Best Portuguese Forwards of All Time

Thu 29 July 2021 | 4:30

Wondering which Portuguese footballers have delivered the best performance on the front side of the field? Our article on the Best Portuguese Forwards of All Time gives you a comprehensive list of these legends and a brief description of each.

Since 1921, the Portugal national football team has competed in international men's football competitions. The Portuguese Football Federation, the country's governing body for football, is in charge of it.

Portugal is known as the Selecao das Quinas (a synecdoche based on the country's flag) and has significant rivalries with Brazil, with whom they share many cultural relations, and Spain – known in Portuguese as A Guerra Iberica or The Iberian War in English, with the rivalry between the two countries dating back to 1581.

The team's home stadium is the Estadio Nacional in Oeiras, but they play most of their home games in other stadiums throughout the nation.

Fernando Santos is the team's new head coach, and Cristiano Ronaldo is the captain, as well as the team's all-time leader in caps and goals. Also, if you're looking for more content in this particular area, you can have a look at this writing:

Best Portuguese Defenders of All Time


Best Portuguese Forwards of All Time You Want to Know About

Not an easy job to come up with a list of the bests from a nation well-supplied with globally recognized footballers.

However, we at Sportmob believe that the players listed in this article are the best Portuguese Forwards in the history of the nation.

Joao Manuel Vieira Pinto

Joo Manuel Vieira Pinto CvIH (born August 19, 1971) is a retired Portuguese footballer who primarily played as a forward. He is one of the

Best Portuguese Forwards of All Time.

He made his name mainly at the domestic level and as a major player in the Portuguese national team's "Golden Generation," accumulating 152 caps and scoring 47 goals across all categories (81/23 for the senior team alone) while also representing the country in one World Cup and two European Championships.

Pinto began his club career with


but was mostly affiliated with two of the country's most prestigious clubs, Benfica and Sporting, with whom he won one Primeira Liga each for a total of six major titles.

The retired professional appeared in 450 games and scored 112 goals in 19 top-division seasons, proving himself as one of the Highest Rated Portuguese Forwards.

He had two children from his first marriage to Carla Baia while he was still in his teens.

Tiago, the elder, began his professional career with C.D. Olivais e Moscavide and married television host Marisa Cruz in 2008, but the pair divorced five years later.

Sergio, Pinto's younger brother, was also a footballer who spent almost all of his career in Portugal's lower leagues and one year in England.

Jose Torres

Jose Augusto Costa Senica Torres OM was a Portuguese football center forward and coach who lived from September 8, 1938, to September 3, 2010.

O Bom Gigante (The Kind Giant) spent the majority of his 21-year senior career at


, where he had tremendous individual and team success (13 major titles).

He played in two World Cups with Portugal, one as a player and the other as a manager, apart from by 20 years. He is indeed one of the Best Portuguese Forwards of All Time.

The Portuguese footballer played 33 times for Portugal, scoring 14 goals in the process. On January 23, 1963, he made his debut in a 0–1 defeat to Bulgaria in a third-game replay for the 1964 European Nations' Cup qualification.

He was chosen for the 1966 FIFA World Cup in England – along with Augusto, Coluna, Eusebio, and Simoes – and appeared in all of the matches, scoring three goals, including the 2–1 victory over the Soviet Union in the third-place playoff, with his key asset, a header.

Torres' final match was a 2–2 draw against Bulgaria in the 1974 World Cup qualifiers on October 13, 1973. (at the age of 35). It would also be the last international appearance for the longtime club and national teammates Eusebio and Simoes.

The center forward was appointed national team manager after leaving Varzim at the age of 46. Portugal needed a victory in the final match of the 1986 World Cup qualifiers in West Germany to qualify.

He said "Please allow me to dream" before the game in Stuttgart, and his team won 1–0 thanks to a Carlos Manuel goal; however, the Saltillo Affair marred the finals in Mexico, and Portugal was eliminated after the first round.

Fernando Gomes

Fernando Mendes Soares Gomes (born November 22, 1956) is a retired Portuguese professional football striker.

During the late 1970s and 1980s, he had great success with Porto. He also played for Sporting in the Primeira Liga and spent two years in Spain with Sporting de Gijon.

Gomes was a member of

Portugal's national team

 nearly 50 times, appearing in one World Cup and one European Championship.

The Portuguese striker finished his career with 404 games and 318 goals in the Portuguese League.

After winning two European Golden Boot awards in 1983 and 1985, he was given the nickname "Bi-bota." He is one of the Best Portuguese Forwards of All Time.

For more than two decades, he was the best goalscorer in the national domain behind only S.L. Benfica's Nene, and he later returned to Porto, becoming an ambassador for the club.

From March 9, 1975, to November 16, 1988, Gomes scored 13 goals in 47 games for the Portugal national team.

In the 1990 FIFA World Cup qualifiers, he made his final appearance against Luxembourg, scoring the game's only goal at the Estadio do Bessa.

The brilliant footballer was a member of the squads at both the UEFA Euro 1984 and the 1986 World Cups and was one of the few players who did not defect from the national team after the latter event (following the notorious Saltillo Affair), ending his international career two years later as one of the

Highest Rated Portuguese Forwards.

Nuno Gomes

Nuno Miguel Soares Pereira Ribeiro OIH (born 5 July 1976) is a retired professional footballer from Portugal who played as a striker.

He was given the nickname Gomes as a child after Fernando Gomes, and was regarded as one of Portugal's most recognizable attacking players throughout the 1990s and 2000s;

Nuno frequently scored for both club and country and was also capable of being a good link-up player, acquiring a number of assists during his career, which was spent primarily with Benfica, for whom he netted 166 goals in 39 appearances.

Gomes has played in two World Cups and three European Championships for Portugal. He won 79 senior caps and helped the national team finish second at Euro 2004 and third at Euro 2000.

The great striker played for Portugal at every level, winning 143 caps in all categories and scoring at a high pace.

He scored four goals in as many games for the under-20s in the 1995 FIFA World Youth Championship, including two in the third-place game against


; the following year, he competed in the 1996 Summer Olympics, leading them to a fourth-place finish.

Nuno, 35, substituted Helder Postiga in the final minute of a 5–3 home victory over Iceland for the Euro 2012 qualifiers on October 7, 2011, after more than two years out of international play.

He made his final full appearance four days later against Denmark; due to limited playing time for his club in 2011–12, he was left out of Paulo Bento's squad for the finals in Poland and Ukraine.

Rui Jordao

Rui Manuel Trindade Jordao was a Portuguese footballer who played from 1952 to 2019 and was one of the Highest Rated Portuguese Forwards.

Benfica and


were two of the country's biggest clubs during his professional career. He was one of the most prominent strikers in Portuguese football history, winning the Silver Ball award twice, once for each club.

Jordao was a 17-year member of the Portugal national team, featuring in Euro 1984.

He was born in Benguela, Portuguese Angola, and moved to S.L. Benfica in his youth, making his professional debut in 1971–72.

In his first season, he appeared in 18 games and scored seven goals; in his second, he appeared in fewer games but still scored five goals as the club won back-to-back Primeira Liga titles, losing just one match in the process.

One of the best forward at the time, he earned his first of 43 caps for Portugal against Cyprus in the 1974 FIFA World Cup qualifiers in early 1972. In the same year, he was selected for the Brazilian Independence Cup team that lost 0–1 to hosts Brazil.

Rui produced the game-winning goal as Portugal defeated the Soviet Union 1–0 in Lisbon on November 13, 1983, to qualify for UEFA Euro 1984.

The professional player is considered one of the Best Portuguese Forwards of All Time.


Sebastiao Lucas da Fonseca (26 July 1927 – 27 January 2000), also known as Matateu, was a striker for the Portuguese national team.

His professional life, which spanned more than two decades, was associated with


. During his time with the club, he captured the Bola de Prata twice and scored 219 goals in 291 games in the Primeira Liga, earning him the nickname "The World's Eighth Wonder." He is so far one of the Best Portuguese Forwards of All Time.

Matateu was Belenenses' most-capped player in Portugal national team history.

He retired from professional football in his late 40s, after spending many years in Canada with the First Portuguese Canadian Cultural Centre in the National Soccer League.

In 1971, he moved to Victoria, British Columbia, to represent Latino in the Vancouver Island Soccer League; he was instrumental in the formation of Sagres Victoria.

The international striker appeared in 27 games for Portugal, scoring 13 goals. His last game was against Yugoslavia on 22 May 1960 for the 1960 European Nations' Cup (1–5 away defeat, he scored in the first leg, a 2–1 win), aged 32, after making his debut on 23 November 1952 in a friendly against Austria in Porto.

Despite being selected for the final 1962 FIFA World Cup qualifiers (where Eusebio made his debut), The Portuguese never played internationally with his compatriot Eusebio and was left out of the squads for the matches against Luxembourg and England.

Jose Aguas

Jose Pinto de Carvalho Santos Aguas (9 November 1930 – 10 December 2000) was a striker who played for the Portuguese national team and was one of the Best Portuguese Forwards of All Time.

He spent his entire professional career with Benfica, scoring at least 18 goals in each of his 13 first-division seasons. Aguas earned the nickname "Cabeca de Ouro" ("Golden Head") for his header abilities.

Born into a white colonial family in Luanda, Portuguese Angola, Aguas began his football career with local team Lusitano do Lobito before joining S.L. Benfica in 1950, where he became a legend.

He won the

Primeira Liga

five times (1955, 1957, 1960, 1961, and 1963) and the domestic cup seven times with Benfica, as well as being named the national league's top scorer five times.

In the years leading up to Eusebio's explosion, The Benfica goalscorer was a key figure in the club's back-to-back European Cup victories, scoring the game's first goal on both occasions and serving as captain; he failed to complete a hat-trick of victories in the competition after a 1–2 defeat to A.C. Milan in the 1963 final (he did not play).

After leaving Benfica, Aguas, who was 33 at the time, spent one more season with FK Austria Wien before retiring the following year. He died in Lisbon, at the age of 70.

Pedro Pauleta

Pedro Miguel Carreiro Resendes, ComM, OIH (born 28 April 1973), better known by his nickname Pauleta, is a retired Portuguese striker.

He never appeared in the Primeira Liga in his 18 years as a senior, spending 12 of those seasons in Spain and France. His most productive period was with

Paris Saint-Germain

, where he scored 109 goals in all competitions.

Pedro was named Ligue 1's top goalscorer three times and twice as the division's player of the season. He is definitely one of the Best Portuguese Forwards of All Time.

He also set a national record by scoring 47 goals in 88 games for Portugal at the time of his retirement. He competed in two World Cups and two European Championships for his nation.

The striker signed a three-year contract with Paris Saint-Germain F.C. ahead of the 2003–04 season, for a record €12 million transfer fee.

The PSG brilliant player scored the only goal in the 2004 French Cup final against LB Chateauroux to help the capital side to their first silverware in six years, and he continued his goal-scoring exploits in the league, scoring 18 times in 37 games as they finished second.

When Pauleta made his international debut against Armenia in August 1997, he was the first player in the Portuguese national team who had never played at the highest level in Portugal.

After Portugal's loss to Germany in the third-place play-off during the 2006 World Cup qualifying campaign, he announced his retirement from international football.

Fernando Peyroteo

Fernando Baptista de Seixas Peyroteo de Vasconcelos (March 10, 1918 – November 28, 1978) was a striker for the Portuguese national team and one of the

Portuguese greatest Forwards.

He spent his entire professional career with Sporting, scoring 544 goals in all competitions, winning 11 major titles, and six times being named top scorer in his country.

Peyroteo arrived at Sporting CP on June 26, 1937, from Humpata, Huila Province, Portuguese Angola.

The great striker with a record of 544 goals became part of the club's attacking line, which included Albano, Jesus Correia, Jose Travassos, and Manuel Vasques, and was nicknamed the Cinco Violinos (Five Violins), scoring 57 goals in just 30 games in his first season to win both the Lisbon Championship and the Taca de Portugal, which was then known as the Portuguese Championship.

He claimed five Primeira Liga titles, five domestic cups, and the first edition of Candido de Oliveira Supertaca at the new Estadio Nacional, scoring twice in the latter tournament to help S.L. Benfica win 3–2 in extra time.

The footballer was without a doubt one of the Best Portuguese Forwards of All Time.

Good news for Portugal fans, we have also compiled a list about the all-time bests: 

Best Portuguese Players of All Time


Eusebio da Silva Ferreira GCIH GCM (25 January 1942 – 5 January 2014) was a Portuguese striker who was born in Mozambique. Many people regard Eusebio as one of the greatest footballers of all time.

He scored 733 goals in 745 games during his professional career (41 goals in 64 matches for Portugal). He was known as the Black Panther, the Black Pearl, or o Rei (the King) for his pace, technique, athleticism, and vicious right-footed shot, which helped him become a prolific goalscorer.

Ferreira is regarded as the greatest player in the history of S.L. Benfica, as well as one of the

Best Portuguese Forwards of All Time

and one of the first world-class African-born players.

Eusebio was the top goalscorer in the 1966 World Cup, scoring nine goals (four in one match against North Korea) and receiving the Bronze Ball award.

In 1965, he received the Ballon d'Or award for European footballer of the year, and in 1962 and 1966, he was runner-up.

In November 2003, he was named the Golden Player of Portugal by the Portuguese Football Federation as their most outstanding player of the previous 50 years to commemorate UEFA's Jubilee.

The black panther has been referred to as "Africa's first great footballer" and "Africa's greatest ever player." He is also unquestionably one of the Portuguese greatest Forwards.

In 1976–77 and 1977–78, Eusebio played for two smaller Portuguese clubs too, 


, in the first division, and Uniao de Tomar, in the Second Division.

Cristiano Ronaldo

Cristiano Ronaldo dos Santos Aveiro GOIH ComM (born 5 February 1985) is a Portuguese professional footballer who captains the Portugal national team and plays as a forward for Serie A club Juventus.

He is as you know, one of the Portuguese greatest Forwards.

Ronaldo has won five Ballon d'Or awards and four European Golden Shoes, both of which are records for a European player. He is largely viewed as the best player in the world and universally recognized as one of the greatest players of all time.

In his professional career, Cristiano has won 31 major trophies, including seven league titles, five UEFA Champions Leagues, one UEFA European Championship, and one UEFA Nations League.

The great Portuguese holds the UEFA Champions League records for most goals (134) and assists (40) in the competition's history. He is one of the few players in history to appear in over 1,000 professional games and score over 770 official senior career goals for club and country.

He's also the second man in history to score 100 international goals, and the first European to do so.

The current Juventus forward was named the world's highest-paid athlete by Forbes in 2016 and 2017 and the world's most famous athlete by ESPN from 2016 to 2019.

He is one of the most marketable and well-known athletes in the world. In 2014, he was named to Time's list of the world's 100 most influential people.

Ronaldo is the first footballer and only the third sportsman in history to earn $1 billion in their career.

By netting even more, he is now tied with Ali Daei with 109 national goals and the modern legend is by definition one of the very

best Portuguese Forwards of All Time.

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