Highest goal scorer in the world: 10 best players of all time
Football is the most popular sport in the world. The game has grown in popularity over the years, particularly in Europe. Billions of people worldwide closely follow their favourite teams and players. The world's highest scorers have represented their countries in the World Cup and other important international matches and leagues. Find out who the highest goal scorer in the world is now.
The primary purpose of soccer or any other game is to score goals and win games, and the players who score the goals are usually among the most prominent. There have been some remarkable players throughout history who have been deemed prolific for scoring many goals. Here are the top 10 highest goal scorers of all-time.
Top 10 highest goal scorers in the world
Below is a list of the highest goal scorer in the world as of 2023 based on IFFHS and other sports outlets. However, these statistics continue changing because the players keep scoring goals and new players emerge.
1. Cristiano Ronaldo (836 goals in 1181+ matches)
Who is the highest goal scorer in football history? It is Cristiano Ronaldo. He is a Portuguese professional footballer who plays for Al-Nassr FC and the Portugal national team. He is best known as one of the best footballers of all time. The Portuguese forward has broken numerous records in soccer, and he is among the most successful footballers ever.
Ronaldo is also the all-time leading scorer in men's internationals and the highest goal scorer in football history. Since his debut in 2002, he has scored over 836 goals in more than 1000 club and team appearances. As of May 2023, Cristiano Ronaldo is the highest goal scorer in football history.
2. Lionel Messi (805 goals in 1060+ matches)
Messi is among the greatest football players of all time. He had one of the best careers in Barcelona, scoring goals and winning many individual awards including seven Ballon d'Or awards and a record six European Golden Shoes. He received the Golden Ball Award at the 2014 and 2022 World Cups, leading Argentina to a World Cup championship.
Messi is also regarded as a prolific goalscorer and creative playmaker. He holds the record for most goals in La Liga (474). He also has the most international goals by a South American male (102). Since his debut in 2003, he has scored over 800 senior career goals for club and country. Lastly, he has the most goals by a player for a single club.
3. Pele (762 goals in 846 matches)
Edson Arantes do Nascimento, popularly known by his nickname Pele was a Brazilian professional footballer. He is regarded as one of the greatest football players of all time and the most prolific forwards the game has ever known. He was among the most successful and famous sports figures of the 20th century.
Pele is still considered the greatest scorer of all time by many. Throughout his illustrious career, Pele scored an impressive 762 goals in 846 matches (club and country) and was voted Football Player of the Century by the IFFHS in 1999.
4. Romario (755 goals in 1002 matches)
Romário de Souza Faria, best known as Romário, is a Brazilian politician and a former professional footballer. He was a prolific striker recognised for his clinical finishing. He scored over 700 goals and is among the few players to score at least 100 goals for three different clubs, making him one of the highest goal scorers in football history. He is also considered one of the greatest players of all time.
Romario led his national team to the 1994 FIFA World Cup Championship, receiving the Golden Ball as player of the tournament. He was named FIFA World Player of the Year the same year. Romario turned to politics after retirement and was elected to the Brazilian government in 2010. He is currently a senator in Rio de Janeiro.
5. Ferenc Puskas (724 goals in 793 matches)
Ferenc Purczeld, best known as Ferenc Puskas, was a Hungarian footballer and manager. He is among the greatest players and the sport's first international superstar. He won three Euro Cups, a World Club championship, and an Olympic gold medal during his career. Ferenc is also among the stars with most goals in football history. He scored 724 goals in 793 overall appearances in a career that spanned between 1943 and 1966.
6. Josef Bican (722 goals in 624 matches)
Josef "Pepi" Bican was an Austrian-Czech professional footballer who played as a striker and is widely regarded as one of the highest goal scorers in football history. He commenced his professional career at Rapid Vienna in 1931.
His professional career spanned over 25 years, and he scored over 700 goals, setting a record that has stood the test of time. Some argue that he scored over 805 goals. After he retired from playing, Bican became a manager and coached various teams from the 1950s until the 1970s.
7. Jimmy Jones (648 goals in 756 matches)
James Jones was a Northern Irish footballer. He holds the record for scoring the most goals in a seJames Jones ason (74). He is the leading goalscorer in the history of Irish League football, with a total of 648 goals in a career spanning almost 20 years, making him one of the most prolific goal scorers ever.
8. Gerd Muller (634 goals in 793 matches)
Gerhard "Gerd" Müller was a German professional footballer best recognised as one of the best players in football history. He was a striker known for his clinical finishing, especially in and around the six-yard box. He is also widely known as one of the greatest goalscorers in the sport's history. With his dribbling and goal-scoring prowess, he earned the nickname "Bomber der Nation.
The legendary Bayern Munich and Germany striker scored 634 goals in his career. He was among nine players who won the FIFA World Cup, the UEFA Champions League and the Ballon d'Or. He was named European Footballer of the Year in 1970. He is also the all-time leading German Bundesliga scorer.
9. Joe Bambrick (629 goals in 578 matches)
Joseph Gardiner Absolom Bambrick was a Northern Irish footballer who played for Chelsea, Walsall, Glentoran, and Linfield. He was a prolific goalscorer in the Irish League and the Football League. He remains the record score for a British Isles player in an international fixture.
On the international stage, he just made 11 appearances but scored 12 goals, including six in one match against Wales. He scored 629 goals in official matches throughout his career.
10. Abe Lenstra (624 goals in 843 matches)
Abe Minderts Lenstra was a Dutch footballer and national football icon in the 1950s who played as a forward. He is widely considered one of the greatest players ever to hail from the Netherlands and the Netherlands' leading all-time top goal scorer. He scored over 600 senior career goals.
Abe Lenstra was a member of the greatest Heerenveen team in history and was one of only a few players to score on his debut and final match for the national team. He scored 33 international goals in 47 matches for his National Team. After his playing career, he went into the coaching career before going into business.
The highest goal scorer in the world is Cristiano Ronaldo. The Portuguese professional footballer plays for the Saudi Professional League club Al Nassr and the Portugal national team. He has scored over 830 goals in official matches, setting a record that has stood the test of time.
Legit.ng recently published an article about richest footballers in Nigeria. Football is one of the world's most financially lucrative professions, with players receiving large sums of money for their abilities on the field. In Nigeria, a few footballers have risen to the top of the financial ladder through their successful football careers.
Nigeria has produced numerous exceptional footballers who have achieved domestic and international success, garnering vast fortunes for themselves. The richest footballers in Nigeria continue to contribute greatly to the Nigerian economy as football is a popular and widely followed sport in the country.