The Footballers Who Have Scored 700+ Career Goals

Lionel Messi
Lionel Messi entered the 700 goal club on Wednesday | Quality Sport Images/Getty Images

Lionel Messi entered a very prestigious club against Atletico Madrid on Wednesday, netting his 700th goal for club and country in a 2-2 draw.

He did it in typically audacious fashion as well, deceiving Jan Oblak with a delicious panenka penalty at the Wanda Metropolitano.

La Pulga becomes the seventh player to net seven centuries of goals in his career but he has some way to go before he catches the most prolific scorer of all time.

Here is what the leaderboard looks like currently…

Lionel MessiLionel Messi
Lionel Messi entered the 700 club against Atletico Madrid | Quality Sport Images/Getty Images

Such is Messi’s other worldly footballing ability, the only real surprise about him reaching 700 goals is that he didn’t manage to do it sooner.

The Argentine’s most prolific calendar year was 2012 when he bagged on a ludicrous 91 occasions.

Thoughts now turn to how many goals Messi will finish on when he eventually retires – if he ever does retire that is. At the moment he continues to terrorise defences as effectively as he did in his prime years.

Gerd MullerGerd Muller
Gerd Muller was prolific for both club and country during the 1960s and 1970s | Getty Images/Getty Images

Gerd Muller was the archetypal goal getter, conquering Europe with his lethal finishing exploits during the 1960s and 1970s.

The striker spent the majority of his career at Bayern Munich. Unsurprisingly, he is Die Roten’s top scorer of all time, netting an unbelievable 365 Bundesliga goals during his time in Bavaria.

To put this into some sort of context, that’s over 100 more than generational talent Robert Lewandowski and 97 more than second placed Klaus Fischer.

FBL-ITA-SERIEA-JUVENTUS-PARMA-BLACKANDWHITEFBL-ITA-SERIEA-JUVENTUS-PARMA-BLACKANDWHITE
Cristiano Ronaldo has scored more goals than Lionel Messi so far | MARCO BERTORELLO/Getty Images

Cristiano Ronaldo will likely have taken a great deal of pleasure in entering the 700 club well before Messi.

CR7 completed the feat back in October 2019, when he netted for Portugal in a Euro 2020 qualifier against Ukraine.

Though his goal tallies have tailed off slightly since he moved to Juventus in 2018, he remains an imperious scorer who is now hunting down the 800 goal mark.

SOCCER-HUNGARY-FERENC PUSKASSOCCER-HUNGARY-FERENC PUSKAS
Ferenc Puskas spearheaded Hungary’s Golden Generation | STAFF/Getty Images

If you’re going to have a Goal of the Year award named after you, you better have produced some memorable finishes yourself – and Ferenc Puskas did.

The poster boy of Hungary’s MIghty Magyars team of the early 1950s, it wasn’t just the quality of Puskas’ goals that caught the eye, but also the quantity.

Over his long, complicated career the forward netted on at least 746 occasions, though it may have been even more. The exact figure is disputed.

SOCCER-RACING-SANTOS-PELESOCCER-RACING-SANTOS-PELE
Pele’s exact number of goals is disputed | STAFF/Getty Images

This is a controversial one as the exact number of goals that Pele scored continues to be argued about.

The man himself reckons he bagged over 1000 times, which on the surface seems ridiculous, though considering the forwards god-given talent who are we to tell him otherwise?

More conservative estimates are around the 767 mark – and that’s what we’re going with, putting him third on the list.

Romario of BrazilRomario of Brazil
Romario scored close to 800 in his lengthy career | Phil Cole/Getty Images

Romario left a trail of decimated defenders behind him wherever he went during his long and meandering career.

He is best known for spearheading Johan Cruyff’s Barcelona Dream Team during the 1990s but the majority of his goals came for PSV Eindhoven and in his native Brazil for various clubs.

Again, Romario’s exact goal record is disputed. He believes he scored 1000 goals in his career – though not a lot of people outside of his home country agree.

Yep, that’s right. The most prolific goal scorer of all time is Josef Bican, a Slavia Prague legend.

Bican managed 395 goals in just 217 games for the Red and Whites of the Czech capital – a feat made even more impressive by the fact that his stint was interrupted by the Second World War.

Estimates of Bican’s goals are varied. Some go as high as 1,500, but the generally accepted figure is around 805, although it is likely to have been far more.

You can learn more about this forgotten man of footballing history here.

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