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Highest goal scorers in international football history

Tue 07 September 2021 | 16:30

If you are a football fan, join us to get to know more about the highest goal scorers in international football history.

In the world of football, it is a big dream for players to score goals for their national team. The big players have changed the destiny of their country's team by scoring goals in big tournaments such as the World Cup and Olympics.

One of the proud moments for a football player is scoring goals for his national team. Being the top scorer of a national team is a hard job that can be achieved with a lot of effort and practice.

From Pele to

Cristiano Ronaldo

, there are players whose names are on the list of

highest goal scorers in international football history

. On 1 September 2021, the Portuguese legend broke Ali Daei's record of 109 goals by netting twice against the Republic of Ireland. Join us to review top international goalscorers of all time.

Highest international goal scorers ever

let’s take a look at the list of international top scorers of all time.

Cristiano Ronaldo/Portugal (180 caps, 111 goals)

Currently, CR7 has become the highest goal scorer in international football ever. The Portuguese Ronaldo is one of the best players of the 21st century.

The famous striker recently has set a new record in his name. On 1 September 2021, the Portuguese legend surpassed Ali Daei's record of 109 goals by netting twice against the Republic of Ireland Portugal's against the Republic of Ireland in World Cup qualifying.

In 2003, Ronaldo was called up to the Portugal senior national team, and on 20 August 2003, he made his debut against Kazakhstan. In the 2006 World Cup, he scored his first goal against Iran. At the age of 22, at Carlos Silva, the President of the Portuguese Federation request, he became captain of the Portugal team.

During the qualification for the Euro 2008, he netted eight times but scored just once in the tournament against the 

Czech Republic

.

in the qualification for the 2010 World Cup, while coach Carlos Queiroz chose Ronaldo as his captain, he failed to score.

During the qualification for Euro 2012, the legend netted seven times, and in the qualification for the 2014 World Cup, he scored eight times for the Portugal national team.

Ronaldo made his 100th appearance on 17 October 2012 against 

Northern Ireland

; he managed to score three goals in this game.

During the qualification for the 2014 world cup, the legend CR7 scored three goals in the 

Faroe Islands

, making him fifth- top international goal scorer of all time with 78 goals.

It is worth mentioning that in the opening match of the 2018 World Cup, Cris scored a hat-trick against 

Spain

.

Cristiano Ronaldo achievements

  • FIFA Ballon d'Or (2008, 2013, 2014, 2016, 2017)

  • FIFA World Player of the Year (2008)

  • The Best FIFA Men's Player (2016, 2017)

  • UEFA Best Player in Europe Award (2014, 2016, 2017)

  • European Golden Shoe (2008, 2011, 2014, 2015)

  • FIFA Puskás Award (2009)

  • UEFA Team of the Year (2004, 2007, 2008, 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015, 2016, 2017, 2018, 2019)

  • FIFA World Cup Dream Team (2018)

  • FIFA Club World Cup Golden Ball (2016)

  • FIFA Club World Cup Silver Ball (2008, 2014, 2017)

Ali Daei/Iran (149 caps, 109 goals)

Widely known as Shariar, Ali Daei, an Iranian legend, is in the second place in the list of 

highest goal scorers in international football history

. The prolific goalscorer, who was born on 21 March 1969, played for clubs like Bayern Munich, Hertha BSC as well as Arminia Bielefeld.

A tall forward, who is known for his ability in the air, left Persepolis in 1996 and joined Arminia Bielefeld, and then in 1998, he joined Bavarian giants Bayern Munich. After Bayern Munich, he moved to Hertha BSC. 

Ali Daei was the first Asian player to play in a UEFA Champions League match. On 21 September 1999, Ali Daei netted two times against Chelsea in a group stage match in the UEFA Champions League. 

An Asian forward played for Iran international team from 1993 to 2006, scoring 109 goals in 149 caps.

He played in the 1998 and 2006 World Cups with the Iranian national team but could not score a goal. Daei announced his retirement from playing in Team Melli.

Once Iranian legend said: “I’m so proud for as long as it lasts. But records are meant to be broken. I’m happy such a great player will surpass me because I consider Ronaldo among the top three players ever."

Ali Daei achievements

  • Player of the month/AFC Asian (1997)

  • footballer of the year/AFC Asian (1999)

  • World’s top international goal scorer of the year with 20 goals/IFFHS (2000)

  • Asian football hall of fame (2014)

  • IFFHS legends (2016)

  • AFC Asian cup fans’ all-time best XI (2018)

Mokhtar Dahari/ Malaysia (131 caps, 86 goals)

An unfamiliar name to the football world is one of the

highest goal scorers in international football history

.

Malaysian former footballer started his career with Selangor, becoming the team top scorer in the first season. The legend helped the Malaysian team won 10 titles and scored 175 times for the club.

He was called up to the national team at the age of 19, and in 1972 he made his debut against

Sri Lanka.

In 1974 in the Asian Games,

Malaysia

came in third, and Mokhtar Dahari was one of the principal players on the team.

In 1975, in a friendly match against

Arsenal

, the forward netted two times; after that, he turned down an offer from Real Madrid because of his love for his country and Selangor. Once, he said: "If you're ashamed to stand by your colors, you'd better seek another flag!"

Mokhtar Dahari, known as a Super Mokh, scored 86 goals during his spell on Malaysia national team.

Super Mokh, who is one of the

top international goalscorers of all time

, retired in 1986.

Mokhtar Dahari achievements

  • National Sportsman Award (1976)

  • AFC Century Award (1999)

  • The Best Striker/Asia (1975)

  • SEA Games (1977, 1979)

Ferenc Puskas/ Hungary (85 caps, 84 goals)

In the list of highest goal scorers in international football history, Hungarian Ferenc Puskas is in fourth place.

In 1945 he was called up to the

Hungary

international team, and on 20 August 1945, he played his first match against Austria, and the legend managed to score two goals.

During his international career, he scored two hat-tricks against

Austria

and one hat tricks against

Luxembourg

. The myth also scored four goals against

Albania

.

Puskas scored the first goal in the final of the Olympic tournament as well as three other times at the Olympic tournament.

In 1954, In the two first-round matches at World Cup, Hungary played against South Korea and West

Germany

. The great Puskas scored three goals in two matches.

In 1962, the legend changed his nationality and played for Spain's national team.

Ferenc Puskas, who is one of the

highest international goal scorers ever

, scored 84 goals in 85 games.

Ferenc Puskas achievements

  • Hungarian Football Federation Player of the Year (1950)

  • Central European International Cup top scorer (1954)

  • Hungarian top scorer (1948, 1949, 1950, 1953)

  • European Cup top scorer (1960, 1964)

  • Golden Boot of the World (1948)

  • World Soccer Player of the Year (1953)

  • World Soccer World XI (1960, 1961, 1962, 1963)

  • 1954 FIFA World Cup (Golden Ball, All-Star Team)

Godfrey Chitalu/Zambia (111 caps, 79 goals)

Another unfamiliar name to the football world is one of the highest goal scorers in international football history.

A late forward made his debut against Uganda in a friendly match in 1962. Chitalu scored one goal during the qualification of the 1974 African Cup of Nations, against Egypt.

He dropped out of the national team in 1975 and returned to the starting lineup two years later when Brightwell Banda became the coach of the

Zambia

national team; in 1977, during the qualification of the world cup, he netted two times against

Uganda

.

In the CECAFA Cup, the Zambian forward netted five times.

During another CECAFA Cup, Chitalu scored 11 goals, becoming the tournament top scorer.

Godfrey Chitalu, who is one of the

footballers with the most international goals

, is the most capped player with 111 appearances in Zambia football history.

Godfrey Chitalu achievements

  • Footballer of the Year/ Zambia (1968, 1970, 1972, 1978, 1979)

  • League Top Scorer/ Zambia (1968, 1971, 1972, 1974, 1977, 1980)

  • Sportsman of the Year/ Zambia (1977)

  • CECAFA Cup top scorer (1978)

  • Insignia of Honor/ Zambia (1981)

  • Fair Play Award from the International Fair Play Committee (1988)

Hussein Saeed/ Iraq (137 caps, 78 goals)

In the list of highest goal scorers in international football history, Hussein Saeed is in sixth place.

On 5 September 1976, Hussein Saeed played his first match against

Saudi Arabia

when he was 18. In 1977 in the AFC Youth Championship final,

Iraq

won against Iran, with Saeed winning goal. He scored his first hat tricks against

Afghanistan

.

Saeed scored his second hat tricks for Iraq in 1977 in FIFA U-20 World Cup against Austria. The Iraqi forward started his career in the senior national team in 1977 in Kuala Lumpur. on 17 July 1977, he netted for the first time for the Iraq national team against

Thailand.

Saeed's first hat tricks for the Iraq senior national team occurred in a friendly match On 21 February 1978 against

Algeria

.

During the qualification of the 1986 FIFA World Cup, Saeed, who was Iraq's captain, netted eight times in 8 games. Iraq national team qualified for the 1986 World Cup for the first time.

Iraqi myth, who is one of the

highest international football goalscorers of all time

, retired in 1990.

Hussein Saeed achievements

  • Gold Medal/ Asian Games (1982)

  • Top goalscore/ Gulf Cup (1979, 1984)

  • Best Player/ Gulf Cup (1984)

  • Top goalscorer/ Gulf Cup (1979, 1984)

  • Top goalscorer/ AFC U-19 Championship (1976, 1977)

Pele/Brazil (92 caps, 77 goals)

Edson Arantes do Nascimento, widely known as a Pele, is one of the highest goal scorers in international football history.

In 1957, Pele was called up to the

Brazil

national team, and on 7 July 1957, he made his debut against

Argentina

and, at the age of 16, scored his first goal, becoming Brazil's youngest goalscorer.

On 29 June 1958, when he was 17, Pele netted two times in the final match of the world cup. In the 1959 South American Championship, the legend scored eight goals, becoming the best player of the tournament. At the 1962 World Cup, after the first game, in which he scored one goal, Pele was ruled out of the starting line-up due to the injury and scoring a goal.

In the 1966 world cup, with the goal he scored in the match against

Bulgaria

, he became the first player to score in three consecutive World Cups, but again due to injury, he could not score more in the tournament.

During the qualification of the 1970 World Cup, he netted six times in six games. On 18 July 1971, the Brazilian footballer, who is one of the footballers with the most international goals, played his last game against Yugoslavia.

Pele achievements

  • FIFA World Cup (1958, 1962, 1970)

  • Top Scorer/ Intercontinental Cup (1962, 1963)

  • Best Young Player/ FIFA World Cup (1958)

  • Silver Ball/ FIFA World Cup (1958)

  • Golden Ball/ FIFA World Cup (1970)

  • Player of the Century (2000)

 Kunishige Kamamoto/Japan (76 caps, 75 goals)

In the list of the highest goal scorers in international football history, Kunishige Kamamoto is in eighth place.

Kunishige's debut was On March 3, 1964, against

Singapore

; on that match, the Japanese legend scored one goal. In 1964 In the Summer Olympics, he scored just one goal, yet in the next Summer Olympics, which was held in Mexico City, Kamamoto scored seven goals.

From 1964 to 1977, Kunishige Kamamoto, who is one of the

international top scorers of all time

, scored 75 goals in 76 appearances that he made for

Japan

national team.

Kunishige Kamamoto achievements

  • Top scorer/ Summer Olympics football (1968)

  • Footballer of the Yea/Japan (1966, 1968, 1971, 1974, 1975, 1980, 1981)

  • Top Scorer/ Japan Soccer League (1968, 1970, 1971, 1974, 1975, 1976, 1978)

  • 100 goals Award/ Japan Soccer League (1974)

  • 200 goals Award/ Japan Soccer League (1981)

 

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