most goals in football

Portugal superstar and current national team captain Cristiano Ronaldo has scored the most goals in football history. Ronaldo is at the top of the list with 873 goals for club and country combined. Cristiano Ronaldo has the most international appearances (205) and scored the most goals in men's international football (128). 

Cristiano Ronaldo is the first men's player to score 850 goals in football. He scored his 850th goal playing for Al-Nassr against Al-Hazem in Saudi Pro League.

Football is an age-old sport and has seen many prolific goal scorers in its rich history. Below is the list of players with the most goals in football history.

Most Goals in Football: All-Time Leading Goal Scorers

RankPlayerTotal Goals Scored NationalityYears
1Cristiano Ronaldo873Portugal2002 - Present
2Lionel Messi825Argentina2003 - Present
3Pele762Brazil1957 - 1977
4Romario755Brazil1985 - 2007
5Ferenc Puskas724Hungary1943 - 1966
6Josef Bican722Austria/Czechoslovakia1931 - 1955
7Jimmy Jones648Northern Ireland1947 - 1964
8Gerd Muller634Germany1964 - 1981
9Joe Bambrick629Northern Ireland1926 - 1943
10Abe Lenstra624Netherlands1936 - 1963

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Cristiano Ronaldo (873 Goals: 128 Country, 745 Club)

On 2 Sep 2023, Ronaldo reached the 850-goal landmark with 1 goal against Al-Hazem in the 2023-24 Saudi Pro League. Cristiano Ronaldo scored 450 goals for Real Madrid, 145 goals for Manchester United, 101 for Juventus, 44 for Al Nassr and 5 for Sporting CP. Ronaldo has 123 goals for Portugal.

Lionel Messi (826 goals: 106 Country, 720 Club)

Argentina’s Lionel Messi sits second on the list and will likely challenge Cristiano Ronaldo for the top position of the most scored goals. Messi is regarded as the most technically perfect player to grace the sport. Lionel Messi has scored a massive 720 goals at the club level and has managed 106 goals for Argentina. 

Pele (762 goals: 77 Country, 685 Club) 

Arguably one of the greatest football players, Pele was one of the first superstars of the football world with his displays in Brazil’s iconic yellow jersey. His heroics have taken Brazil to World Cup glory thrice (1958, 1962, 1970). As per official records, Pele scored 762 official goals in his career.

Also read: Messi vs Ronaldo - Know Who is better?

Most Goals in International Football: Top 10 List

RankPlayerTotal Goals Scored NationalityYears
1Cristiano Ronaldo128Portugal2003 - Present
2Ali Daei109Iran1993 - 2006
3Lionel Messi106Argentina2005 - Present
4Sunil Chhetri93India2005 - Present
5Mokhtar Dahari89Malaysia1972 - 1985
6Ali Mabkhout85UAE2009 - Present
7Ferenc Puskas84Hungary1945 - 1956
8Romelu Lukaku83Belgium2010 - Present
9Robert Lewandoswki82Poland2008 - Present
10Neymar Jr.79Brazil2010 - Present

Cristiano Ronaldo (128 goals | 205 appearances)

Cristiano Ronaldo is the first player to record 200 international appearances in men’s football. With 128 goals, the Portuguese star is now the undisputed goalscoring king in international football. Ronaldo has scored 8 goals in the FIFA World Cup finals, 14 at the UEFA Euro finals, and 10 hat-tricks for Portugal.

Ali Daei (109 goals | 149 appearances)

Iran’s football legend Ali Daei scored 109 goals on the international stage between 1993 and 2006, a record that withstood for 15 years. He played club football for Bundesliga giants Bayern Munich and Hertha BSC and scored 8 hat-tricks for Iran.

Lionel Messi (106 goals | 180 appearances)

Arguably one of the best players in world football, Lionel Messi has scored 106 goals for the ‘La Albiceleste’ on the international stage. The 2021 Copa America, 2022 Finalissima and 2022 Football World Cup win are his trophy success with the national team. The former Barcelona and PSG superstar have scored 8 hat-tricks for Argentina.

Sunil Chhetri (93 goals | 148 appearances)

Chhetri is the captain and the flag bearer of Indian football for over a decade. With 93 goals in 148 appearances, he is the 3rd highest active goal scorer in international football, behind only Ronaldo and Messi.

Also read: Best Football Player in World 2023

Highest Goal Scorers in Football in Year 2023

RankPlayerGoals Scored NationalityClub
1Cristiano Ronaldo54PortugalAl-Nassr
2Harry Kane52EnglandBayern Munich
3Kylian Mbappe52FrancePSG
4Erling Haaland 50NorwayManchester City
5German Cano40ArgentinaFluminence

FAQs

Who has the highest goals in history of football?

Currently, Cristiano Ronaldo holds the record for the most goals scored in men's international football (128).

Has any footballer scored 1000 goals?

According to unofficial records, Legendary Brazilian football player great Pelé has scored 1000 goals in in his career.

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