Belgian international striker, Romelu Lukaku’s, scoring record has remained pretty impressive over the last few years when compared to his game time, despite the obvious struggles he has had since tasting good success with Inter Milan back between August 2019 and August 2021. The 30 year old now seems to be back to his best though, and absolutely stole show for his country in their recent clash with Azerbaijan.
With Chelsea open to paying £97 million for him that summer, he returned to Stamford Bridge for a second spell, but 15 goals in 29 starts was not considered impressive given their struggles and his over all performance levels, so after another season at Inter, this August he returned to the Italian Serie A with AS Roma and reunited with Jose Mourinho.
As we come out of the November international break, 13 starts for Roma has seen him return nine goals, and the former Anderlecht Academy graduate is clearly enjoying his football again having hinted at his dissatisfaction at his Chelsea treatment, and then issues he would not offer details on during his second spell with the Nerazzurri.
His form for his country seems to be improving as well, as in five games for them in the 2023/24 calendar year, he has already notched up eight European Championship 2024 qualifying stage goals.
Four of those came on Sunday as he gave Domenico Tedesco’s side a very comfortable 4-0 first half advantage in the game. Taking his international tally to 83 goals in 113 games, he is now the seventh highest goalscorer in men’s international football history.
He opened the scoring 17 minutes into the game as he headed in a Jeremy Doko delivery, and in the 26th minute he had his brace as he rifled in after Timothy Castagne had knocked the ball down. Four minutes later he had his hattrick from Wout Faes’ cross. It took only another seven minutes before he had his fourth with the assist going to Orel Mangala. He understandably, got the second half off after that performance.
This was the Belgian skippers’ first international quadruple, and he had only scored four once previously in his career during his spell at Everton. With Leandro Trossard adding their fifth, it was certainly a good night for their fans.
To date, only Cristiano Ronaldo, Ali Dael, Lionel Messi, Sunil Chhetri, Maktar Dahari and Ferenc Puskas have scored more on the international stage, but Lukaku is also well clear of Ronaldo and Kylian Mbappe during this qualifying campaign as he has now scored 14, compared to their respective 10 and 9 strikes.
14 qualifying goals is also a new Euro record, 13 being previously set by David Healy (2008) and equalled by Robert Lewandowski (2016).
With the return of the domestic Italian calendar, Roma fans will be licking their lips that his form will now quickly improve even further for them this season.