The Best Goal Scorers in Soccer History

Fans remember the best goal scorers in soccer history because of all the excitement and joy they cause. Here, we'll show you a few of the most famous ones.
The Best Goal Scorers in Soccer History

Last update: 13 June, 2020

They’re probably the best-known players on their teams, the ones that make us scream from excitement in every game. Here, we want to pay tribute to the top goal scorers in history. Most of them have already retired, but some of them are still scoring.

The best goal scorers in soccer history

There’s no doubt that we remember the goals the team itself scored, but also the goal scorers that stand out. These are special players. Keep reading to learn more about them:

1. Josef Bican (805)

This Austrian, born in 1913, holds the record for the highest number of official goals scored in the history of the sport. In fact, he has an average that will be very hard to match. Bican scored almost 1.5 goals per game between 1928 and 1956. If you also count the friendly matches, Bican has almost 1,500 goals under his belt.

Josef Bican holding a ball.

In his professional career, he played 483 times for six teams: Vienna Rapid, Admira Wacker Modling (Austria), Slavia Praha, Victovické Zelezarny, Skoda Hradec Kralove and Dynamo Praha (Czech Republic).

He was also part of the Austrian national team between 1933 and 1937 and the Czechoslovakian from 1938 to 1950.

2. Romario (772): one of the best goal scorers

This Brazilian, a player from 1985 to 2009, is the second-highest scorer in history. He began his career at Vasco da Gama, where he scored 266 goals in 10 seasons. Then, he signed for PSV Eindhoven in the Netherlands (five seasons, 129 goals) and for Barcelona (less than two seasons, 39 goals).

Romario playing for Barcelona.

He returned to Brazil to play for Flamengo, then went on to Valencia, Fluminense, Qatar’s Al-Sadd, Miami FC and Adelaide United of Australia. Then, he finished his career in the Brazilian second division with America FC. In fact, he has an average of 0.78 goals per game.

3. Best goal scorers: Pelé

Edson Arantes do Nascimento is another of the best goal scorers in the history of soccer. However, we all know him as Pelé. In addition to having been a star on the field, he’s one of the top scorers in history.

Pele is one of the best goal scorers in soccer history.

His professional debut was at Santos in Brazil. Here, he would play no less than 19 seasons. With 647 goals in 665 games, he had an average of almost a goal per game.

Also, he played for the New York Cosmos where he scored 37 goals in 64 games. In addition, we must add the 26 goals for the Brazilian National Team, in continental and world competitions.

4. Ferenc Puskas (746)

Born in Budapest in 1927, this Spanish-Hungarian goal scorer is in fourth place for top scorers in soccer history. He debuted in 1943, at Kispesti in his hometown, and then went on to Honved. In 1958, he signed for Real Madrid, where he would end his career in 1966.

Ferenc Puskas playing for Hungary.

He also played two World Cups, one with the Hungarian team (in 1954, he scored four goals) and another with Spain (in 1962, without goals). Puskas had an average of just over one goal per game.

5. Gerd Müller (735)

This former German soccer player born in 1945 is one of the best strikers in history. His official number of goals was 735, but if we add assists, he doubled that amount.

Also, he set a record in 1972 with the highest number of goals scored in a calendar year: 85. He was only passed in 2012 by Lionel Messi, who scored 91.

Gerd Muller is another one of the best goal scorers in history.

Müller played most of his career at Bayern Munich where he scored 568 goals in 611 games. He retired in 1981 from the Fort Lauderdale Strikers in the United States. In turn, he played for the German team, scoring goals in two World Cups (Mexico 1970 and Germany 1974).

Then, in sixth place, we have the Portuguese Cristiano Ronaldo, who debuted in 2002 and already has 712 goals in 989 games (an average of 0.72).

Finally, in seventh place is Lionel Messi, with 688 goals in 843 games (his average is 0.82 per game). Both are the only ones still active in the top 15, so they can far outperform the players above them on the list.

All cited sources were thoroughly reviewed by our team to ensure their quality, reliability, currency, and validity. The bibliography of this article was considered reliable and of academic or scientific accuracy.

This text is provided for informational purposes only and does not replace consultation with a professional. If in doubt, consult your specialist.