What soccer player has the most goals ? Cristiano Ronaldo might be playing in Saudi Arabia these days, but he’s still racking up records. The 38-year-old holds the record for most international appearances in the history of men’s football after playing his 200th game for Portugal in June 2023.
He doesn’t only hold the record for the most games played for a male player, but he also has the most international goals of all-time, as part of his enduring pursuit of titles.
Argentina and Inter Miami star Lionel Messi – who is three years younger – can still catch Ronaldo for both records, if he plays on through to the 2026 World Cup.
Who has scored the most goals in men’s international football?
Ronaldo holds the record for the most goals scored in men’s international football. The Al Nassr and Portugal striker has 123 goals in 201 senior appearances for his country.
Ronaldo broke the long-standing goal record held by Iran’s Ali Daei when he scored twice against the Republic of Ireland back in September 2021.
Those two were later joined by Messi, as the only three men’s players to reach a century of international goals, with Messi hitting the mark after a hat-trick against Curacao on March 28, with his current tally at 104 after his goal for Argentina against Ecuador on September 8.
Who has scored the most goals in women’s international football?
Even if Ronaldo and Messi continue to play well into their 40s, it is almost impossible for them to catch the goal tallies of the leading women’s international goalscorers.
The top-scoring player in women’s international football — and, indeed, overall — is Canada’s Christine Sinclair, who has managed a staggering 190 goals in 326 appearances in 23 years.
Which footballer has the most goals in the history of the sport?
The Journey of football has been remarkable, with the rising of many outstanding strikers capable of scoring goals at will. Pele, Ferenc Puskas, Cristiano Ronaldo, and Lionel Messi are the players who come to mind when talking about the greatest scorers globally. But which footballer has the most goals in history?
In football, the scoring department is traditionally assigned to strikers or forwards. In modern football, some midfielders and defenders have also stepped up to become good scorers. So, which footballer has the most goals ever? Unfortunately, only two of the top 10 greatest scorers in history are still playing football. The rest have retired and pursuing different things, while others died.
10. Neymar Jr (335 goals)
Neymar Jr is tied with Romelu Lukaku on 335 goals. Since the PSG superstar has played fewer matches, he edges the Chelsea man on the list. Neymar has been particularly prolific for Brazil, scoring 70 goals in 116 appearances on the international stage.
The 29-year-old has been criticized for not living up to his potential. Although he will soon reach the twilight of his career, he is yet to win the Ballon d’Or. With that being said, Neymar has still had an illustrious career. He is one of the few non-strikers to make this list.
The former Barcelona winger has scored 265 goals at club level. Although Lukaku has scored a couple more goals, he took around 100 more matches to do so. Moreover, Neymar has over double the number of assists, favoring his selection ahead of Lukaku.
9. Gonzalo Higuain (350 goals)
For over a decade, Gonzalo Higuain was a consistent goalscorer in Europe’s top five leagues. The Argentine striker spent his prime with top clubs such as Real Madrid, Napoli and Juventus. Despite not scoring a lot of goals at international level, he has managed to reach the 350-goal benchmark.
The 34-year-old currently plies his trade at Inter Miami in the MLS. Higuain has scored 319 goals at club level, with over 100 of them coming for Real Madrid. He wasn’t half bad with Argentina either, as he scored 31 goals in 75 appearances.
El Pipita faced tremendous competition for the striker’s spot at international level from the likes of Sergio Aguero and Carlos Tevez. Had he played more matches for Argentina, he could have ranked slightly higher on this list.
8. Edin Dzeko (363 goals)
Edin Dzeko is arguably the most underrated striker of his generation. The Bosnian marksman has been prolific at all his previous clubs, be it Wolfsburg, Manchester City or AS Roma. Apart from his 303 club goals, Dzeko has 60 national goals to his credit.
The all-time Bosnia and Herzegovina top-scorer, Dzeko, is a legendary figure in his home country. Not only has he won three Bosnian Footballer of the Year awards, but he has also been bestowed with a couple of Bosnian Sportsman of the Year honors.
At 35, Dzeko has managed to replace Romelu Lukaku at Inter Milan with ease. He currently has 11 goals and seven assists in all competitions, which is more than respectable considering he was bought on a free transfer.
7. Karim Benzema (405 goals)
Karim Benzema is one of the best centre-forwards in the world right now. The Frenchman has entered his 12th season at the Santiago Bernabeu, and it is fair to say that he is ageing like fine wine. Already a Real Madrid legend, Benzema has over 300 goals for Los Blancos.
Benzema’s career has been full of highs and lows. He wasn’t always as prolific as he is right now. While Ronaldo and Bale were at the peak of their powers at Real Madrid, Benzema often played a supporting role to benefit the club.
Moreover, his controversies with the French national team have been well documented. Despite being one of the most talented players to don the France jersey, he has scored just 36 times due to the low number of appearances. With that being said, Benzema has 405 career goals so far.
6.Edinson Cavani (411 goals)
Another player who has often gone under the radar is Edinson Cavani. Very few football fans would think Cavani has scored more goals than the aforementioned Benzema, but he trumps the Frenchman by a margin of eight goals. El Matador has scored a total of 411 goals for club and country.
The all-time PSG top scorer was a no-nonsense number 9 who was tenacious and hard working. He was sensational at both Napoli and PSG, featuring in a lot of Serie A and Ligue 1 Team of the Years. Moreover, the Uruguayan has scored 53 goals at international level.
The fact that PSG fans formed a stronger connection with Zlatan Ibrahimovic and Kylian Mbappe acted as a detriment for Cavani’s popularity at the Parc des Princes. At national level, a certain Luis Suarez always took the plaudits, and rightly so, given his record.
5. Luis Suarez (496 goals)
Beating national teammate Edinson Cavani by a massive margin of 85 goals, Luis Suarez was indeed a phenomenon. Born almost 35 years ago in Salto, Uruguay, Suarez became one of the best all-round strikers of the 21st century. He has scored 496 times in his career so far.
The former Barcelona striker was a nightmare for defenders due to his clever runs and footwork. Apart from being quite efficient in goal scoring, Suarez also had a knack for setting up his teammates. El Pistolero has almost 350 assists for club and country.
During his prime years at Liverpool and Barcelona, Suarez was the only player who showed any signs of challenging the duopoly of Ronaldo and Messi for the Golden Boot. In fact, the Atletico Madrid forward won the award twice, in 2013-14 (shared) and 2015-16.
4. Zlatan Ibrahimovic (554 goals)
Zlatan Ibrahimovic is one of only four active footballers to have scored over 500 goals for club and country. Ibrahimovic has scored nearly as many club goals (492) as Suarez has scored for club and country (496). Overall, Zlatan has racked up 554 goals in 929 appearances.
The Swedish international has been playing football since the late 1990s and has scored at least one goal in four different decades. Despite representing a host of top European clubs, he hasn’t won a Champions League title yet.
While his goal-to-game ratio might not be as good as the likes of Suarez and Lewandowksi, the 41-year-old deserves immense credit for his longevity. He is still going strong in Serie A with AC Milan, which is a testament to his fitness, drive and quality.
3. Robert Lewandowski (567 goals)
Robert Lewandowski is by far the most productive striker at the moment. The Bayern Munich striker broke Gerd Muller’s long-standing record of most goals in a Bundesliga season by accumulating 41 strikes in just 29 appearances last season.
The 33-year-old is arguably at the peak of his powers. Lewandowski is currently on 567 goals and should easily cross the 600-goal mark. He has been nothing short of exemplary for the last two years and is unlucky not to win a single Ballon d’Or despite being a goal-scoring machine.
The Polish forward has been equally adept at scoring goals with and without world-class players around him, which is evident by his record internationally. While Suarez might be the best all-round number 9 of the 21st century, Lewandowski is certainly the most prolific.
2. Lionel Messi (758 goals)
Lionel Messi is not only the second-highest active goalscorer but also ranks exceptionally high when it comes to all-time top scorers in football. The Argentine magician has been at the top of his game for well over a decade and continues to mesmerise football fans.
The seven-time Ballon d’Or winner has scored 678 goals at club level and 80 times for Argentina. In 2012, Messi scored an unbelievable 91 goals, the highest number of official goals in a calendar year. With 672 goals, he is also Barcelona’s all-time leading goal scorer.
During his illustrious career, Messi has netted 768 times for club and country. Apart from being one of the most efficient and leading goal scorers, Messi is also known for his dribbling and creativity. La Pulga has recorded in excess of 450 assists, which ranks him highest among the players of his generation.
1. Cristiano Ronaldo (803 goals)
Cristiano Ronaldo is the highest active and all-time top scorer in football with 803 goals under his belt. The Portuguese legend has been a consistent scorer of goals throughout the last couple of decades. He has won numerous Golden Boot awards along the way.
Ronaldo is the highest-scoring international player of all time with 115 goals. In the Champions League, the 37-year-old has racked up 140 goals, higher than anyone since the competition began. Ronaldo is also Real Madrid’s record goal-getter at 450 strikes.
Those numbers are not enough to do justice to Ronaldo’s ability. He has already scored over 800 goals and should score at least another 50. It will be a gigantic task for any future footballer to break the Manchester United legend’s record.
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