Having lived through the Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo era we have been lucky enough to witness two of the greatest goalscorers of all time, but how do they compare to players of the past?
Scoring goals is said to be the hardest thing to do in football, but these players found the back of the net with ease. From Gerd Muller to Messi, there is some serious star power in this list.
We’ve compiled a list of the top 10 highest goalscorers in football history. Given some of the record-keeping is debated in some instances, some of these tally’s are rough estimations.
10. Tulio Maravilha (575 goals)
According to Tulio himself, he has scored more than 1000 goals, but this tally was only achieved when including goals from friendlies and amateur football.
The Brazilian journeyman spent the majority of his career in his native country, although he did have a short stint in Europe while playing in Switzerland and Hungary. His career spanned over 30 years from 1988 to 2019.
Amazingly, Brazil never lost a match when Tulio featured for them and his record was impressive at international level too, with 13 goals in 15 appearances.
9. Uwe Seeler (575+ goals)
The record books aren’t crystal clear on his definitive goal tally, but Seeler scored goals for fun back in the day. The German forward spent the vast majority of his career with Hamburger in the Bundesliga and is their all-time top scorer.
Seeler came third in the 1960 Ballon d’Or rankings, falling behind Luis Suarez and Ferenc Puskas on the podium.
Talking about Uwe Seeler, look at the hell of this ‘backheader’ goal he scored against England in World Cup quarters 1970 pic.twitter.com/zzoVd9ESbb
— Tancredi Palmeri (@tancredipalmeri) July 22, 2022
8. Ferenc Deak (576+ goals)
Deak exclusively spent his playing days in his native country of Hungary and was a legend in his own right. The striker averaged more than a goal per game for four of the six clubs he played for.
He was also just as prolific for Hungary as he scored 29 goals in the 20 caps he received for his country.
7. Gerd Muller (734 goals)
Widely recognised as one of the greatest goalscorers of all time, Muller’s legacy will stand the test of time. After Robert Lewandowski left the Bundesliga in the summer, Muller remains as the league’s all-time top scorer.
His most prolific season for Bayern Munich came in 1972–73 when he scored a whopping 66 goals in all competitions. Muller won the Ballon d’Or in 1970 and placed in the top three on three other occasions.
FIFA pays tribute to 'Der Bomber', who sadly passed away today at the age of 75. RIP Gerd Muller.
— FIFA (@FIFAcom) August 15, 2021
6. Ferenc Puskas (746+ goals)
The Hungarian forward was so good at scoring goals they named an entire award after him. Puskas had a remarkable career which spanned from 1943-1966.
His scoring record for both Budapest Honved and Real Madrid was truly spectacular. He won eight domestic Golden Boots in his career as well as countless other scoring accolades.
5. Pele (757 goals)
Considered by many as the greatest player of all time, Pele’s ability was undeniable. The three-time World Cup winner set the standards for greatness in the 1960s.
There is some debate over his actual tally of goals as some statisticians include the number of goals he scored in friendly matches. It is worth pointing out that his 1,279 goals in 1,363 games, which includes friendlies, is recognised as a Guinness World Record.
Everything your favorite player did, Pele did it first
— Jane✨(Adanna) (@theladyjane_) December 30, 2022
4. Romario (772 goals)
The Brazilian forward scored with an efficiency which has rarely been seen before. There is also some debate over his actual tally as some sources will have Romario on over 1000 goals.
However, this tally would include goals scored in youth team, friendly and testimonial games which are not considered by FIFA.
3. Lionel Messi (798 goals)
The Argentine superstar recently scored his 700th club goal against Marseille and he is now approaching the 800 tally when including his goals for Argentina too.
Throughout his illustrious career, the seven-time Ballon d’Or winner has averaged 0.79 goals per game and he’s also provided 352 assists in that time too.
2. Josef Bican (805 goals)
Between 1937–1948, Bican averaged 1.9 goals per game for Slavia Prague which is utterly bonkers. His professional career spanned for over 25 years in total and he scored over 800 goals.
FIFA officially recognises 805 of the goals that he scored, although there is some debate that he achieved a higher tally than this. He held the record for the highest goalscorer in football for over 60 years, but he has finally been trumped.
1. Cristiano Ronaldo (827 goals)
Who else but Ronaldo? The Portuguese superstar has defined an era of football along with Messi and his ever-increasing record of 827 goals will take some catching.
Now playing for Al Nassr in the Saudi Pro League, we’re expecting him to bump up his tally over the next year or two.
All four of Ronaldo's goals for Al Nassr today 🤩 pic.twitter.com/xqSgJ8XTSj
— ESPN FC (@ESPNFC) February 9, 2023