All-time top scorers ranking: where are Cristiano Ronaldo and Messi?

Who are the top scorers in football history? We can easily imagine Cristiano Ronaldo and Lionel Messi to be part of the top of the ranking. But as extraordinary as they are, several players in history have performed better. At least, if we stick to the statistics of goals scored or the ratio of the number of goals per match.

Ranking top scorers Messi Ronaldo
Credit: Pixabay

They have exploded many records both in club and with their national team. Cristiano Ronaldo became the top scorer in Real Madrid history on September 30, 2015, dethroning the other legend, Raul who has 323 goals for the club. March 20, 2012 Lionel Messi for his part, broke the record of goals scored for FC Barcelona. This record was held by the Spaniard César Rodriguez (232 goals in official matches).

Messi and Ronaldo are also the first two of the ranking of the best scorers in history of the Spanish championship. All these exploits, however, do not make them the top scorers in football history.

Ranking of the best scorers in history

This ranking established by the Rec Sport Soccer Statistics Foundation (RSSSF) is made up only of players who have crossed the 500 goal mark in official matches, in all competitions. Goals scored in unofficial competitions are therefore excluded, as are unverified data. Of the top scorers in the standings, only five are currently active.

They are Cristiano Ronaldo, Lionel Messi, Zlatan Ibrahimovic, Robert Lewandowski and Luiz Suarez. Among them, only Ronaldo is in the top 5. The first place is occupied by Erwin Helmchen, a German player whose years of activity date back to 1924 – 1951. He scored a total of 982 goals in 575 official games, for an impressive ratio of 1.71 goals per game.

In second place is Josef Bican (Czech) who scored 948 goals in 621 official games, a ratio of around 1.53 goals per game. Cristiano Ronaldo meanwhile occupies 4th place. He recently passed Ferenc Deák, a Hungarian player who has scored 794 goals in 510 games. CR7 meanwhile scored 799 goals in 1,107 games (ratio of 0.72).

In 7th position, we find another legend that we no longer present: Pélé who scored 775 goals in 841 official games for a ratio of 0.92 goals per game. Lionel Messi when he is 8th as of June 21, 2021. The Argentinian has 774 goals in 981 games, which corresponds to a ratio of 0.79 goals per game.

Zlatan Ibrahimovic is 22nd at 573 goals in 965 games for a ratio of 0.59 goals per game. Robert Lewandowski meanwhile is 33rd with 559 goals in 831 games (0.67 goals per game). Finally, the last active player to join the 500 club is Luis Suarez with 508 goals in 814 games. Here is the ranking of the top scorers in football history as of June 21, 2021 (last update).

Rang Player Buts Matches Ratio Years
1 Erwin Helmchen +982 575 1,71 1924–1951
2 Josef Bican +948 621 1,53 1930–1957
3 Ferenc Puskás 808 794 1,02 1943–1967
4 Cristiano Ronaldo 799 1107 0,72 2001 – present
5 Ferenc Deák +794 +510 1,56 1939–1959
6 Romario 780 1,000 0,78 1985–2009
7 Skin 775 841 0,92 1956–1977
8 Lionel Messi 774 981 0,79 2003 – present
9 Gerd Müller 735 793 0,93 1958–1981
10 Abe Lenstra +710 752 0,94 1936–1963
11 Joe Bambrick +678 565 1,2 1926–1939
12 Jimmy Jones +673 635 1,06 1946–1965
13 Ernst Willimowski +663 474 1,4 1934–1955
14 Tommy Lawton +657 742 0,89 1933–1956
15 Ferenc Bene 630 946 0.67 1961–1979
16 Gyula Zsengellér 611 641 0,95 1935–1953
17 Fernando Peyroteo 597 369 1,62 1937–1949
18 Eusebius +591 631 0,94 1957–1980
19 Uwe Seeler 582 686 0,85 1946–1972
20 Tullius Wonder 575 838 0,69 1988–2019
21 Fritz Walter +574 572 1 1928–1959
22 Zlatan Ibrahimovic 573 965 0,6 1999 – present
23 Franz Binder +569 430 1,32 1930–1949
Imre locksmith +569 458 1,24 1905–1928
25 Jimmy Greaves 567 812 0,7 1955–1980
26 Glenn Ferguson 563 1,058 0,53 1987–2011
27 Hugo Sanchez 562 956 0,59 1972–1997
28 Jose Torres 561 615 0,91 1953–1980
29 Robert Lewandowski 559 831 0,67 2005 – Present
30 Sándor Kocsis 556 537 1,04 [1945–1965
31 Fred Roberts +554 427 1,3 1924–1934
32 James McGrory 549 545 1,01 1918–1935
33 Zico 545 797 0,68 1960–1994
34 Boy Martin +541 479 1,12 1930–1947
Ferenc Szusza 541 594 0,91 1941–1960
36 Jimmy Kelly +538 951 0,57 1926–1956
37 Isidro Langara +534 433 1,23 1930–1948
38 Dixie Dean 531 577 0,92 1923–1940
39 Nándor Hidegkuti 526 678 0,78 1942–1958
40 József Takács 518 505 1,03 1917–1934
Hans Krankl 518 725 0,71 1970–1989
42 Roberto Dynamite 517 852 0,61 1969–1993
43 Alfredo Di Stéfano 513 703 0,73 [1945–1966
44 Gunnar Nordahl +510 587 0,87 1937–1960
45 Joseph Mermans 509 634 0,8 1932–1960
46 Luis Suarez 508 817 0,62 2005 – present
47 György Sárosi 507 592 0,86 1930–1948
Hughie Gallacher +507 657 0,77 1921–1939
49 Steve Bloomer +505 753 0,67 1894–1914
50 Roger mile +503 905 0,56 1967–1996
51 Lajos Tichy 500 610 0,82 1953–1971

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