calendar year for European countries

Playing for the national team is one of the greatest honours that a footballer can have. The international breaks of 2021 are now over, and Memphis Depay signs off as the highest goalscorer of the year with 17 goals from 16 games. Here is where he ranks amongst the highest goal tallies in a single year for European countries. 

10. Michel Platini (France, 1984) – 13 goals in 10 games 

The attacking midfielder was one of the best to play for France and went on to score 41 goals in 72 appearances for the national team. A remarkable return for a midfielder playing for country. 

9. Romelu Lukaku (Belgium, 2018) – 14 goals in 14 games

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Lukaku is Belgium’s all-time highest goalscorer, and was unstoppable in 2018, finishing with a goal per game on average. He is no doubt the best striker produced by the country. 

8. Cristiano Ronaldo (Portugal, 2019) – 14 goals in 10 games

Ronaldo is international football’s highest goalscorer, recently surpassing Ali Daei’s record. Two years ago the striker managed to net 14 times for the country in only ten appearances. 

7. Ole Madsen (Denmark, 1962) – 14 goals in 9 games

Madsen is still remembered for scoring a heel kick goal against Sweden in 1965. The striker scored 40 goals in 52 appearances for the Danish national team. 

6. Harry Kane (England, 2021) – 16 goals in 16 games

Kane is only one goal behind Sir Bobby Charlton and five behind Wayne Rooney in England’s all-time highest scorers. While he has no more games left for the country in 2021, we will see him surpass Rooney as England’s highest ever goalscorer in 2022. 

5. Sandor Kocsis (Hungary, 1952) – 16 goals in 12 games

Kocsis’ first appearance on the list comes after his tally in 1952. The striker also finished as the top scorer in the Hungarian league playing for Honved. In the same year, he won the Olympics with Hungary. 

4. Imre Schlosser (Hungary, 1912) – 16 goals in 10 games

Imre Schlosser is still the highest ever goalscorer for Hungary. His tally of scoring sixteen goals in one year for the national team still stands after over 100 years. Schlosser played as a striker and was equally successful in his club career. 

3. Memphis Depay (Holland, 2021) – 17 goals in 16 games

Depay recently helped the Netherlands automatically qualify for the 2022 World Cup, and finished the year with an outstanding goalscoring return. However, he has been topped by two other players, close to 50 years ago. 

2. Just Fontaine (France, 1958) – 18 goals in 12 games

13 of Fontaine’s 18 goals were scored in six games in the World Cup. He remains the competition’s highest goalscorer in one edition. He has also been named as one of the greatest living footballers by the iconic Pele. 

1. Sandor Kocsis (Hungary, 1954) – 23 goals in 14 games 

Kocsis’ second appearance in the list is a tally that might never be matched. The striker scored 23 goals in 14 games in 1954. 11 of those came in the World Cup, much like Just Fontaine four years later. 


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Arsh Das
Arsh Das
A music enthusiast, also passionate about football and bringing you the latest in the sporting world every day.

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