Who has the Most Goals in Soccer History?

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Written by Daniel Pena, Bachelors in Kinesiology and footballer: Learn More

Throughout the history of the beautiful game there have been thousands, if not millions, of goals scored. But who is the highest leading goalscorer in professional soccer history?

In this blog, I will go over the players highest on the list of goalscoring charts, which includes some of the best players of all time. 

What is a Goal in soccer?

In soccer, a goal has two definitions.

First, a soccer goal is the physical structure, consisting of two upright posts joined by a horizontal crossbar that sits at each end line of the field. Each team gets their own goal, and the team’s goalkeeper is in charge of not letting the opposing team score.

Second, a goal is also the ultimate act of scoring, that exciting moment when the ball successfully crosses over the opponent’s goal line, between the two goal posts and beneath the crossbar.

Now that you know what a goal is, let’s explore the highest goalscorers in the history of the game.

Who has the Most Goals in Soccer History

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#1 Cristiano Ronaldo- 890 Goals

Portuguese star Cristiano Ronaldo holds the world record for highest goalscorer in soccer history with 890 goals throughout his amazing career. The Portuguese star dominated Europe and played for elite teams such as Manchester United, Real Madrid, and Juventus, before moving to Al Nassr in Saudi Arabia.

His scoring abilities and clinical finishing have earned him numerous trophies, various spots on the record books, and cemented his status as one of the greatest players of all time and the greatest winger and most prolific goalscorer in history.

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#2 Lionel Messi- 833 Goals

Not far behind Cristiano Ronaldo is his biggest rival Argentinian Lionel Messi, the 2022 World Cup winner and arguably the greatest player of all time. Messi scored the majority of his goals with FC Barcelona, but he has also scored for Newell’s Old Boys, Paris Saint Germain, and Inter Miami FC.

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#3 Josef Bican- 805 Goals

A true goal-scoring machine, Josef Bican had a record of 805 goals which puts him as one of football’s most prolific strikers, although he is not known by many. Bican was an Austrian-Czech forward whose remarkable career spanned several decades, from the 1930s until the 1950s, during which he showcased his predatory instincts near the goal and remarkable goal-scoring abilities.

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#4 Romario- 775 Goals

Brazilian football icon Romario mesmerized fans with his incredible skill and goal-scoring ability, racking up a total of 775 goals. Known for his clinical finishing and ability to find the back of the net with ease, Romario is revered as one of the greatest strikers of his generation.

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#5 Pele- 757 Goals

Another Brazilian football icon, Pele, dazzled audiences with his extraordinary talent and scored an impressive 757 goals. The three time world cup winner played for Santos of the Brazilian league as well as with the New York Cosmos of the NASL and although he never conquered Europe his many trophies and individual awards established him as one of the greatest players in international football history.

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#6 Ferenc Puskas – 729 Goals

You may be familiar with the “Puskas” award which is given to the player who has scored the best goal of the year and as you can probably guess this award was named after Ferenc Puskas, a Hungarian footballing maestro.

Puskas scored an impressive 729 goals throughout his illustrious career and his lethal left foot and clinical finishing made him a nightmare for opposition defenders.

Who has the Most Goals in Soccer History

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#7 Jimmy Jones- 647 Goals

Jimmy Jones, an Irish footballer, dominated domestically and is the highest goalscorer in Irish league football history, with 647 goals. His remarkable consistency and specialty for finding the back of the net earned him a place among the highest goal scorers in soccer history.

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#8 Robert Lewandowski- 638 Goals

Polish striker Robert Lewandowski has established himself as one of the most prolific goal scorers in modern football, tallying an impressive 638 goals and counting. His combination of strength, skill, and deadly finishing has made him a formidable presence in front of goal.

Lewandowski is a legendary striker who has played for elite teams across Europe such as Borussia Dortmund, Bayern Munich, and FC Barcelona.

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#9 Gerd Muller- 634 Goals

West Germany striker Gerd Muller, known as “Der Bomber,” carved his name in footballing history with his remarkable goal-scoring abilities, accumulating a total of 634 goals. Muller’s predatory instincts and clinical finishing made him a legend of the game.

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#10 Eusebio- 619 Goals

Another Portuguese star on this list is Eusebio who scored an impressive 619 goals. His explosive pace, dribbling skills, and lethal finishing made him a fearsome opponent for defenders and earned him a spot on the record books.

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#11 Zlatan Ibrahimovic- 570 Goals

Swedish striker Zlatan Ibrahimovic is known for scoring some of the most outrageous goals in history and he has found the back of the net 570 times throughout his illustrious career.

His physicality, aerial prowess, and technical skill have made him one of the most formidable strikers of his generation and got him signed to the biggest clubs in the world including, AC Milan, Inter Milan, Juventus, Barcelona, Paris Saint Germain, and Manchester United.

Frequently Asked Questions

Who has the most goals in a single season?

Lionel Messi scored the most goals in a single season in La Liga during the 2011-2012 season where he scored 50 goals.

Who has the most goals in a calendar year?

Lionel Messi scored the most goals in a calendar year during the 2011-2012 season where he scored 91 goals.

Who has the most goals in a Premier League Season?

Erling Haaland of Manchester City recently broke the record for most goals scored in a Premier League season with 36 goals.

Who has the most goals in a Champions league season?

Cristiano Ronaldo has the record for most goals scored during a Champions league season with 17 goals.

Who has the most goals at the international level?

Cristiano Ronaldo has the record for most goals scored at the international stage with 128 goals.

Who has the most goals in World Cup history?

Miroslav Klose has scored the most goals in World Cup history with 16 and he has played in 4 separate World cups.

Who has the most goals in women’s football?

Christine Sinclair of Canada has the most goals scored in women’s football with 190.

What is the best soccer training program?

The best online soccer training program and soccer app is Football Entangled. There is no other program like Football Entangled on the market and this community, much more than just an app, will help you get closer to making your dreams a reality.

How can I learn more about the game?

To learn more about soccer the most important thing is to join a team and play the game as much as possible. If possible, analyze high level games as much as you can and your own games as well by recording them with a soccer camera. Also read soccer books, listen to podcasts and interviews watch soccer documentaries, as well as some movies, tv shows, and anime.

Conclusion

In this blog we went over the list of greatest goal scorers in the history of the beautiful game, which includes football icons such as Cristiano Ronaldo, Messi, and Pele.

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