Top 10 Highest Football GoalScorers in the World
There is always a debate about who is the all-time highest goalscorer in the history of football. Is it Pele, Cristiano Ronaldo, or Josef Bican? The governing body of football, FIFA has never released a list of footballers with their official goal numbers. Guinness World Record recognized Pele as the highest goalscorer in football history with 1279 goals in 1363 games. However, these stats counted goals scored in friendlies and tours as well. Several football associations have accounted for Pele's official goals below 800. Officially, Cristiano Ronaldo is the all-time highest-scoring footballer of all time and he is yet to retire. Josef Bican, Romario, Lionel Messi, Gerd Muller, and Ferenc Puskas are other all-time highest goalscorers in football history. Different sources have their own official statistics. Here are the top 10 highest football goalscorers in the world.
Cristiano Ronaldo is considered one of the greatest footballers of all time and is the all-time highest goalscorer in modern football history. Near the end of the 2021-22 season, the five-time Ballon d'Or award winner has scored 698 club goals and 133 international goals winning 32 trophies in total. He surpassed Josef Bican's 805 career goals when he scored a hat-trick against Tottenham in March 2022. However, The Czech Republic Football Association disputes that Bican scored 821 goals. He is Real Madrid's all-time top scorer with 450 goals in 438 games. He left Madrid to join Juventus where he scored 101 goals in 134 games. He returned to Manchester United in 2021 and scored over 20 goals upon his return. He had previously scored 118 goals in all competitions for Manchester United between 2003 and 2009.
Ronaldo is the all-time highest international goalscorer in football history. The Portuguese captain broke Ali Daei's record of 109 international goals when he scored against Ireland in a World Cup qualifier in September 2021. He led Portugal to their first major trophy, Euro 2016, and later led to the inaugural UEFA Nations League in 2019.
Josef Bican is one of the most prolific goalscorers in football history. FIFA recognized him as one of the record scorers with an estimated 805 goals. The Football Association of the Czech Republic stated Bican scored 821 goals and the RSSSF credits him with 948 goals that include goals scored in winter tournaments, as well as when selected to represent regional and city teams.
Bican scored over 789 club goals and 29 international goals. He scored 14 international goals for Austria, 12 goals for Czechoslovakia, and 3 goals for Bohemia and Moravia.
Bican died aged 88 on 12 December 2001.
The Argentine star, Lionel Messi is considered one of the greatest players of all time. The record seven-time Ballon d'Or award-winner, Messi has scored over 790 career goals for club and country. He holds the record for most goals by a player for a single club. During his 20 years at Barcelona, he scored 672 goals in 778 games. He is La Liga's all-time highest goalscorer with 474 goals. He surpassed Pele's record for most goals by a player for a single club in December 2020 when he scored his 644th goal for Barcelona. However, Santos debated that Pele's 448 goals in friendlies had been uncounted. He left Barcelona in 2021 and joined the French club, PSG.
Having made his senior international debut against Hungary in 2005, Messi has scored 81 senior international goals. He finally won his first major international trophy, 2021 Copa America, defeating hosts Brazil 1-0 in the final. He previously failed to win an international trophy despite reaching Copa America final three times and the World Cup final once.
Romario, the Brazilian legend is considered one of the greatest players of all time. A prolific goalscorer, Romario is one of the most prolific goalscorers in football history with 780 goals in 1000 official games. He scored 690 club goals including 165 goals for PSV Eindhoven, 184 for Flamengo, and 266 goals for Vasco da Gama. He also played for Barcelona, Valencia, Fluminense, Miami FC, and several other clubs.
Romario is the fourth-highest goalscorer for Brazil with 55 senior international goals. With Brazil, he won FIFA World Cup in 1994, Copa America in 1989 and 1997, and FIFA Confederations Cup in 1997.
Brazilian legend, Pele is regarded as one of the greatest players of all time. He won three FIFA World Cups with Brazil in 1858, 1962, and 1970 becoming the all-time leading goalscorer for Brazil with 77 international goals. He is also Santos' all-time top goalscorer with 643 goals from 659 games, leading the club to the 1962 and 1963 Copa Libertadores and Intercontinental Cups. Lionel Messi broke the record for most goals for a single club when he scored his 644th Barcelona goal in December 2020. However, Santos released the statement saying 448 of Pele's goals scored in friendlies had been uncounted. For New York Cosmos, he scored 66 goals in 107 games.
Guinness World Record has recognized Pele as the all-time top goalscorer with 1279 goals in 1363 games. However, Pele has publicly accounted for 1283 goals on his Instagram. The RSSSF has recorded 775 goals in 840 official games and IFFHS has recorded 765 official goals for Pele. Different sources have different statistics on Pele's goals.
A Mozambique-born Portuguese legend is Eusebio. He is considered Benfica's greatest player even and one of the greatest players in football history. He is one of the all-time highest goalscorers in football history with a total of 733 goals in 745 games. He spent 15 of his 22 years of football career at Benfica and scored 473 goals in 440 competitive matches winning Primeira Liga eleven times, Taca de Portugal five times, and a European Cup.
Nicknamed The Black Panther, Eusebio scored 41 international goals in 64 games for Portugal. He led Portugal to a third-place finish at the 1966 FIFA World Cup, of which he was also the top goalscorer.
A German legend, Gerd Muller is regarded as one of the greatest goalscorers in football history. He is Bundesliga's all-time highest goalscorer with 365 goals. He scored 654 club goals including 563 for Bayern Munich. He started his football career at his hometown club, TSV 1861 Nordlingen before joining Bayern Munich in 1964. He won four German championships, four DFB-Pokals, and three European Champions' Cups with Bayern Munich. The 1970 Ballon d'Or winner Muller led West Germany to UEFA European Championship in 1972 and the FIFA World Cup victory in 1974. He scored 68 international goals in 62 games for West Germany. He was Germany's all-time leading goalscorer for almost 40 years. He was also the all-time highest World Cup goalscorer with 14 goals, the record he held for 32 years.
The Hungarian legend, Ferenc Puskas is regarded as one of the greatest players of all time. A prolific goalscorer, Puskas scored 703 goals in 707 official games, making him one of the top goalscorers of all time in football history. He scored 619 club goals, 375 for Budapest Honved, and 244 for Real Madrid. He won five league titles each with Budapest Honved and Real Madrid.
Puskas led Hungary to Olympic gold medal in 1952 and a runner-up finish in FIFA World Cup in 1954. He scored 84 international goals in 85 games for Hungary. The FIFA Puskas Award was introduced by FIFA in 2009. It is a prestigious honor awarded to the player who has scored the "most beautiful goal" over the past year.
The Northern Irish legend, Jimmy Jones is considered one of the greatest scorers in football history. Jones is the leading goalscorer in Irish League football history with 647 goals, most notably with the Northern Irish club, Glenavon. He scored 517 goals for Glenavon winning the Irish League and Irish Cup three times each. He is also the record holder of becoming the Irish League's top goalscorer in six seasons. The record is still unbroken.
Though there aren't official statistics available, he has scored over 809 official goals, according to RSSSF.
He scored only 1 international goal in 3 appearances for the Hungary national team. His only international goal came against Wales in the 1956 British Home Championship.
Joe Bambrick is an Irish League legend. A prolific goalscorer, he started his football career at Glentoran and later played for Linfield, Chelsea, and Walsall. Most notably, he scored 509 goals for Linfield in just 8 years that including 286 league goals.
Bambrick scored 12 international goals in 11 games for Ireland. He scored 6 goals against Wales in 1930 still remains the record score for a British Isles player in an international fixture.