The Best Strikers of All Time

Tuesday22 December 2020 | 5:30
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Here is a look at the list of the best strikers of all time.

The ultimate goal of every soccer game is to net goals! Football lovers want to watch the goals and those who excel in doing so are the strikers. Between them have been some of the best soccer players of all time. Due to their success, some of the bombers left an enduring mark on the fans' hearts. We will take a look at some of the best strikers ever in this section.

One of the most significant reasons for ranking players on this list is the goalscoring statistics, as netting goals have been their mission.

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However, some players did not net goals as many as others yet because of their superior technical skills and achievements, they have been considered as the best strikers of all time.

Inevitably, there would be omissions that may leave some fans raising their eyebrows. Therefore we invite you to share your thoughts in the comment section. Remembering the fact that the world of football has seen lots of iconic forwards, we have only included fifteen of the best ever.

The best strikers of all time

Here is a look at the list of the best strikers of all time.

Thierry Henry

  • Name in home country: Thierry Daniel Henry
  • Date of birth: Aug 17, 1977
  • Place of birth: Les Ulis France
  • Age: 43
  • Height: 1,88 m
  • Citizenship: France
  • Position: attack - Centre-Forward
  • Foot: both
  • Current club: Retired

The greatest player ever to appear in the Premier League is now included in this list as one of the greatest strikers of all time. Thierry Henry was a superhuman during his prime and was a disaster for any defender because of his explosive acceleration and dribbling skills.

In France's football history, Henry netted the highest number of goals and is regarded as one of the most prolific scorers throughout the entire existence of the sport and one of the best strikers ever. He has a place of honor in Arsenal supporters' minds for what he did for the club. "El Doctor" is the Gunners' all-time top scorer with 228 goals.

He received a record 4 times the Premier League Golden Boot, captured two FA Cups and two Premier League championships with the club, including the famous "Invincibles" during an undefeated campaign in 2004.

He played his final two years as club skipper, helping them to reach the UEFA Champions League Final in 2006. He left Arsenal to join Barcelona in 2007 where he won La Liga, the Copa del Rey, and the UEFA Champions League. Henry was a crucial member of the historic treble winners and is fairly one of the best strikers of all time.

Sandor Kocsis

  • Name in home country: Kocsis Sandor Peter
  • Date of birth: Sep 23, 1929
  • Place of birth: Budapest Hungary
  • Date of death: 22.07.1979 (†49)
  • Height: 1,77 m
  • Citizenship: Hungary
  • Position: attack - Centre-Forward
  • Foot: right

Sandor Kocsis is regarded as the best forward in the history of Eastern European soccer, and one of the strongest aerial goal scorers of all time. He was the greatest forward in the world during the early 1950s. Kocsis is widely known as one of the best strikers of all time.

He was a perfect striker, a wonderful goalscorer who was excellent at the positioning. One of the famed Mighty Magyars members traveled to Spain after the 1956 Hungarian revolution, where he turned into a key figure of the Barcelona side. Playing primarily as a forward he could also play as a winger.

For both Budapest Honved and Hungary, Kocsis was a proven scorer. When playing for Honved, in both 1952 and 1954 seasons, he scored the highest number of goals in any European league. The striker netted 75 goals for Hungary in 68 matches, with a 1.10 goal per game ratio at the highest level of the sport.

In the 1954 World Cup, apart from proving himself as one of the best strikers ever, he was the leading goal scorer with 11 goals, becoming the first footballer to record two hat tricks in a World Cup. His eleven goals in the World Cup is second only to Just Fontaine, who scored thirteen goals.

Josef Bican

  • Date of birth: Sep 25, 1913
  • Place of birth: Wien Austria
  • Date of death: 12.12.2001 (88)
  • Height: 1,74 m
  • Citizenship: Czech Republic
  • Position: attack - Centre-Forward
  • Foot: right

Here is the most prolific goal scorer ever and one of the greatest strikers of all time, Josef Pepi Bican. It is calculated by RSSS that in all official matches, Bican netted about 800 goals, not counting friendly matches. Bican had a significant speed and was capable of running 100 meters in 10.8 seconds, and that was as fast as many distance runners at that point.

Bican had the potential to play on both feet. Bican was born in and then played for Austria up until the age of 24 ahead of playing for Czechoslovakia post World War II era. He scored the highest number of goals in the 1938 Mitropa Cup.

He set the all-time world record for the highest annual goal ratio of 2.5 in the league matches scoring fifty goals in twenty games in the 1939/1940 campaign. He scored eight goals in a single local league match and set a new record in Czechoslovakia history.

Up until his retirement at the age of 42, was yet a consistent goalscorer. In 1998, he was given a "Medal of Honor" by IFFHS for being one of the most prolific top-flight goalscorers ever in the world. Two years later, IFFHS granted Bican the "Golden Ball" as the 20th Century's best goalscorer.

The attacker is the all-time leading scorer of Slavia Praha netting 534 goals in 291 official games. He was a key figure of the Austrian Wunderteam and was the top scorer across all of Europe 5 times. Bican is regarded as one of the best strikers of all time.


  • Full name: Romario de Souza Faria
  • Date of birth: Jan 29, 1966
  • Place of birth: Rio de Janeiro Brazil
  • Age: 54
  • Height: 1,69 m
  • Citizenship: Brazil
  • Position: attack - Centre-Forward
  • Foot: both
  • Current club: Retired

The best footballer in the world in the mid-90s, Romario de Souza Fari is considered as one of the best strikers of all time. During his career, counting all games, he netted more than 1,000 goals. "Baixinho" possessed excellent firing and moving the ball with high dribbling skills.

Although Romario was often blamed during matches for sudden disappearing yet he would instead emerge from nowhere and score goals. He would let the action flow till it was his moment to hit.

The attacker played for Barcelona from 1993 to 1995 and went back to play in Brazil for the remainder of his life. In the late 1980s, Romario ranked twice in the Top 10 World Soccer Player of the Year.

Scoring seventy goals for Vasco da Gama in 2000, he set a record for the highest number of goals in a single campaign in the history of the Brazilian football league. Behind Josef Bican, Romario scored the highest number of goals throughout the entire existence of football and is known as one of the top strikers of all time in the same way.


  • Full name: Eusebio da Silva Ferreira
  • Date of birth: Jan 25, 1942
  • Place of birth: Maputo Mozambique
  • Date of death: 05.01.2014 (71)
  • Height: 1,77 m
  • Citizenship: Portugal
  • Position: attack - Centre-Forward
  • Foot: right

While he appeared in several clubs during his football, Eusebio had his prime with Benfica, netting 473 goals in 450 matches.

In 1962, the Eusebio won the European Cup and helped Portugal to place third in the World Cup as well. but Ballon d'Or was awarded three years later, in 1965, and he finally received the prestigious trophy.

"Black Panther" has an outstanding spot in history for becoming the first footballer to score 42 league goals to win the European Golden Shoe in 1968 and turned into one of the best strikers of all time. His name also features in football analysts' and supporters' greatest footballer ever lists. He was voted the ninth-greatest soccer player of the 20th century by IFFHS and the tenth-greatest soccer player of the 20th century by World Soccer magazine.

In his 2004 FIFA 100 ranking, Pele named "the Black Pearl" as one of the 125 greatest living soccer players. Eusebio was 7th in the UEFA Golden Jubilee Poll as well. In 2003, he was named Portugal's most valuable footballer of the past 50 years and is deservedly included in the rundown of the top strikers of all time.

Alfredo Di Stefano

  • Name in home country: Alfredo Di Stefano Laulhe
  • Date of birth: Jul 4, 1926
  • Place of birth: Buenos Aires Argentina
  • Date of death: 07.07.2014 (88)
  • Height: 1.78 m
  • Citizenship: Spain
  • Position: attack - Second Striker

Most of legendary Ferenc Puskas' tenure in Madrid combined with another outstanding goal machine, Alfredo Di Stefano. During his time with River Plate, Huracan, and Millonarios, "The Blond Arrow" netted an impressive number of goals in South America enough to make a name for himself as one of the best football strikers of all time.

In 1953, eventually moving to Europe, he began his brilliant goalscoring record by racking up 308 goals in the iconic white shirt of Los Blancos in 396 official games. Di Stefano is also considered one of the greatest players in the history of Real Madrid.

In 1957 and 1959, Di Stefano won the Ballon d'Or as the European Footballer of the Year. The sixth-highest goalscorer in the history of Spain, and the third-highest league goal scorer ever for Los Blancos, is also Madrid's top goal scorer throughout the entire existence of El Clasico with 18 goals.

Cristiano Ronaldo

  • Full name: Cristiano Ronaldo dos Santos Aveiro
  • Date of birth: Feb 5, 1985
  • Place of birth: Funchal Portugal
  • Age: 35
  • Height: 1,87 m
  • Citizenship: Portugal
  • Position: attack - Left Winger
  • Foot: both
  • Current club: Juventus FC

The living legend, Cristiano Ronaldo appeared to win everything possible, capturing the historic treble of UEFA Champions League, Premier League, and FA Cup with Manchester United where he won his first Ballon d'Or. However, in order to improve his performance and to extend his championship collection, he left the Red Devils to join Real Madrid.

Ronaldo has received five Ballon d'Or trophies and four European Golden Shoes, as records for a European player, and is considered one of the world's greatest footballers and one of the best football strikers of all time. In his career, Ronaldo has won 30 major titles, namely 7 trophies in the League, five UEFA Champions Leagues, one UEFA European Championship, and one UEFA Nations League trophy. The striker also holds the records for the most goals and assists in the history of UCL.

Lionel Messi

  • Name in home country: Lionel Andres Messi Cuccitini
  • Date of birth: Jun 24, 1987
  • Place of birth: Rosario Argentina
  • Age: 33
  • Height: 1,70 m
  • Citizenship: Argentina Argentina
  • Position: attack - Right Winger
  • Foot: left
  • Current club: FC Barcelona

Another modern-day goat and living legend, Lionel Andres Messi has received a record six Ballon d'Or awards and a record six European Golden Shoes. The Argentinian genius is often regarded as the greatest footballer in the world and one of the best soccer strikers of all time.

The true one-club-man has won 33 club-record titles, namely 10 La Liga championships, four UEFA Champions League trophies, and 6 Copas del Rey. The successful scorer and brilliant playmaker holds the scoring and assist record in La Liga with 450 and 183, he has netted over 700 goals for the club and country and is known as one of the best strikers in football history.

Marco van Basten

  • Name in home country: Marcel Marco van Basten
  • Date of birth: Oct 31, 1964
  • Place of birth: Utrecht Netherlands
  • Age: 56
  • Height: 1,86 m
  • Citizenship: Netherlands
  • Position: attack - Centre-Forward
  • Foot: right
  • Current club: Retired

"The Swan of Utrecht", Marco Van Basten was the best forward in the world in his prime, one of the best strikers throughout the entire existence of Serie A, and one of the best strikers in football history. The two-footed player was fast on the turn and outstanding in the air. The Dutch striker netted magnificent goals at the club and international level.

He is remembered fondly because of his winning goal in the final of Euro 1988. He scored from an almost unlikely point. His absolute class was seen by the pure forcefulness and technique in the attack. In spite of playing at the highest level ever in the league against the world's greatest defenders, thanks to his qualities, Van Basten was quite successful in his career with AC Milan.

Then again, in the World Cup competition, Van Basten struggled to prove his class. In the 1992 UEFA Euro, he performed astonishingly yet struggled to net more goals. At 29, he suffered a serious injury and planned to retire over the next two seasons.

He was ranked fourth by the UEFA Jubilee voting. The attacker was named fifth in 1991 as the FIFA World Player of the Year and was identified by France Football, World Soccer, and IFFHS as the 8th, 9th, and 12th best soccer player of the century.

Ferenc Puskas

  • Name in home country: Puskas Ferenc
  • Date of birth: Apr 2, 1927
  • Place of birth: Budapest Hungary
  • Date of death: 17.11.2006 (79)
  • Citizenship: Hungary
  • Position: attack - Centre-Forward

Scoring 87 goals for Hungary in 85 matches, Ferenc Puskas is one of the few footballers who scored more than one goal per game during his career and one of the best soccer strikers of all time. His powerful shots were true rockets, that strong and quick that Puskas was called Canoncito Pum (Cannon) during his tenure in Spain.

While several sources claim that in his career the striker has netted over 1000 goals, standard versions just lift the number to 710, yet that's an amazing record.

FIFA has been rewarding the "most beautiful goal of the year" after his name since 2009, with the Puskas Prize. On four different occasions, Ferenc Puskas was the leading scorer in the Hungarian League and he was the top goal scorer in Europe in 1948.

He was also a key figure and captain of the Hungarian national team during the 1950s. Following his emigration to Spain in 1958 he started playing for Los Blancos. He won 4 Pichichis and netted 7 goals in two European Champions Cup finals.

Johan Cruyff

  • Name in home country: Hendrik Johannes Cruyff
  • Date of birth: Apr 25, 1947
  • Place of birth: Amsterdam Netherlands
  • Date of death: 24.03.2016 (68)
  • Citizenship: Netherlands
  • Position: midfield - Attacking Midfield

As a football legend, Cruyff changed football in the course of defining the game's modern renaissance. He made a name for himself as a brilliant European striker at Ajax Amsterdam between 1964 and 1973. Ajax won three consecutive European Cups from 1971 to 1973 and the presence of Cruyff played an important role in this accomplishment.

Cruijffie is the recipient of three Ballon d'Ors too. In 1999, in a poll conducted by IFFHS, Cruyff was elected European Player of the Century and ranked second behind Pele in the World Player of the Century.

The striker is regarded as one of the most important players in the history of football. His playing style and soccer philosophy inspired managers and players in the same way. Cruyff was a supporter of the theory of Total Football and is generally remembered as one of the best football strikers ever.


  • Full name: Ronaldo Luís Nazário de Lima
  • Date of birth: Sep 22, 1976
  • Place of birth: Rio de Janeiro Brazil
  • Age: 44
  • Height: 1,83 m
  • Citizenship: Brazil
  • Position: attack - Centre-Forward
  • Foot: both
  • Current club: Retired

Ronaldo Nazario is widely considered one of the greatest football players of all time. Not to be confused with Cristiano Ronaldo, the Brazilian Ronaldo Luis Nazario De Lima is commonly known as “The Phenomenon”. He was a multi-functional striker who had a gifted talent in controlling the ball and dribbling and a great sense of scoring.

Playing with the help of his muscular body, defenders had to be so jammy to hold him back. Ronaldo at 20 years of age in 1996 won the FIFA World Player of the year and this made him the youngest recipient of the award.

Unfortunately for two years, he was out of the world of football because of a series of knee injuries. Surprisingly He bounced back from a disappointing injury and led brazil in the 2002 world cup to win the trophy and became an unstoppable scorer with 12 goals that was his best performance as he never found his best form again.

Real Madrid signed a new contract with Ronaldo and he transferred to this great club but he never could win UEFA Champion League. After his brilliant shows during 6 seasons in La Liga, he was nominated 23 times for the ESM team of the month, twice for the team of the year and is known as one of the best football strikers ever.

Gerd Muller

  • Name in home country: Lothar Herbert Matthaus
  • Date of birth: Mar 21, 1961
  • Place of birth: Erlangen Germany
  • Age: 59
  • Height: 1,74 m
  • Citizenship: Germany
  • Position: Midfielder - Defensive Midfield
  • Foot: right

Gerd Muller is one of the best goal scorers throughout the entire existence of the sport. In the early 1970s, he was one of the greatest center-forwards in the world. Stunningly fast and capable of fire strong shots, for opposition goalies, "Der Bomber" was a disaster. He could score goals from nowhere.

He was short, but the player had devastating acceleration, a brilliant aerial play, and incredible finishing. His short stature gave him an exceptionally low center of gravity, and thus he could turn in spaces at high speed and defeat defenders easily. Gerd Muller netted more than 1.00 goal per match on average over 7 campaigns.

In the 1970 World Cup qualifying round in the UEFA region and the 1972 UEFA Euro qualification, The striker was a leading scorer. He was German forward of the year 6 times, as per the German footballer of the year election, and was included 5 times in the Bundesliga XI of the campaign.

In major competitions, Muller completely scored 56 Hattricks, 7 of which scored at the international level for West Germany. In France Football, IFFHS, and World Soccer, Gerd Muller was ranked 10th, 13th, and 15th player of all time. "Bomber der Nation" was later appointed the 5th greatest footballer in the history of the World Cup.

Diego Maradona

  • Name in home country: Diego Armando Maradona
  • Date of birth: Oct 30, 1960
  • Place of birth: Lanús Argentina
  • Date of death: 25.11.2020 (60)
  • Height: 1,67 m
  • Citizenship: Argentina
  • Position: midfield - Attacking Midfield
  • Foot: left

We are including him in this rundown while the world mourns the death of one of the best footballers of all time.

Few if any, equal his speed, dribbling abilities, and uncontrollability. He turned Napoli into a European powerhouse almost one-handedness. At the club level, he won the Argentine League championship, two Serie A trophies, the Spanish Cup, the Italian Cup, and the UEFA Cup. In the 1986 World Cup, with the notorious "Hand of God" and "Goal of the Century" he helped Argentina to win the title.

He capped 91 times and scored 34 international goals. While Maradona claimed over 50 percent of the votes in an internet poll administered by FIFA to recognize the Player of the Century, a FIFA jury agreed that he should share the award with Pele.

The awareness, positioning, ball handling, and dribbling abilities of Maradona were coupled with his small size, which gave him a low center of gravity that allowed him to move faster than most other footballers.

His appearance and performance on the pitch had a great influence on the overall success of his side. "The Golden Boy" had an eye for goal along with his creative talents and was considered to be a free-kick master.


  • Full name: Edson Arantes do Nascimento
  • Date of birth: Oct 23, 1940
  • Place of birth: Tres Coracoes Brazil
  • Age: 80
  • Height: 1,76 m
  • Citizenship: Brazil
  • Position: attack - Centre-Forward
  • Foot: both
  • Current club: Retired

The King of Football continued his empire in the world of football from the first time he used his boots until the end of his football career.

He spent much of his career playing for Santos where he won the silverware almost every year. He is the only footballer who won three medals in the world cup and played a major role, notably in the world Cups of 1958 and 1970. He capped 92 times and netted 77 goals. In the 1363 matches, his 1281 goals were the highest number counted by FIFA.

The panel of FIFA awarded him the player of the century trophy along with Maradona. There is no question that the biggest striker throughout the history of football is Pele. In 1999, Pele was voted Athlete of the Century and was named one of the 100 most influential people of the 20th century.

All along his career, "Dico" was skilled at hitting the ball with both feet, scoring indeed a goal per match along with predicting the movements of his opponents on the pitch.

He could play as a playmaker while primarily as a striker, supplying passes with his awareness and passing skills, and he was able to use feints to go past defenders. In Brazil, he is considered a national hero for his achievements in football.

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source: SportMob
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