Friday, May 24, 2024

The World’s Deadly Strikers: The Five Leading Goalscorers of All Time


It is a well-known fact that goals win football games. It does not matter how solid a team’s defense is; they will not win matches if they do not have a deadly goalscorer who can put the ball in the back of the net. Elite-level forwards instinctively know where the goal is and often produce a moment of magic when it is least expected, turning potential losses into draws and snatching victory when the game looks set for a stalemate. Scoring goals is an art form, and the following five players have mastered that art and are among the leading goalscorers of all time.

Cristiano Ronaldo – 891 career goals

Cristiano Ronaldo is a football legend. The Portuguese superstar is one of only five players to have played in at least 1,200 professional games and is football’s all-time leading goalscorer with an incredible 891 goals. Ronaldo has scored goals at an alarming rate wherever he has played, leading him to be the favorite to win the Golden Boot each season with the sites at

Ronaldo started his professional career with Sporting Lisbon in 2002, scoring five goals in 31 appearances in all competitions. Manchester United paid Sporting £12.24 million for the forward in 2003. Although it took a couple of seasons for Ronaldo to find his scoring boots, he called time on his Manchester United career, having scored 118 goals in 292 games.

After an £80 million transfer to Real Madrid, Ronaldo’s goalscoring hit a new high. In nine seasons in Spain, Ronaldo played 438 games and scored an incredible 450 goals. He then played for Juventus in Italy, scoring 101 goals in 134 games before scoring 27 in 54 appearances after his brief return to Manchester United in 2021.

Ronaldo now plays for Al Nassr of the Saudi Pro League, where his 62 goals in 66 games have taken his career total to 763 goals for clubs. This ridiculous figure increases to 891 goals when you add those he has scored for Portugal’s national team.

Lionel Messi – 833 career goals

Argentina’s Lionel Messi is the second-highest goalscorer in football history, with 833 goals in total. Messi started his professional career with the Barcelona C and Barcelona B teams, scoring six goals in 22 games. He then spent 17 seasons with the FC Barcelona first team, making 778 appearances in all competitions, scoring 672 goals. Those 672 goals are the most scored for a single team, while his 474 La Liga goals are the most by a single person in the competition.

Messi spent only two seasons with Paris St. Germain yet managed to find the back of the net 32 times in 75 games. The eight-time Ballon d’Or winner currently plays for Inter Miami in the MLS, where his 23 goals in 25 games have made him a fan favorite. Add to that Messi’s 122 goals for Argentina, and you arrive at a staggering total of 833 career goals.

The debate of whether Ronaldo or Messi is the best-ever football player continues raging on. Messi often comes out on top in such discussions because he is approaching 400 assists in addition to his 833 goals, meaning he is a far better all-round player than his Portuguese rival.

Pele – 762 career goals

The late Pele is widely considered the best football player of all time, not least because he scored 762 goals during a glistening career that saw him win three World Cups with Brazil. Pele almost spent his entire career with Santos, playing 659 games between 1956 and 1974. In nine of those seasons, Pele scored more goals than games played, including bagging 64 goals in 46 appearances in 1965.

Pele also scored 66 goals in 107 games for the New York Cosmos and another 77 in 92 games for the Brazilian national team.

Scoring so many goals is an incredible feat in its own right, but one must consider that Pele played football when health, fitness, and nutrition were not part of a player’s regime and when footballs were made of thick, heavy leather. Furthermore, look at some of the old footage of Pele in action and the state of the pitches he had to play on; they were not a patch on modern-day pitches, which are perfect playing surfaces.

Romario – 755 career goals


Brazil’s Romario played for ten different teams between 1985 and 2009, scoring ridiculous goals for each of them; he was often each team’s top scorer each season. Romario is only 5 ft 6 in tall, but what he lacked in height he made up with agility and balance, which made him deadly in the penalty area.

Romario started his professional career with Vasco da Gama in Brazil and enjoyed three spells with the club. During those times, Romario scored 251 times in only 330 games. In five seasons with PSV Eindhoven, Romanrio scored 128 goals in 149 appearances. By the time Romario hung up his boots, he had scored 690 goals in 893 domestic and cup competitions, plus another 55 goals in 70 games for the Brazil national team, including the winner in the 1994 World Cup semi-finals; Brazil became world champions.

Ferenc Puskas – 724 career goals

Hungary was a footballing force in the late 1940s and early 1950s, primarily due to the iconic Ferenc Puskas. Puskas was the top scorer in Hungary four times and was the leading goalscorer across Europe in 1948.

Puskas played 16 seasons with Budapest Honvied between 1943 and 1956. His record of 382 goals in 367 games is a club record. Between the 1946-47 and 1949-50 seasons, Puskas played 118 games for Budapest Honvied and scored 159 goals!

FIFA issued Puskas a two-year ban after refusing to return to his native Hungary during the Hungarian Revolution of 1956. Puskas signed for Real Madrid when his ban was over, and it was like he had never been away. Puskas scored 25 goals in 34 games during his first season in Spain and scored 242 times in 262 appearances for the La Liga giants. Puskas also scored 83 goals in 84 games for Hungary.

The Hungarian’s name lives on in football circles because the scorer of the “most beautiful” goal of the calendar year receives the FIFA Puskas Award.


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