Top Soccer Scorers of All Time

By Woodland Soccer Team •  Updated: 08/09/22 •  5 min read

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Over the years, there’s been no shortage of prolific goal scorers, players who find the net with regularity, providing the goods and making the fans go wild, but who are the greatest soccer scorers of all time? Below we look at some of the best goal-getters the game has ever seen, including the player who may just be the BEST soccer scorer of all time.

Top Soccer Scorers

Lionel Messi

Goals: 771

Games: 961

Goals: per game: 0.78

What better place to start than with the modern-day great, who for so many is the greatest player ever to grace the game. Lionel Messi is known for his ability to weave his way through teams, leaving defenders dazzled and bemused, while the way in which he can pick the lock and create opportunities for others is virtually unmatched, though he’s also known for being a truly remarkable goal scorer.

Since making his professional debut in 2004, the little Argentine has notched no fewer than 771 goals in 977 games, scoring at a rate of 0.78 goals per game, and scoring some of the top soccer goals of all time. For as long as the game has been played, very few players have matched the genius shown by Lionel Messi, while very few have gotten anywhere near the magician in terms of goals. He is currently the fourth highest scorer since records began.

Gerd Muller

Goals: 735

Games: 793

Goals per game: 0.93

Nicknamed “Der Bomber” because of how lethal he was in front of goal, Gerd Muller was the ultimate poacher, scoring in game after game, usually from close range, as his cunning movement and knack of knowing where to be allowed him to pop up unmarked time and time again.

Playing primarily for German giants Bayern Munich, Muller scored 398 goals during the 1960’s and 1970’s, while he was also a key figure in the feared West Germany team between 1966 and 1974, scoring 62 goals in just 68 goals. A true goal scorer who will live long in the memory, especially for football fans of a certain era.

Ferenc Puskas

Goals: 741

Games: 746

Goals per game: 0.99

Ferenc Puskas. The forward with an award named in his honour, and that award happens to be for the best goal in world football, presented to one player each year.

Hungary’s Ferenc Puskas was once the most revered soccer player in the world, with much of the admiration being down to his ability to stick the ball in the back of the net. Nicknamed the “The Galloping Major”, Puskas was one of the most prolific scorers of all time, scoring 244 times for Spanish giants Real Madrid, while he also notched 84 times in just 85 appearances for the Hungarian national team, who with Puskas as their most important player, earned the name “The Mighty Magyars” during the 1950’s.

Josef Bican

Goals: 805

Games: 530

Goals per game: 1.51

An unstoppable goal machine, who simply scored goals at an incredible and unmatchable rate. Plying his trade between 1931 and 1955, Bican terrorised defenders and goalkeepers alike, profiting from fantastic speed and the ability to put the ball away like nobody else could at that time. Perhaps the greatest player of his generation, certainly the greatest goalscorer, Bican finished his career with a reported and incredible goals to game ratio of 1.51. Will we ever see anything like it again?!

Imre Schlosser

Goals: 471

Games: 388

Goals per game: 1.23

Another player with a remarkable goals per game record is Hungarian forward Imre Schlosser, who was around during soccer’s infancy. Playing between 1905 and 1927, Schlosser was the linchpin of Hungarian soccer, while he was undoubtedly the greatest scorer of his time, scoring an impressive 471 goals in 388 matches. A player from an era of the game that is long forgotten, but deserving of a mention nonetheless, if only for being so prolific in front of goal.


Goals: 772

Games: 961

Goals per game: 0.78

During the late 1980’s and early 1990’s, Romario etched his name into history, scoring goal after goal, both for the Brazilian national team and Spanish club Barcelona, with whom he won the the Spanish league in 1993-1994, his performances in which helped earned him the coveted title of FIFA World Player of the Year.

The diminutive striker was instrumental in Brazil’s run to lifting the 1994 World Cup. He scored five goals along the way, including the crucial winner in the 1-0 win over Sweden in the sem-final. Few players captured the imagination of the soccer fan during the early 90’s and even fewer players could match Romario in front of goal. Currently the third highest scorer of all time, the man who is now heavily involved in the political world in his homeland is undoubtedly one of soccer’s best ever marksmen.

Top Scoring Soccer Player of All Time

Cristiano Ronaldo

Goals: 815

Games: 1122

Goals per game: 0.72

Once known as a hugely talented yet frustrating winger, Cristiano Ronaldo has long since shedded the tag of lacking end-product and is now the greatest scorer the game has ever produced.

In his journey from from winger to dealy striker, Cristiano Ronaldo has perfected the art of scoring like few ever have. His endless stream of goals has played a huge part in big clubs like Manchester United, Real Madrid and Juventus winning both domestic and continental titles. We’re also talking about the man who with 141 goals is the highest scoring Champions League player in history, and along with Lionel Messi, Ronaldo has made football’s most elite club competition his own.

The debate over who is the greatest soccer player of all time rages on, and likely always will, but right now, there can be little arguing over who is the best soccer scorer of all time. Nobody has more goals than Cristiano Ronaldo, who looks anything but finished, so expect more goals to come from the foot or indeed the head of the player who has scored more goals than anybody in the history of soccer.

Woodland Soccer Team

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