Who has the most goals in football history? Latest update
Cristiano Ronaldo started his new year with a bang, scoring twice in Juventus’ 4-1 win over Udinese in the Serie A, which increased his goal tally to an incredible 758, overtaking Brazilian legend Pele. So, is Ronaldo the player with most goals in football history? Alley Sport analyzes the players with most goals in football history. Disclaimer: We have only considered goals scored in competitive fixtures. Goals from friendlies have not been considered.
Ferenc Puskas – 746
Hungarian football legend Ferenc Puskas was born in 1927 and enjoyed a playing career that lasted 23 years, from 1943 to 1966. Puskas started his football career with Budapest Honved, where he scored a whopping 358 league goals in 350 appearances, over 13 years. After differences with his homeland due to the Hungarian Revolution, Puskas refused to stay at Hungary, moving to Western Europe, where he joined Spanish giants Real Madrid in 1958.
Puskas was part of a historic Madrid side that won 5 consecutive La Liga titles from 1960 to 1965. During this period, the Los Blancos also won 3 Champions League titles (then known as European Cup). Puskas scored a total of 242 club goals in Spain. He also has 84 international goals for Hungary in 85 appearances. Puskas refused to play for his national team in 1956 and had a gap of 5 years before returning to international football in 1961 with Spain, for whom he did not find the back of the net. His recognized tally of goals, stood at 746 at the time of his retirement, putting him at 5th place.
Is Pele the player with most goals in football history?
Pele made history in the 1950s and 60s, becoming the youngest player to score in a World Cup final. Part of a fearsome Brazil team, Pele won 3 FIFA World Cups, the most for any player in history. He is Brazil’s all-time leading goalscorer, with a total of 77 goals for the Seleccao in 92 appearances, a record that stands even today, almost 50 years since he retired from international football.
At club level, Pele stayed loyal to his club Santos, spending 18 years at the club, scoring 643 goals for them. He also won numerous titles with Santos, including 2 Copa Libertadores and 6 league titles. In 1975, Pele moved to American club New York Cosmos, scoring 64 goals in 2 years with them. There has been numerous claims and discrepancies in the actual number of goals scored by Pele across his career. The player himself claims to have scored over 1200 goals, although most of them were found to have been scored in friendlies and exhibition matches.
More recently, Santos issued an official statement, claiming Pele is still the most prolific scorer of all-time and released numbers which included his goals in friendly games. As per FIFA, Pele is not the player with most goals in history. He is behind 3 others – Romario, Cristiano Ronaldo and Josef Bican.
Romario – 772
Brazilian legend Romario, started his football career with Vasco da Gama in 1985 in the Brazilian Serie A. Considered as one of the most prolific strikers of all time, Romario’s confidence in his own ability is widely described as one of his biggest strengths. In 1988, Romario’s talents were spotted by Dutch club PSV Eindhoven, who signed him up.
Romario set the Eredivise alight, scoring a total of 98 league goals from 110 matches. After Eindhoven, Romario moved to Spain and played for Barcelona under the legendary Johann Cruyff. Cruyff later mentioned that Romario was the most skillful player he had ever coached. Romario scored 39 goals for the Blaugrana before returning to home to Brazil with Flamengo. In just 2 years at Flamengo, Romario scored 68 goals from 79 matches. Romario made a comeback to Spain with Valencia, but had a rather forgettable second spell at Spain, before returning to Flamengo again in 1997. This time, he scored an astounding 116 goals in just 130 appearances. In 2000, Romario went back to Vasco da Gama and scored over 130 goals for them in 3 years.
Following short spells with Fluminense, Al-Sadd, Adelaide, Miami FC and 2 separate stints back at Vasco da Gama, Romario played his last season of professional football at America-RJ a second division Brazilian club. He also formed a fearsome strike partnership with Ronaldo Nazario, winning the 1994 World Cup, the 1997 Confederations Cup and 2 Copa America titles for the Brazil national team. In total, Romario has 772 goals for club and country and has won 21 major trophies in his career for both club and country.
Cristiano Ronaldo – 776*
5-time Ballon d’Or winner, 5-time Champions League winner, all-time top scorer in the Champions League, and league winner in England, Spain and Italy, Cristiano Ronaldo has been there and done that at every level of football. The Portuguese legend started his career as a tricky winger at Sporting CP. After impressing against Manchester United in a pre-season friendly, the English club spent around 19 million pounds to bring him to Old Trafford.
Ronaldo joined United as a lanky teenager who was regarded as a showboat by teammates and pundits. By the time he left United in a then-world record 80 million Euros transfer, he had won every trophy in England and also a Ballon d’Or award. Ronaldo scored 118 goals for Manchester United.
In 2009, Real Madrid made Ronaldo the most expensive player in football at the time, signing him from United for 80 million Euros. Ronaldo lighted up the scene at Madrid, winning 4 Champion League titles with them, including a hat-trick of European crowns, 2 La Liga titles and won 4 Ballon d’Ors during his time there. Ronaldo left Madrid as their all-time top scorer, with 450 goals from just 438 appearances.
Still going strong at 36, Ronaldo will aim to beat Josef Bican’s tally of over 805 goals with Juventus, whom he joined in 2018.
Cristiano is still chasing the record for the most goals in history, will Ronaldo overtake Josef Bican’s crown as the player with most goals in football history? Comment below.
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