The Players With The Most Career Goals In Soccer History
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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 10 scorers in the history of soccer is as follows:
#1: Cristiano Ronaldo (Portugal) - 816 goals from 1124 matches (0.73 per match)
#2: Pele (Brazil) - 775 goals from 840 matches (0.92 per match)
#3: Lionel Messi (Argentina) - 769 goals from 952 matches (0.80 per match)
#4: Romario (Brazil) - 753 goals from 1000 matches (0.75 per match)
#5: Ferenc Puskas (Hungary) - 729 goals from 793 matches (1.02 per match)
#6: Josef Bican (Czech Republic) - 720 goals from 621 matches (1.53 per match)
#7: Jimmy Jones (Northern Ireland) - 647 goals in 637 matches
#8: Gerd Muller (Germany) - 634 goals from 793 matches (0.92 per match)
#9: Eusebio (Portugal) - 622 goals
#10: Joe Bambric (Northern Ireland) - 616 goals in 566 matches
#11. Zlatan Ibrahimovic (Sweden) - 570 goals
#12. Glenn Ferguson (Northern Ireland) - 562 goals
#13. Fernando Peyroteo (Portugal) - 552 goals
#14. Uwe Seeler (Germany) - 551 goals
#15. Jimmy McGrory (Scotland) - 550 goals
(All facts and numbers courtesy of the IFFHS)