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700-Goal Scorers in Soccer History

Rob Joyce
October 17, 2019 - 2:33 pm

For fans of European soccer, the international break is often a bit of a dud. Maybe you’ll follow any internationals on your favorite club team, or you’ll catch the couple of USMNT games. But there was some history in this week’s otherwise-mundane UEFA Euro qualifier between Portugal and Ukraine, where Cristiano Ronaldo’s penalty in the 72nd minute became his 700th professional goal.

It’s a milestone very few have ever achieved. In fact, just five other players have hit that milestone (though Lionel Messi and his 672 goals will likely get there next year). As you would imagine, they are some of the biggest names in soccer history. Here are the six men who have at least 700 career goals across international and domestic play:

Cristiano Ronaldo (700):

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On top of notching No. 700, his goal on Monday was his 95th for Portugal, creeping ever so closer to the career mark for international goals. Iran’s Ali Daei netted 109 in his international career, which means the record is within striking distance, but not guaranteed. Ronaldo turns 35 in February, and between friendlies, Euro qualifying and Euro 2020, he has a good shot to get there, but he’ll need to keep up his prolific rate.

Gerd Muller (735):

One of the most prolific international scorers ever, Muller sits tied for 18th all-time with 68 goals for West Germany (including the game-winner in the 1974 World Cup final). For context, everyone ranked 1 through 27 played at least 84 matches, with two exceptions: Muller (62) and Hungary’s Sandor Kocsis (68). On the club level he remains Bayern Munich’s third all-time leading scorer.

Ferenc Puskas (746):

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He scored goals so amazing in style that they literally named an award after them. FIFA’s Puskas Award goes to the player who scored the “most beautiful goal” of the year. It’s named after the Hungarian who won an Olympic gold medal and led his country to the 1954 World Cup Final, where he was named the tournament’s best player. He would have scored even more goals had he not received a two-year ban from UEFA for refusing to return to Budapest during the Hungarian Revolution.

Pelé (767):

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The greatest of all-time has a bunch of official and unofficial goal-scoring records. His 650 domestic goals between Santos and the New York Cosmos is the most ever, and he is the Guinness World Record holder for officially scoring 1,281 goals in 1,363 games (including non-sanctioned friendlies). That includes the 77 goals he scored for Brazil, where he remains the all-time leading scorer.

Romario (772):

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Another Brazilian legend, he led his country to the 1994 World Cup, the same year he was named Player of the Year. He played for a vast number of teams in his professional career, including a two-year stint at Barcelona, and he’s fourth on Brazil’s all-time scoring list, behind only Pelé, Ronaldo and Neymar.

Josef Bican (805):

The only man recognized with over 800 professional goals, Bican’s professional career spanned from 1928-55, most notably with Slavia Prague (395 goals in 217 appearances!). He is credited with scoring at least 1,468 goals across all competitions, sanctioned and non-sanctioned), and he led all of Europe in scoring five times. He also appeared for three different international clubs: born Austrian, he applied for Czechoslovakian citizenship, and ended his career playing four matches for Bohemia & Moravia.