The Players With The Most Career Goals In Soccer History

Cristiano Ronaldo and Lionel Messi have both entered the top 10 for most career goals, but is anyone ahead of these two living legends?

This list for the players with the most career goals in the history of soccer stretches from players who played in the early 1900s to the present day. Cristiano Ronaldo and Lionel Messi score at an unprecedented rate in today’s game, but there are those from history whose rate of scoring was even more impressive.

The Guinness World Record for the most goals scored in a specified period is 1,281 by the Brazilian great Pele, born Edson Arantes do Nascimento.

Pele scored these goals between September 7th, 1956, and October 1st, 1977 — a period of 1,363 matches. Pele scored the majority of his goals with Santos FC in Brazil, but his record also includes matches with the Brazilian national team and the New York Cosmos in the North American Soccer League (NASL).

While this is the total officially recognized by Guinness, the Rec.Sport.Soccer Statistics Foundation (RSSSF), which documents only official games, puts his match total at 765 from 831 matches — a rate of 0.92 goals per game.

And, if you like this list, check out our list of El Clasico top scorers of all time.

The players with the most career goals in soccer history:

The IFFHS ranking of the top 12 scorers in the history of soccer is as follows:

#1: Cristiano Ronaldo (Portugal) - 803 goals from 1116 matches (0.72 per match)

#2: Pelé (Brazil) - 765 goals from 831 matches (0.92 per match)

#3: Lionel Messi (Argentina) - 758 goals from 961 matches (0.79 per match)

#4: Romário (Brazil) - 753 goals from 994 matches (0.76 per match)

Who scored the most career goals in soccer history?

Brazilian great Romario. Photo: @FootballFifty50 | Twitter


#5: Ferenc Puskás (Hungary) - 729 goals from 754 matches (0.97 per match)

Ferenc Puskas

Hungarian great Ferenc Puskas.


#6: Josef Bican (Czech Republic) - 720 goals from 530 matches (1.36 per match)

#7. Jimmy Jones (Northern Ireland) - 647 goals

#8: Gerd Müller (Germany) - 634 goals from 793 matches (0.80 per match)

Who scored the most career goals in soccer history?

German great Gerd Muller. Photo: @imanmikhael_ | Twitter


#9: Eusébio (Portugal) - 622 goals

#10. Joe Bambrick (Northern Ireland) - 616 goals 

#11. Glenn Ferguson (Northern Ireland) - 562 goals 

#12. Zlatan Ibrahimovic (Sweden) - 559 goals