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Top poachers from Russia 2018 World Cup Qualifiers

Friday 6th October 2017
Gradually, the stage is getting set for the Russia 2018 World Cup. The stadia are almost ready and the qualifiers are close to being wrapped up. Here's a look at the players who have been in blistering goalscoring form in World Cup Qualifying so far.


There's been a rain of goals in these World Cup qualifiers. 663 goals from 225 games so far, it makes Europe the top-scoring continent in qualifying. The big name players have also not failed to grab some of the goodies. Top goalscorers include:

Robert Lewandowski

On Thursday night, the Pole became his nation's top scorer in history when he bagged a hat-trick in Poland's 1-6 mauling of Armenia; taking his international tally to half a century in 90 caps. The Bayern Munich poacher tops the goalscoring chart in Europe World Cup qualifiers with an impressive 15 goals in nine games.

Poland is a point away from securing a berth in Russia. They lead group E with 22 points.

Cristiano Ronaldo

He always gets in amongst the top scorers, doesn't he? Ronaldo has shown prolific form in World Cup qualifying for Portugal. The Real Madrid icon has plundered 14 goals in half as many matches for his country. You can be sure he'll add to that tally before the qualifiers come to a close.
Ronaldo's Portugal is second in group B, three points behind Switzerland who lead the pack. They have two more games left to play.

Romelu Lukaku

An honourable mention is Manchester United's Romelu Lukaku. He's got 10 goals in seven games for his country in qualifying. Lukaku, who made his debut for Belgium in 2010 aged 16, is already on his way to becoming Belgium's record scorer. He's still in his early twenties and has already amassed 60 caps, Lukaku is seven goals away from making history.

Belgium is already through to Russia 2018.

South America (CONMEBOL)

The CONMEBOL World Cup qualifying is an interesting one. Every team play each other in league-like standing that sees the top four teams qualify automatically. Brazil already qualified with an insurmountable lead. But who are the top scorers?

Edison Cavani

His country still needs to put in some work to secure a ticket to Russia, but the Paris Saint-Germain striker has been South America's most potent attacker in World Cup Qualifying.
Having scored nine goals from 14 world cup qualifiers for Uruguay, Edison Cavani isn't slowing down at aged 30.

Alexis Sanchez

Alexis Sanchez also makes the cut, the Chilean has notched seven in 16 games for his country as they continue the tussle for one the five CONMEBOL world cup slots.

Chile is third in the South America standing with 26 points from 17 games.


With just six games to be played by a team in Africa World Cup qualifying (excluding the preliminary rounds), it's unlikely to find a player scoring double figures. Albeit, some players have distinguished themselves in front of goal. Here's a peep.

Thomas Partey

Ghana might not make it Russia 2018. Their poor form sees them lie third in Group E with two games left. However, Atletico Madrid's Thomas Partey has been a stand-out performer – scoring four goals in three games, Partey would rue bringing such form to Russia if Ghana misses out.

Islam Slimani

The Leicester City striker will not feature in Russia 2018, with his country (Algeria) already out of contention. Nonetheless, he has some solace in having poached four goals in the six qualifying games he's played (including preliminaries).

North, Central America and the Caribbean

Six teams are in the running for the three automatic tickets from CONCACAF. Mexico already booked their place, with Panama and Costa Rica set to book theirs if they win today. The top scorers:

Carlos Ruiz

Nine goals in ten World Cup preliminary qualifiers, including five in one game; Guatemala international, Carlos Ruiz, still tops the chart, despite being retired and his country not making the World Cup qualifiers group stage.

Clint Dempsey

The 34-year-old American still does it for his country. Five goals in seven games for the Americans in qualifying Dempsey's goals can propel the USA to a playoff place. For now, the USMNT risk missing out of football's global showpiece next year.


Four teams have already qualified from Asia, with two more to follow. Let's take a look at the goalscorers chart.

Mohammad Al-Sahlawi

Al-Sahlawi has already propelled his country to a place in the World Cup. The 30-year-old Al-Nassr striker has grabbed 16 goals in 14 qualifying games for Saudi Arabia to help secure a World Cup berth for the Arabian nation.

Ahmed Khalil

Also with 16 goals, although from 17 games, Ahmed Khalil has been in fine World Cup qualifying form for the United Arab Emirates. However, his country runs the risk of missing out from next year's showpiece; they sit fourth in group B; with only two automatic slots available and a playoff spot for a third team it's a precarious position to be in the running for Russia 2018 World Cup.
Kingsley Ukpai

Kingsley is a football aficionado who craves to read, watch, play and write about the greatest team sport ever known to man. If you're talking football he'll be keen to listen to what you have to say. Loves to play Fantasy Football too.

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