By Alex Al-Kazzaz
Cristiano Ronaldo, Kylian Mbappé, and Romelu Lukaku all scored a goal as they helped their respective national teams book their spot for next summer's Euro 2024 in Germany. France, Belgium, and Portugal were the first national teams to qualify, except for Germany, who automatically qualified as the tournament's host. The last time France failed to qualify for the Euro was in 1988, while Portugal has qualified for the tournament for the eighth straight time. Belgium has not missed out on a Euro since the 2012 edition.
In Portugal's 3-2 win over Slovakia, Ronaldo became the first player to score 125 international goals. Mbappé's two goals in France's 2-1 win over Netherlands make him France's fourth all-time leading scorer(42 goals). Scoring his 78th international goal in Belgium's 3-2 win over Austria, Lukaku officially surpasses Brazilian legend Pelé(77 goals). Out of all three teams, Belgium is the only one that has never won the European Championship. France won in 1984 and 2000, while Portugal won in 2016.
France, Belgium, and Portugal are all unbeaten in their respective Euro qualifying campaign. In six games, France has scored 13 goals while conceding just once. Mike Maignan has dominated as the team's new goalkeeper, and the team seems to be making good progress. Lukaku leads Europe in most goals scored(9) in the qualifying phase, and he's followed by Ronaldo, who's at seven. Portugal's 27 goals are the most of any team in the qualifiers. Mbappé's six goals are tied with Norway's Erling Haaland, Denmark's Ramus Højlund, and Scotland's Scott McTominay.
France and Belgium have two games remaining in their qualifying phase, while Portugal has three. France and Portugal will likely rest most of their starters in their remaining games. Belgium may follow suit. Now that all three are officially in, they can utilize this opportunity to allow their reserves/backups to gain experience.
Belgium will play Sweden in their next Euro qualifier match, and Portugal will take on Bosnia and Herzegovina. The matches will be next Monday. France will play Scotland in a friendly exhibition game next Tuesday, so France can enormously benefit from utilizing their backups. France's next Euro qualifiers will be on November 18th and 21st.