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Ronaldo, Messi, Romario - who are the top goalscorers in football history?

11:00 EAT 26/02/2021
Lionel Messi Romario Cristiano Ronaldo
With the help of data from RSSSF, Goal runs down a list of the top goalscorers in all official competitions in the history of the beautiful game.
  • Zlatan Ibrahimovic - Milan Roma - Serie A 2020/21

    #12 Zlatan Ibrahimovic | 570 goals

    Arguably the greatest Swedish footballer of all time, Zlatan Ibrahimovic continues to shine in front of goal as he approaches the ripe age of 40.

    A towering figure, both mentally and physically, Ibrahimovic has bagged goals wherever he has gone, starring for some of Europe's best clubs.

    His unique brand of playful arrogance earned him plenty of detractors during his career, but none can take away from his prowess as a goalscorer.

  • Tulio Brazil

    #11 Tulio Maravilha | 575 goals

    During his peripatetic, 24-year career, Tulio claims to have scored more than 1,000 goals. However, his personal figure included friendlies and games at amateur level. 

    Still, his final haul of 575 goals is nonetheless impressive, particularly when one considers that 13 of those strikes came in just 15 appearances for the Brazilian national team.

  • Uwe Seeler West Germany

    #10 Uwe Seeler | 575 goals

    Renowned for his aerial prowess and spectacular scissors-kicks, Hamburg icon Uwe Seeler is one of the finest forwards Germany has ever produced and an incredibly reliable source of goals for both club and country.

    He hit 575 in total - and in just 649 appearances too, giving him an amazing 0.89 goals-to-game ratio. 

  • Ferenc Deak

    #9 Ferenc Deak | 576 goals

    Ferenc Deak's achievements may have been overshadowed by his compatriot Ferenc Puskas but the Hungarian striker was an outstanding goalscorer in his own right. 

    Deak averaged more than three goals a game for first club Szentlorinci AC (220 in 72 appearances) before joining Ferencvaros, where he struck 200 times in just 140 outings.

    He also racked up 29 goals for his country and, though it is not known just how many matches he played at the highest level, he ended his career with a grand total of 576. 

  • Eusebio of Portugal

    #8 Eusebio | 623 goals

    Known as O Rei in Portugal, Eusebio was one of the most prolific goalscorers of the 1960s and 1970s, spearheading a Benfica side which dominated domestically and conquered Europe.

    An iconic figure in Lisbon, fondly remember by fans across the world, Eusebio boasted an incredible goals-per-game ratio, with 623 goals in 639 games.

  • Gerd Muller West Germany

    #7 Gerd Muller | 735 goals

    The supreme poacher, Gerd Muller was renowned for his predatory instincts in the penalty area.

    The Bayern Munich icon, who scored the winner for West Germany in the 1974 World Cup final, averaged more than a goal a game at international level (68 in just 62 matches).

    A short and stocky striker blessed with explosive power, 'Der Bomber' bowed out with an overal record of 735 goals in only 793 matches. 

  • Lionel Messi Barcelona

    #6 Lionel Messi | 755 goals

    Regarded by many as the greatest player in history, Lionel Messi is as exceptional at taking chances as he is at creating them. Indeed, to date, the diminutive Argentine has racked up 742 goals in 946 outings.

    Furthermore, while he has now entered his thirties, Messi is arguably more complete than ever before, meaning the sky remains the limit for a player considered "an alien" by goalkeeping great Gigi Buffon.

  • Ferenc Puskas Real Madrid

    #5 Ferenc Puskas | 746 goals

    Ferenc Puskas was known as 'The Galloping Major', a key man in two of the greatest sides in football history: Hungary's 'Magnificent Magyars' and Real Madrid's 1960 European Cup winners.

    He was small, portly and his right foot wasn't particularly strong; his left, however, was a cannon and, with it, he scored the majority of his 746 goals, which came in just 754 games. 

  • Pele Santos

    #4 Pele | 767 goals

    Regarded by Franz Beckenbauer as the greatest player of all time, Pele was also one of the most prolific forwards the game has ever known.

    A three-time World Cup winner with Brazil, 'The King' netted 767 times in just 831 appearances, meaning he boasts a staggering strike rate of 0.92 goals per game.

  • Romario Brazil

    #3 Romario | 772 goals

    Brazil legend Ronaldo says he learned about the art of goalscoring from Romario, a man described by former Barcelona coach Johann Cruyff as "a genius" in the penalty area.

    Indeed, Romario was one of the most clinical finishers the game has ever seen, as underlined by his record of 772 goals in just 994 games. 

  • Cristiano Ronaldo, Juventus, Champions League 2020-21

    #2 Cristiano Ronaldo | 783 goals

    After starting out as fleet-footed winger, Cristiano Ronaldo transformed himself into a goalscoring machine.

    The Portuguese superstar has broken one record after another, posting tallies in the Champions League that may never be surpassed.

    Remarkably, as he heads into the other side of his thirties, he has shown little sign of slowing down and continues to hit the back of the net at an impressive rate for Juventus.

  • Josef Bican

    #1 Josef Bican | 805 goals

    The most prolific goalscorer in football history, yet few know the name of Josef Bican. 

    A star in Austria in the 1930s, he was a member of the side that reached the 1934 World Cup semi-finals, but he actually continued playing until 1955, eventually retiring at the age of 42.

    By that point, Bican, a two-footed forward blessed with sprinter-like pace, had racked up 805 goals.

    Some team-mates even claimed he'd actually scored more than 5,000 - something that Bican never denied, simply saying "Who'd have believed me if I said I'd scored five times as many goals as Pele?..."