Wednesday, 24 Jul 2024

25 Players With The Most Career Goals In History

They say that scoring a goal is the hardest thing to do in soccer. There are players trying to take you down, a goalkeeper to get past, and the expectations of the crowds. Everything is against you, and time and space are at a premium. But every now and then, a player emerges that can not only score goals but score them with such regularity that they become indispensable.

Today, we’re going to explore the top 25 players with the most career goals—a collection of domestic and international legends. Some you will know, and some we guarantee you won’t. This list is made up of current and past players whose names will live on forever because they knew how to put a leather ball into the net. And we love them for it.

25. Zico – 469 Goals

Zico

One of the greatest Brazilian players of all time, Zico was one of the defining players of the 1970s and 80s. He played in three World Cups but never won one, yet he made a name for himself as a free-kick specialist. Zico scored 101 direct free-kicks out of his impressive 469 career goals. As an attacking midfielder, Zico had an eye for a pass and is regarded as one of the most skillful players in history. He drifted around the middle of the pitch, creating and finishing with skills that confounded his opponents and thrilled fans.

24. Jimmy Greaves – 469 Goals

Jimmy Greaves

Jimmy Greaves, a legend of the game, was a member of the 1966 World Cup squad but was cruelly left out of the historic final against West Germany. Fondly remembered as one of the finest goalscorers of his generation, Greaves amassed an impressive 469 career goals and 44 goals in 57 international appearances. Greaves will be remembered most for his unerring ability to find the net, with a goal tally that would shine in any era.

23. Franz Binder – 502 Goals

Franz Binder

Franz Binder, an Austrian soccer legend, is one of the select few to have scored over 1000 goals in his career. While some of his goals were in unrecognized tournaments, his achievements stand the test of time. Playing for Rapid Wien, Binder scored an impressive 502 goals, making him the club’s leading goalscorer. He was known for his exceptional scoring ability, which led him to win four national Austrian championships and the German championship in 1941.

22. Imre Schlosser – 504 Goals

Imre Schlosser

Imre Schlosser was a key player for pre-Second World War Hungary, one of the first truly great teams in Europe. He played 68 times for the national team, scoring an impressive 58 goals. Schlosser also had a remarkable career at Ferencvarosi, where he scored 504 goals. He was known for his remarkable scoring ability and played an integral role in the success of both his national team and club.

21. Hugo Sanchez – 507 Goals

Hugo Sanchez

Hugo Sanchez, a Real Madrid and Mexico royalty, is arguably the greatest Mexican soccer player of all time. He is the fourth highest scorer in La Liga history, a testament to his special talent. Sanchez was known for his intelligent play, relying on his movement, game awareness, and scoring ability. He was a prolific penalty taker and even attempted bicycle kicks to score outrageous goals. Throughout his 20-year career, he scored a remarkable 507 goals, cementing his status as one of the greatest strikers of his generation.

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20. Luis Suarez – 509 Goals

Luis Suarez

Luis Suarez, known for his well-documented history of biting opponents, is undeniably a prodigious talent on the field. With 509 career goals for iconic teams such as Ajax, Liverpool, Barcelona, and Atletico Madrid, he has secured his place as one of Uruguay’s greatest players. Suarez’s goal-scoring ability is impressive, averaging a goal every two games for his national team. He is a hard-working teammate who often comes up with crucial goals for his teams.

19. Roberto Dinamite – 511 Goals

Roberto Dinamite

Dinamite by name, dynamite by nature, Roberto Dinamite is a Brazilian striker with an enviable record. With a career spanning two decades, Dinamite scored an impressive 511 goals, leaving a lasting impact on Vasco Da Gama, where he played throughout his career. His goal tally is a Brazilian Seria A record that still stands to this day. Dinamite also had a successful international career, averaging over a goal every two games for Brazil.

18. Robert Lewandowski – 525 Goals

Robert Lewandowski

Polish striker Robert Lewandowski is known for his pace, power, and an eye for goal that borders on mystical. He is the second-highest goalscorer in Bundesliga history, with only Gerd Muller ahead of him. Lewandowski possesses all the attributes of a complete center-forward, excelling in the air, with both feet, and displaying intelligence on and off the ball. With 525 career goals, he continues to shine for Bayern Munich, consistently scoring over 40 goals per season.

17. Gyorgy Sarosi – 526 Goals

Gyorgy Sarosi

Gyorgy Sarosi, another talented Hungarian striker, followed in the footsteps of Imre Schlosser. He spent his entire career with Ferencvarosi, playing for the Budapest club for an impressive 18 years. Sarosi scored 526 goals during his stellar career, including a goal in the 1938 World Cup final, where Hungary lost to Italy. He was known for his ability to arrive in the area and score crucial goals, often playing behind the main striker. Sarosi had a short managerial career in Italy after retiring from playing.

16. Alfredo Di Stefano – 530 Goals

Alfredo Di Stefano

Alfredo Di Stefano, often referred to as Mr. Real Madrid, is rightly regarded as one of the greatest soccer players of all time. Born in Argentina, he played for both Argentina and Spain on the international stage. Di Stefano joined Real Madrid in 1953 and was a key figure in the team’s dominance in domestic and European competitions throughout the decade. With five European Cups to his name and having scored in each final, Di Stefano finished his career with an incredible 530 goals. His legacy as a truly great player and a legend will endure.

15. Jimmy McGrory – 550 Goals

Jimmy McGrory

Jimmy McGrory, a Glasgow Celtic legend, holds the record as the leading goalscorer in British soccer history with an impressive 550 goals. Despite his diminutive stature, McGrory was a lethal finisher on the domestic stage. His remarkable scoring record was achieved during an era when jumping higher than defenders was fruitless, so McGrory developed the technique of diving headers, which became one of his trademark moves. Although he only had 7 international caps to his name, McGrory’s domestic achievements were truly remarkable.

14. Uwe Seeler – 551 Goals

Uwe Seeler

Uwe Seeler, a lethal West German striker, was a one-club man with Hamburger SV. He epitomized efficiency and consistency on the pitch. Seeler was a natural leader, strong on the ball, and had an almost uncanny strike rate. With 404 goals in 476 appearances for Hamburg, his bursts of power overwhelmed panicky defenders. Seeler also had a brother, Dieter, who played for Hamburg, a rare occurrence for brothers to play for the same team. Together, they almost took their club to the final of the European Cup in 1961.

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13. Fernando Peyroteo – 552 Goals

Fernando Peyroteo

Fernando Peyroteo, an Angola-born striker, spent his entire career playing for Sporting CP in Portugal. He had 11 prolific seasons with the Portuguese giants. Peyroteo scored an astounding 332 league goals in just 197 games, showcasing his world-class ability. Unfortunately, his career was cut short at the age of 31 due to a leg injury sustained in a veterans game. Despite this tragedy, Peyroteo will always be remembered as a truly gifted player with an excellent scoring record.

12. Zlatan Ibrahimovic – 553 Goals

Zlatan Ibrahimovic

Zlatan Ibrahimovic, known for his spectacular goals, is a player who makes scoring look easy. With a career spanning two decades, Ibrahimovic has played in the top leagues and left his mark. His long-range shots and ability to score goals that seem impossible make him one of the greatest strikers of modern history. Standing tall, aggressive, and ruthless, Ibrahimovic gives defenders a hard time and thrills fans with his antics. Already a legend, he continues to play with the same desire and skill that has characterized his career.

11. Glenn Ferguson – 562 Goals

Glenn Ferguson

Glenn Ferguson, a Northern Irish legend, has an astonishing career spanning two decades. Playing for Glenavon and Linfield, he scored an incredible 562 goals. Despite having a low number of international appearances, Ferguson is a deserved addition to our list. He is second only to Jimmy Jones in terms of goals scored in Northern Ireland.

10. Joe Bambrick – 616 Goals

Joe Bambrick

Joe Bambrick, another pre-war goalscoring legend, had an impressive career from the mid-1920s to the outbreak of World War Two. Playing for Glentoran and Linfield in Northern Ireland, Bambrick was famous for his ability to get the ball over the line using any part of his body. His remarkable goal-scoring record, especially during his eight years at Linfield, solidified his status as a superb finisher.

9. Eusebio – 622 Goals

Eusebio

Eusebio da Silva Ferreira, nicknamed the ‘Black Panther’ for his ferocity and speed, is regarded as the greatest player ever to play in Portugal. Eusebio and Benfica dominated Portuguese soccer in the 1960s, winning 7 La Liga titles alone. He was a prolific striker in European competitions as well. Voted into the greatest soccer teams of all time and adored in Portugal, Eusebio’s 622 career goals only begin to capture his greatness.

8. Gerd Muller – 634 Goals

Gerd Muller

Gerd Muller, affectionately known as ‘Der Bomber,’ was a poacher of impeccable class. A legend for Bayern Munich and Germany, Muller was a striker without compare. He prowled the 6-yard box, scoring 398 goals in 453 appearances for Bayern Munich. As a World Cup and Golden Boot winner, Muller had an outstanding career. His accomplishments on and off the pitch solidify his status as one of world soccer’s true legends.

7. Jimmy Jones – 647 Goals

Jimmy Jones

Jimmy Jones, a Northern Irish legend, scored a staggering 647 career goals despite playing solely in Ireland. He was so prolific and feared by opposing teams that he suffered a horrific injury after being chased onto the terraces by fans and having his leg broken. The incident resulted in Belfast Celtic quitting league soccer, but Jones made a remarkable recovery and continued to score for another 20 years.

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6. Josef Bican – 720 Goals

Josef Bican

Josef Bican, a true goalscoring phenomenon, is often ranked higher in scoring lists by the Rec Sport Soccer Statistics Foundation. Credited with 1812 goals in 1301 games, Bican’s insatiable appetite for goals was unmatched. However, according to FIFA’s stats, Bican is credited with 720 career goals, which is still an incredible tally. He played for multiple clubs and countries, leaving a lasting legacy as one of the best soccer players in history.

5. Ferenc Puskas – 729 Goals

Ferenc Puskas

Ferenc Puskas, a Hungarian soccer legend, played for Honved and Real Madrid, dominating domestic and international soccer for over a decade. With 729 career goals, Puskas is considered a goal-scoring maestro. He was a key figure in Hungary’s Mighty Magyars and led them to numerous victories. Puskas’ impact on Hungarian and Spanish soccer is immeasurable, and his legacy continues to be celebrated.

4. Romario – 753 Goals

Romario

Romario, a World Cup winner, is easily the best center-forward Brazil has produced. With a career spanning 24 years and 753 goals, Romario’s achievements speak for themselves. Regarded by his peers as the best player they have ever seen, Romario changed the role of center-forward with his exceptional skills. He utilized every facet of goal-scoring, from dribbling past players to arriving late in the box. Romario’s creativity, effectiveness, and immense popularity have made him one of the most loved players in history.

3. Lionel Messi – 755 Goals

Lionel Messi

Lionel Messi, an Argentine wizard, has scored sublime goals in some of the biggest games in world soccer. Often regarded as the greatest player of all time, Messi possesses unrivaled talent. While he falls just short of the number one spot on our list with 755 career goals, his contributions go beyond scoring. When you add his goal assists, Messi’s impact is undeniable. Whether with a long-range shot or dribbling past multiple players, Messi’s greatness is on full display.

2. Pele – 765 Goals

Pele

Pele, dubbed the greatest player ever by FIFA, is a true global soccer icon. Making the Santos first team at 15 and the Brazil side at 16, Pele’s impeccable goalscoring record is not surprising. With an average of almost a goal per game during his 21-year career, Pele became the first real global soccer player. He played for Santos for 18 years before his highly publicized move to the New York Cosmos in 1975. Scoring on his debut for Brazil at the age of 16, Pele remains the youngest scorer for his country even over six decades later. His ambassadorship for the game and his impact transcend soccer.

1. Cristiano Ronaldo – 794 Goals

Cristiano Ronaldo

Cristiano Ronaldo, a superhuman on the field, holds the top spot as the all-time leading scorer. One of the greatest players in history, Ronaldo has an insatiable desire to be the best. His record of 794 career goals is simply magnificent. Known for his incredible training regimen and fitness, Ronaldo remains at the peak of his powers. With 133 international goals and his total continuing to climb, Ronaldo shows no signs of slowing down. His drive and talent make him an unrivaled force in soccer, and fans around the world admire his achievements.