The top 10 international goalscorers in European football history: Cristiano Ronaldo streets ahead…

Cristiano Ronaldo unsurprisingly boasts the record for the most international goals in European football history, but which other greats of the game feature in the top 10?

Legendary forwards from clubs including Tottenham, Bayern Munich, Real Madrid, Barcelona, Manchester City, Liverpool and Inter are among the exceptional forwards that have stepped up on the international stage.

Here are the top 10 international European goalscorers.

10. Harry Kane – England – 64 goals

It was in March 2023 that Kane broke Wayne Rooney’s record to become England’s all-time top goalscorer and he’s since moved 10 clear outright with his Euro 2024 strike against Denmark.

His last few goals have seen him move beyond the likes of Zlatan Ibrahimovic and David Villa for

Time will tell whether he ends his career with a trophy haul commensurate with his goalscoring exploits. Will he be the man to end England’s long-running silverware drought?

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9. Edin Dzeko – Bosnia & Herzegovina – 65 goals

This list is dominated by contemporary names, with half of this top 10 featuring players that are currently active.

Expect that to continue with an international fixture schedule that’s more stacked than ever with tournaments like the Nations League and Arsene Wenger talking up making the World Cup a bi-annual competition.

Still, take nothing away from Dzeko, whose goalscoring record is particularly impressive when you consider he doesn’t turn out for one of Europe’s powerhouses.

He’s scored over twice as many goals as any other Bosnian and has only actually qualified for one major tournament – the 2014 World Cup – during his remarkably lengthy career.

8. Robbie Keane – Republic of Ireland – 68 goals

The former Tottenham and Liverpool forward opened his international account as a teenager with a brace against Malta in October 1998 and never really let up from there, notching his 68th and final goal for the Republic of Ireland as a 36-year-old against Oman in August 2016.

Eight years later and the Boys in Green haven’t come anywhere near adequately replacing him. The most recent squad named by John O’Shea had just 33 international goals between them, with no player having hit double figures.

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7. Gerd Muller – West Germany – 68 goals

Der Bomber notched a ridiculous total of 68 goals in just 62 appearances for West Germany between 1966 and 1974.

As well as his astonishing, rec0rd-setting club career with Bayern Munich, with whom he fired to three successive European Cups, he also won the European Championships and World Cup with West Germany in 1972 and 1974 respectively.

He’s the only man to have scored in a World Cup, European Championship and European Cup final. No player in football history – not even the great Lionel Messi – can boast a period of prolific goalscoring and wild success with club and country like Muller in the early 1970s.

Players that completed football with every major honour from left-to-right - Zinedine Zidane, Lionel Messi, Ronaldinho

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6. Miroslav Klose – Germany – 71 goals

Klose wasn’t anywhere near as prolific as Muller, beating the legendary striker’s international total over the course of more than twice as many appearances.

While he enjoyed a decent but not outrageously brilliant club career, Klose just possessed this uncanny knack for stepping up for the national team when needed most.

As well as being Germany’s all-time top goalscorer, he’s also famously the top goalscorer in the history of the World Cup with 14 goals. He’ll no doubt be casting a nervous eye over Kylian Mbappe’s exploits in the next tournament or two.

5. Sandor Kocsis – Hungary – 75 goals

Unless you’re a proper football history buff, this might be one name you’ve never heard of.

He’s the only one on this list alongside Muller to boast a better-than-goal-per-game record, having notched 75 goals in just 68 appearances for the Mighty Magyars during the golden era of Hungarian football between 1948 and 1956.

If you want to know more about Kocsis and the fascinating history of Hungarian football, we’d recommend picking up a copy of Jonathan Wilson’s The Names Heard Long Ago.

You’ll be a fully-fledged footballing anorak in no time, telling all and sundry how Vienna’s coffee house culture shaped the game as we know it today.

4. Robert Lewandowski – Poland – 84 goals

Only Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo have scored more goals across Europe’s five major leagues than Lewandowski since the year 2000. That’s some going, with Lewandowski the first to admit he’s been blessed with some world-class team-mates across his time at Borussia Dortmund, Bayern Munich and Barcelona.

The same can’t be said on the international stage, with a largely ordinary generation of Polish players working as a supporting cast since he made his debut back in 2008.

Lewandowski has done well to consistently fire Poland to major tournaments, but there’s only so much he can do as they’ve invariably underwhelmed at Euros and World Cups.

Lewandowski turns thirty-six later this summer. It remains to be seen whether he’ll stick around for the World Cup in 2026, but there must be a temptation to try and reach 100 goals.

3. Ferenc Puskas – Hungary – 84 goals

Puskas famously scored a brace in the ‘Match of the Century’, as the Mighty Magyars taught England a footballing lesson with a 6-3 victory at Wembley.

He scored 84 goals in 85 games for Hungary, including the opening goal of Hungary’s shock 3-2 defeat to West Germany in the 1954 World Cup final.

Puskas’ club career was equally impressive, winning three European Cups with Real Madrid, scoring four in the 1960 final victory over Eintracht Frankfurt and notching a hat-trick two years later in a 5-3 defeat to Benfica.

1958 (CA.) Luxury forward for Real Madrid, with Di Stéfano, Gento and Puskas. Credit: Album / Archivo ABC / Albero y Segovia

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2. Romelu Lukaku – Belgium – 85 goals

You might’ve looked at how Lukaku fluffed golden chances in Belgium’s World Cup exit last time out, or noted how the Football Gods have conspired to disallow all his goals at Euro 2024, and wonder how on earth he’s reached 85 international goals.

But generally speaking, he’s been incredibly prolific on the international stage, boasting a better goals-per-game ratio than both Messi and Ronaldo.

Somehow still only 31, Lukaku has time on his side and looks likely to one day become the fourth footballer in history to hit the milestone of 100 international goals.

In fact, if he can emulate Ronaldo and keep on scoring until his late 30s, he might even one day eclipse Ronaldo’s tally. But that’s admittedly a very big if.

1. Cristiano Ronaldo – Portugal – 130 goals

Who else but–?

Ronaldo is the all-time top goalscorer in international history and streets ahead of anyone else in Europe.

Only his long-serving rival Lionel Messi and Iranian hero Ali Daei – 108 goals apiece – join him in the centurion club, but even then he’s comfortably ahead. This is one of his records you can imagine standing for eternity.

As well as being both Real Madrid and the European Cup’s all-time top scorer, Ronaldo’s international record is off the scale.

The 39-year-old has scored 22 goals in friendlies, 77 in qualification, seven in the Nations League, eight in the World Cup and is comfortably the European Championship’s top scorer with 14. Two goals in the FIFA Confederations Cup round off his total tally.

Cristiano Ronaldo Top Goalscorer European Football History