The 10 best goalscorers in football history (Part 2)

Continuing with the list of the best goalscorers in the history of football after listing 6 to 10, we come to the top 5, where we will find a couple of names from "modern" football, which makes us notice how the enormous number of games played in recent times can help to a world star to reach a very high number of goals.

In fact, from position 11 to position 19 on the list, we have three players who are still active (Robert Lewandowski, Zlatan Ibrahimovic and Luis Suarez).

5. Ferenc Puskás (729 goals)

Puskás started playing football at a very young age for one of his hometown clubs, Kispest Honved, that was taken over by the Hungarian army that changed its name to Budapest Honved and had the power to recruit the best players in the country, forming a team that had names like Zoltan Czibor and Sandor Kocsis and with that, dominated football in Hungary for several years. In his 13 years at the club, Puskas was a four-time top scorer in the Hungarian league and was once the winner of the world Golden Boot. After the outbreak of the 1956 Hungarian revolution, Puskas refused to return to his country for which he was banned for two years by UEFA and unable to play professionally during that period.

In 1958, when the sanction expired, the 31-year-old Puskas looked for a team in Italy, where he raised many doubts due to his age and physical condition, and at Manchester United, where the regulations of the English Federation were an obstacle to signing. Finally, Real Madrid would be the destination of the Hungarian.

With Real Madrid he would score 242 goals in 262 matches, being Pichichi 4 times, twice the top scorer in Europe, 5 times Spanish league champion and 3 times in the European Cup. With the Hungarian national team he was part of the Golden Team, the best generation of footballers from that country who, among other things, reached the final of the World Cup in 1954.

4. Romário (755 goals)

Romário is of the best players in the history of Brazil, which is saying a lot. He is remembered for his great ability with the ball, speed and clinical definition, which made him a constant threat to opposing defenses despite his short stature (1.67m).

His beginnings in youth football were in the small Olaria, from where he was signed by Vasco da Gama, a club where he would gain greater visibility, to the point of being part of the Brazilian national team that participated in the 1988 Olympic Games and that they would lose the final to the Soviet Union. In that tournament, Romario was the top scorer with 7 goals and that was what caught the world's attention, leading him to sign for PSV Eindhoven in the Netherlands that same year. In his 5 seasons at the Dutch club, he scored 128 goals in 149 matches.

Then he would sign for FC Barcelona to form part of the team that was known as the Dream Team, led by Johan Cruyff and in which he would form a dangerous duo with the Bulgarian Hristo Stoichkov. Despite his good performance at the Catalan club, he only spent a year and a half due to some problems with the Dutch manager, returning to Brazil, specifically to Flamengo.

Later his career would have many changes of team, he would play again in Spain for Valencia, he would go to Qatar, the United States and Australia, in addition to several steps through clubs in Brazil such as Flamengo itself, Fluminense and Vasco da Gama, almost always with great goalscoring records. With the Selecao, he would be world champion in 1994 and twice Copa América champion.

Pelé waiving to the crowd

3. Pelé (762 goals)

The best Brazilian player in history and one of the best of all time (for many, the best) could not be missing from this list. Pelé, in his youth, played futsal; something that the Brazilian himself recognized was something that helped him a lot in his professional career since the speed of the game helped him think faster and anticipate the plays, as well as, because Futsal tournaments were just starting, he could play with adults during his teenage years.

At the age of 15, he was given the opportunity to try out at Santos FC, where he made a great impression and was selected to stay with the club. Shortly after signing his contract with Santos, Pelé made his professional debut scoring his first goal.

At 16 years old, he was already the top scorer in the Brazilian league and was receiving his first call-up to go to the Brazil national team where he became the youngest player to score for said team. At the age of 17, he participated in the 1958 World Cup, also being the youngest player to score in the tournament's history, a record he still holds.

His career from then on grew exponentially, winning, among other things, 6 Brasileiraos, 2 Copa Libertadores, 2 Intercontinental Cups with Santos as well as 3 World Cups with Brazil, being the only player ever to win the World Cup thrice.

Throughout his career, Pelé rejected countless offers from the most important teams in Europe, however, at that time, the salary differences were smaller, so Santos could offer a contract similar to that of the European clubs, in addition to the fact that Pelé was a matter of state and for this reason, he stayed almost his entire career in Brazil. His retirement occurs as a player for the New York Cosmos where he lived the last 2 years of his professional career.

2. Lionel Messi (794 goals)

The Argentine arrived in Spain at the age of 13 because, despite his quality, no club in Argentina promised to pay for the treatment he required to improve his physical development. During his youth stage and his first years as a professional, Messi played as a right winger since the formation most commonly used in FC Barcelona is the 4-3-3, hence his numbers during those first years were not that impressive. In the 2008-09 season, with the arrival of Guardiola, Messi began to play more centralized and with more freedom of movement that helped the Argentine reach the record numbers he achieved during his career.

Among the many records that he has broken, one of the most outstanding in terms of scoring was in 2012, when he scored 91 goals in one year. In Barcelona, Messi won 10 Spanish league championships, 4 UEFA Champions League, 7 Ballon d'Ors and 6 European Golden Boots. In 2021, he leaves the Catalan club to join Paris Saint Germain. With the Argentine national team, he won the Copa America in 2021 and the World Cup in 2022, as well as being the top scorer in history for the selected team.

Cristiano Ronaldo

1. Cristiano Ronaldo (819 goals)

Something similar to what we discussed about Messi has happened with the Portuguese, since in his beginnings, Cristiano Ronaldo was a winger whose priority was the dribble and the crosses and not so much, the goals. This changed in his fourth season at Manchester United, where Sir Alex Ferguson was guiding his evolution to become him a striker closer to goal.

In 2009, he left England to play for Real Madrid for nine years, in what would be the best spell of his career, both in terms of collective and individual trophies, as well as records such as being the club's all-time top scorer. Subsequently, steps would come through Juventus and a return to Manchester United, until reaching Al Nassr of Saudi Arabia. Cristiano won the top scorer award in Spain, England and Italy as well as the European Golden Boot on 4 occasions. With Portugal, he won the Euro 2016 and is the top scorer for his national team.

Funny enough, the first two places on the list are occupied by two active players, which tell us a lot about what the recent era of football has been like, both for the number of games played and for the ability of the players to overcome so many records.

To read about the players placed 6-10, click here.
Kelvin Tingling knows most things about football and also likes to write about it. Kelvin lives in Buenos Aires and his favorite team is Boca Juniors.