Top 10 Best Soccer Strikers of All Time
List of legendary football goalscorers who lead their clubs to championship victories.
It is quite hard to cut down the list of best all time strikers to ten as there are a remarkable number of great strikers in the world. Nonetheless, here are the top ten best soccer strikers of all time and the major clubs they played for.
10.) Fernando Peyroteo
Years Active: 1937-1949
Finally, we have a Portuguese striker with an unbelievable goal per game ratio. Fernando Peyroteo played for Sporting in the 1940s and scored 331 goals in 187 matches setting the ratio at 1.68. It was a common feature for the striker to score multiple times in a game, at one time he managed to score nine in one match.
Peyroteo played for just one club in his entire career. He won eleven major titles with the club and was the league’s top scorer six times. He scored 14 goals for Portugal in 20 matches.
9.) Arthur Friedenreich
Clubs: Germania and Sao Paulo
Years Active: 1909-1935
Pele came first on the list but a fellow Brazilian player surpassed his goal tally. Arthur Friedenreich scored 1329 goals in 1239 appearances over his 26-year career. However, the reported number of goals has been a point of discussion with some claiming he scored 1239 goals in 1329 games.
Despite this argument, not many can match the goal poaching skill displayed by the Brazilian striker. If anything, he was the first to be given the tag “The King of Football”, certainly for his exemplary performance. Friedenreich was the top scorer in Liga Paulista for nine seasons.
8.) Alfredo di Stefano
Club: Real Madrid
Years Active: 1945-1966
Alfredo di Stefano is mainly remembered for his contribution during Real Madrid’s dominance in the European Cups after its inception in 1955. In this time, Di Stefano emerged the European Cup top scorer twice, in 1958 and 1962.
He is the second Real Madrid’s all-time leading goalscorer with 305 goals from 392 appearances. Di Stefano won the Ballon d’Or in 1957 and 1959. At the international level, he has represented Argentina, Spain and Colombia.
7.) Marco van Basten
Clubs: AC Milan and Ajax
Years Active: 1981-1995
Marco van Basten had a successful spell at Ajax and Milan. Ajax won the Dutch Championships and the Dutch Cups twice each with van Basten leading the attack. He was a powerful striker who was amazing in the air and possessed wonderful close ball control.
The Dutch striker was the top scorer in the 1988 tournament of the European Championship. He helped his team emerge winners and this rests in the minds of many since the Dutch have not won any other major football honor. Van Basten has won the Ballon d’Or thrice and was the FIFA World Player of the Year in 1992.
Club: Vasco da Gama
Years Active: 1985-2009
Romario was a proven finisher with the rate in which he scored goals for various clubs and the Brazilian national team. He took Brazil to the 1994 FIFA World Cup triumph, winning the golden ball in the tournament. In the same year, he was named the FIFA Player of the Year.
Romario played for quite a number of clubs, including Barcelona and PSV Eindhoven, though he is mainly linked with Vasco da Gama. He has 70 caps for the national team with 55 goals, becoming the third all-time highest goal scorer for his team. Romario has over a 1000 goals, a proper justification for a spot in this list.
5.) Gerd Muller
Club: Bayern Munich
Years Active: 1963-1981
Gerd Muller’s statistics are quite impressive, both at club and national level. At the national level, he helped West Germany win the 1974 World Cup and the 1972 European Championships. Muller was the top scorer in 1970 World Cup with 10 goals, the same year he was named the European Footballer of the Year. He found the net 68 times for his national team in 62 matches.
But it is the period spent at Bayern Munich that proved his unquestionable ability on the pitch and in scoring goals. Muller netted 401 times for Bayern, being the top scorer seven times between 1967 and 1978.
Years Active: 1957-1979
Eusebio managed to show he possesses world class technical skill and goal scoring ability when he played for Benfica and the Portugal national team. He remains Benfica’s all-time top scorer having scored 638 goals in 614 games for the club.
Eusebio was in the Portugal team that emerged third in the 1966 World Cup. His 9 goals made him the top scorer of the tournament. Eusebio won the Ballon d’Or in 1965 and was the first to win the European Golden Boot in 1968. He was the Primeira Liga top scorer for a record seven times.
Clubs: Real Madrid and Inter Milan
Years Active: 1993-2011
Another Brazilian sneaks in to the top three for his renowned skill and natural talent. Ronaldo Luís Nazário de Lima held the record as the leading all time World Cup goalscorer since 2006 with 15 goals, which was broken during the 2014 FIFA World Cup. He played a vital role as Brazil clinched a record fifth World Cup title in 2002 and part of the squad that won in 1994.
Ronaldo played for a number of top professional clubs in Europe. He joined Barcelona after a transfer from PSV Eindhoven in 1996, though he stayed at Camp Nou for just one season. Inter Milan signed the striker in 1997 and he later moved to Real Madrid then AC Milan. One thing was consistent though, Ronaldo scored goals, goals that saw him receive the award for top goalscorer in the various leagues he played.
Ronaldo was crowned the FIFA World Player of the Year three times and won the Ballon d’Or in 1997 and 2002. In addition, he was the European Player of the Year twice and has a plethora of individual honors to his name.
2.) Ferenc Puskas
Clubs: Real Madrid and Budapest Honved
Years Active: 1943-1966
Clearly, the number of goals scored by a striker act as a major basis for gauging his performance. Ferenc Puskas of Hungary netted 514 goals in 529 league games. He led the Hungarian team to winning the 1952 Olympics and helped them advance to the 1954 FIFA World Cup final. He was then named the best player of the 1954 World Cup.
Ferenc Puskas provided a major striking force at Real Madrid by partnering with Alfredo di Stefano. The partnership was the pillar for Real Madrid’s dominance in the 60s. Puskas has eight individual scoring honors and has won ten national league titles with Spanish and Hungarian clubs plus three European Cups.
Years Active: 1956-1977
Our leading striker of all time comes as no surprise at all. Pele is quite decorated in regard to statistics as he set incredible records that see him continue to receive lots of respect to this day. He spent most of his career at the Brazilian club Santos, helping them win silverware year after year. Later, he played for New York Cosmos before retiring.
Pele tops the list for his remarkable achievements. The Brazilian has 1281 goals to his name from 1363 appearances at all levels. He consistently had the goals coming over his 18-year professional career. Just to mention, Pele scored five goals in a match six times and four goals thirty times.
His shots were deadly, the prime reason he was a force to reckon with in front of goal. Pele was a fantastic header, not to forget his awesome ability to use both legs exceptionally well. No other player has matched Pele’s three World Cup winners’ medals, which he attained after Brazil’s triumphed in 1958, 1962 and 1970.