All-Time Top Scorers | The Top Scorers in Europe & International Football
The history of professional football has been littered with prolific strikers, but who are the all-time top scorers in the biggest competitions?
We look at who comes out on top in Europe’s five major leagues, the Champions League, World Cup and European Championships.
Premier League – Alan Shearer
The launch of the Premier League in 1992 sparked a radical change in the worldwide perception of English football.
One of the biggest stars during the early years was Alan Shearer, whose goals helped Blackburn Rovers claim an unlikely title success in 1994/95.
Shearer subsequently signed for Newcastle United and ended his career with 260 goals in 441 Premier League appearances.
La Liga – Lionel Messi
Lionel Messi’s exploits with Barcelona are unlikely to be repeated, with his 474 goals in 520 appearances a truly staggering return.
Messi helped Barca win the La Liga title on ten occasions, while four Champions League successes are also not to be sniffed at.
He exited the Spanish club in 2021 to join Paris Saint-Germain and will be hoping to help the French club continue their dominance in Ligue 1.
Serie A – Silvio Piola
Silvio Piola’s tally of 274 goals has truly stood the test of time, with only Francesco Totti (250) coming close in recent years.
Piola scored double figures in nearly every season he played between 1930 and 1954 but never managed to win the Serie A title.
However, he was famously part of Italy’s World Cup-winning squad in 1938, ending the tournament with five goals.
Bundesliga – Gerd Muller
Gerd Muller’s record of 365 Bundesliga goals in 427 appearances for Bayern Munich looked to be one of the toughest to beat in Europe.
However, Robert Lewandowski could overhaul him if he continues to score at his current rate over the next couple of seasons.
Regardless of whether Lewandowski achieves the feat, Muller will remain an all-time great, having helped Bayern win trophies galore during his time with the club.
Ligue 1 – Delio Onnis
In addition to being the all-time top scorer in Ligue 1, Onnis also wins the award for having the most frustrating final goal tally on this list.
The Argentine striker retired from football in 1986, just one goal short of 300 despite spending most of his career with mid-table teams.
He bagged 29 goals as Monaco won the league in 1977/78, but that was the only time he was part of a title-winning team in the top flight.
Champions League – Cristiano Ronaldo
Cristiano Ronaldo is the top scorer of all-time in the Champions League and the most prolific in the history of senior international football.
He became the first player to reach 100 goals in the competition in February 2018 and has since gone on to take his tally to 140.
The Manchester United star still has time to extend his lead over Messi at the top of the Champions League goalscoring table.
World Cup – Miroslav Klose
Miroslav Klose scored 16 goals across four different World Cups between 2002 and 2014, putting himself one ahead of Brazil star Ronaldo in the all-time list.
He tended to be prolific during the early stages of the tournament, with 2014 the first time the German striker scored after the quarter-final stage.
While Klose enjoyed a few prolific seasons at club level, he is much better known for his exploits on the international stage.
European Championship – Cristiano Ronaldo
Ronaldo’s five-goal haul for Portugal at the 2020 European Championship put him out on his own as the all-time leading scorer at the tournament.
His efforts were in vain as the 2016 champions exited the competition following a 1-0 defeat against Belgium in the round of 16.
Cristiano Ronaldo is currently only the second men’s player to pass 100 international goals alongside Iran’s Ali Daei.
All-Time Top Scorer Lists
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