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International football elicits either adoration or disdain among fans. Regardless of sentiment, players hold a profound affection for representing their homeland. Each player nurtures the aspiration of hoisting the World Cup for their country, amid the gaze of millions of devoted supporters. While Messi and Ronaldo excel both at club and national levels, the inquiry arises: do other players also boast a higher tally? Let’s embark on this quest. Here, we present the elite group of the 10 most goal scorers in international football, individuals who have etched their names in history through their prolific contributions to their respective nations.
Most Goals in Football
|United Arab Emirates
|8 & 9
1Highest goal scorer in the world: Cristiano Ronaldo
Suiiiii !! Cristiano strikes again. The Portuguese broke the record for most goals in international football. The 38-year-old has scored 123 goals in 200 caps. It’s surreal even at the age of 38 years, Ronaldo is breaking and setting unbreakable records that no one might ever break. No one knows until when he is going to retire, but we surely want to see him stick around for few more years at least. He is the highest goal scorer in international football history.
The actual record for most goals in international football was of Ali Daei, but Cristiano’s accomplishment has made him grab the number one position. Ali Daei is an Iranian footballer who played for few clubs in Bundesliga. The Iranian international captained his former side between 2000 and 2006. The striker enjoyed great success in international football, by scoring 108 goals in 148 caps. He is one of the top goal scorers of all time.
3Most Goals in Football: Lionel Messi
The little magician, Leo Messi is at number 3 among top 10 best international goal scorer. The Argentine finally lifted the FIFA World Cup trophy in 2022. The Argentine has scored 103 goals in 175 caps. He might have a slow start in his International Career, but he surely has achieved a lot at the club level. He became the first South American to score 80 goals.
4Most goals in football: Sunil Chhetri
A proud moment for all the Indian football fans. Sunil Chhetri is the hero and true icon of Indian football. The striker has scored 92 goals in 142 appearances.
The 39-year-old captains the Indian football team and is currently the active third highest goal scorer in the world, behind Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo. Chhetri is also the most capped player in the history of Indian football. Chhetri truly finds a place in the list of highest goal scorer in the world.
Mokhtar Dahari was a legendary Malaysian international, who played for F.A Selangor. He enjoyed a stellar international career and reigned himself as a top international goal scorers. Playing between 1972 to 1985, the Malaysian international scored 89 goals in 142 caps. After suffering from muscular dystrophy for three years, the player died on 11th July 1991.
Ferenc Puskas was widely regarded as the greatest football player of all time. He was one of Hungary’s ‘Magical Magyars’ during the ’50s. His achievements at the international and at club level made him an icon in Budapest. The former Hungary international scored 84 goals in 85 caps. He also played for Spain in the early ‘60s. Puskas could have a better goal to games ratio, but his Spanish appearances impacted his stats as he failed to score for La Roja. He is in the list of most goals in football history by any player.
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7Most goals in football: Ali Mabkhout
Ali Mabkhout is a lethal attacker who plays for Al Jazira, a UAE club. He has scored 81 goals in 109 caps, making him the highest goal scorer of United Arab Emirates & one of the top scorer of all time.
Godfrey Chitalu or also known as Ucar was a Zambian footballer. Being voted five times as Zambian footballer of the year, Chitalu was widely regarded as a prolific African footballer. The Zambian struck 79 goals in 111 caps. The Kabwe Warriors star striker later started his career as a coach. In an unfortunate turn of events, he died in the 1993 Zambian Air disaster, thus killing the rest of the Zambian national team. He stands 5th in the list of highest goal scorer in the world.
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Robert Lewandowski is a Polish professional footballer widely recognized for his exceptional skills as a striker. Born on August 21, 1988, in Warsaw, Poland, Lewandowski has established himself as one of the most prolific and accomplished goal scorers in the history of the sport. Robert Lewandowski has scored 79 goals in 142 appearances.
Hussain Saeed is Iraq’s top goalscorer with 78 goals in 137 international caps. The Iraqi legend spent his entire career with Al-Talaba. Hussain played in the 1986 world cup and represented his nation in 1980, 1984, and the 1988 Olympics. Later He was elected as the president of the Iraq Football Association between 2004 to 2011. He is 6th highest goal scorer.
Cristiano Ronaldo and Lionel Messi have been consistently among the top goal scorers in recent years, but players like Sunil Chhetri and Ali Mabkhout can break their records.
Lionel Messi spent the majority of his career at FC Barcelona, where he made his professional debut. In August 2021, he joined Paris Saint-Germain (PSG) after leaving Barcelona. Currently, he is playing for Inter Miami.
In International career, Ronaldo and Messi has scored 123 and 103 goals respectively (as of 7th August 2023).
Sunil Chhetri is considered a football icon in India. His success and dedication have inspired a new generation of Indian footballers. He has played a significant role in raising the profile of football in the country.