In sports, a goal is a structure present on the field through which teams must send the ball or puck to score points. In many sports, scoring goals is the sole method of earning points. As a result at the end the winner is decided on the basis of total number of goals scored. most goals in football
The structure of a goal varies from sport to sport. In association football, it is usually rectangular in shape. The structure is placed at both ends of the field. It consists of two vertical poles known as ‘goal posts’. They are supported on top by a horizontal pole known as ‘crossbar’.
Apart from that a goal line is marked on the ground. The area beyond the goal line is the goal area. Thus the primary and main objective for an attacking team is to pass the ball over the goal line. In association football, an attempt on goal is known as ‘shot’.
The structure of the goal in association football is 24 feet (7.32 m) wide by 8 feet (2.44 m) tall. Normally a net is attached to catch the ball after being scored. But there are no laws suggesting that it is mandatory to use a net. A goal in association football can only be scored with foot (and not by hand or arm).
Since the invention of this sport, a lot of players have scored goals for their respective teams. Some have also created history by scoring most goals in football. Today we look at the list of those players who have scored the most goals in football history.
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Most Goals In Football (For Club And Country)
1. Arthur Friedenreich – 1,329
Surprisingly it is not Pele, but another Brazilian striker Arthur, who tops the chart of most goals in football. He played for 26 years from 1909 – 1935. Arthur played a crucial role in Brazil’s 1919 and 1922 Copa America campaign.
In the 1919 one, he won the Golden Boot and was also named the Player of the Tournament. But unfortunately he couldn’t represent Brazil in World Cup. He was nicknamed ‘Tiger’ and was crowned as the “King of football” during Brazil’s 1925 tour of Europe.
2. Pele – 1,283
Edson Arantes do Nascimento, fondly known as Pele, is probably one of the greatest footballers of all time. The 17-year-old Brazilian striker came into the game with pace, effortless grace, immense poise, impressive power and supreme intelligence.
With his game, Pele brought an entire nation together. He is the only person to have won three World Cups (1958, 1962 and 1970). Pele spent most of his time playing at his childhood club Santos. He never played in Europe.
3. Josef Bican – 805
He had the ability of playing with both feet and had an incredible goals to game ratio of 1.52. He was also extremely fast and can run 100 metres in 10.8 seconds. Josef became Europe’s highest scorer five times.
He is also the only player to score 7 goals in a game three times. Josef was awarded the Golden Ball by the International Federation of Football History & Statistics (IFFHS) for being the greatest goalscorer of the last century.
4. Romario – 743
With supreme dribbling and finishing skills, laid back manner and supreme self-confidence, Romario was one of the gifted forwards of his time. He cemented his legacy throughout a career which spanned for 24 years.
Although he had played for many clubs, but he will be mainly remembered for his stints at PSV Eindhoven and Barcelona. For his country, he is the fourth highest goalscorer for them.
5. Gerd Muller – 711
Muller never did fancy footwork or eye-catching stepovers, what he did was score goals. He had the record of most goals in a calendar year before it was broken by Lionel Messi. For Bayern Munich, Muller scored almost 100 more goals than runner-up Klaus Fischer.
While speaking about Muller, famous football author David Winner said, “He never fitted the conventional idea of a great footballer, but he had lethal acceleration over short distances, a remarkable aerial game, and uncanny goalscoring instincts. His short legs gave him a strangely low center of gravity, so he could turn quickly and with perfect balance in spaces and at speeds that would cause other players to fall over. He also had a knack of scoring in unlikely situations.”
6. Ferenc Puskas – 700
The Hungarian striker was blessed with a thunderous left foot and superb positioning skills. He was the main player of the “Magical Magyars” and led the Hungary team to many successes.
In Real Madrid, he formed a deadly duo with Alfredo Di Stefano. This helped the Los Blancos to five straight League titles and three European Cups. Puskas also became La Liga’s top scorer for 4 times in a row.
7. Cristiano Ronaldo – 695*
One of the standout players of this generation, CR7 has been excellent since he joined Real Madrid. He moved from Manchester United for a record fee of £80 million, which was a record at that time.
He became the top goalscorer for the Los Blancos and won four Champions League and two League titles along with Real Madrid. With his country Portugal, CR7 has won the UEFA Euro 2016 and UEFA Nations League. On individual grounds, CR7 has won five Ballon d’Or trophies.
8. Lionel Messi – 671*
Another top player of this generation, Messi is also a proud winner of five Ballon d’Or awards. Along with that he has a record 6 European Golden shoes. He has been Barcelona’s main man since 2008 and has put some magnificent performances over his career.
With Barca, Messi has won a record of 34 trophies, which includes 10 League titles and four Champions League trophies. He is both Barcelona’s and Argentina’s all-time highest goal-scorers.
9. Eusebio – 621
The Portuguese ‘black panther’ is undoubtedly one of the greatest goalscorers of all time. Even Pele believes that Eusebio was the undisputed king of football. He had a god-given talent accompanied with an athletic physique and an incredible eye for goal.
Eusebio spent his best days with Benfica where he won a European Cup and 11 Premiere Ligas. In 1965 he won the Ballon d’Or and in the following year, Eusebio came second to Bobby Charlton by a solo vote. He won the European Golden Boot in 1968 and again five years later.
10. Ferenc Deak – 576
This legendary Hungarian footballer has an astonishing 1.15 goals to game ratio throughout his career. He played for several clubs like Szentlrinci SE, Ferencváros and Budapesti Dózsa throughout his career.
Deak’s services for his country was also astonishing. Because of his incredible efforts, he was named the Hungarian footballer of the year in 1946. However unfortunately his international career got shortened because of the second world war.
Most Goals In Football (For Country)
- Ali Daei (Iran) – 109
- Cristiano Ronaldo (Portugal) – 93*
- Ferenc Puskas (Hungary) – 84
- Kunishige Kamamoto (Japan) – 80
- Godfrey Chitalu (Zambia) – 79
- Hussein Saeed (Iraq) – 78
- Pele (Brazil) – 77
- Sandor Kocsis (Hungary) – 75
- Bashar Abdullah (Kuwait) – 75
- Sunil Chhetri (India) – 72*
Most Goals In Football (For A Single Club)
- Pele (Santos) – 646
- Lionel Messi (Barcelona) – 603*
- Gerd Muller (Bayern Munich) – 566
- Fernando Peyroteo (Sporting Lisbon) – 544
- Josef Bican (Slavia Praha) – 534
- Jimmy McGrory (Celtic) – 522
- Jimmy Jones (Glenavon) – 517
- Uwe Seeler (Hamburg) – 507
- Eusebio (Benfica) – 473
- Cristiano Ronaldo (Real Madrid) – 450
Most Goals In Football (By Goalkeepers)
- Rogerio Ceni (Brazil) – 131
- Jose Luis Chilavert (Paraguay) – 67
- Jorge Campos (Mexico) – 46
- Rene Higuita (Colombia) – 41
- Johnny Vegas Fernandez (Peru) – 39
- Marcio (Brazil) – 34*
- Hans-Jorg Butt (Germany) – 32
- Misael Alfaro (El Salvador) – 31
- Dragan Pantelic (Yugoslavia) – 26
- Fernando Patterson (Costa Rica) – 26
Most Goals In Football (Through Free-Kicks)
- Juninho Pernambucano – 77
- Pele – 70
- Victor Legrotaglie – 66
- Ronaldinho – 66
- David Beckham – 65
- Diego Maradona – 62
- Zico – 62
- Ronald Koeman – 60
- Rogerio Ceni – 59
- Marcelinho Carioca – 59
Most Goals In Football (In History Of Champions League)
- Cristiano Ronaldo – 127*
- Lionel Messi – 112*
- Raul Gonzalez – 71
- Ruud van Nistelrooy – 60
- Karim Benzema – 60*
- Andriy Shevchenko – 59
- Robert Lewandowski – 53*
- Thierry Henry – 51
- Filippo Inzaghi – 50
- Alfredo Di Stefano – 49
Most Goals In Football (In History Of World Cup)
- Miroslav Klose (Germany) – 16
- Ronaldo (Brazil) – 15
- Gerd Muller (West Germany) – 14
- Just Fontaine (France) – 13
- Pele (Brazil) – 12
(* means that the player has an active career at present and his goal tally is sure to increase)