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The Vita of the 27 Top Goal Scorers in Soccer History

The Vita of the 27 Top Goal Scorers in Soccer History

The top scorer in football history scored 805 goals. That's true. Neither CR7 nor Lionel Messi is in the top 3, although they both made it into the elite club of players who scored more than 500 goals in official matches. Many of the best top scorers in football history are less well known because their careers are several decades ago. There are others everyone knows.

But no matter whether young or old, current scorer or goal scorer from past times, their stories are interesting and worth telling. Discriminated, disadvantaged, revered or loved. This is the Vita of the 27 top goal scorers of recent football history. Some life stories ended more than tragic, some players died much too early. Others became heroes and remained in the collective football memory of the masses. We tell the stories one after the other in the form of short videos and in the form of somewhat longer texts and historical pictures. We start at a 27th place and work our way up to the top 3. In the end, we solve the riddle of the best scorer in football history. His goal quotient is unmatched and so is his performance.

Because there are different ways of counting, we show the table with the players from the Elite Club of +500 after the ranking. And we publish the links to the statistics so that those who are interested in the topic can have a look at the different rankings with different counting methods of the two statistical guardians of international football.

Because depending on which matches you count and which you don't, different results come out and then other players are at the top. For instance, the discriminated Brazilian or Polish German in the turmoil of the Second World War. And since there are also active players in the ranking, the table positions of these players do not quite match the current values. Our ranking is based on the figures from December 31, 2018.Ferenc Bene (* December 17, 1944, in Balatonújlak; † February 27, 2006, in Budapest) was a Hungarian national football player. He had his best time in the late 60s of the 20th century.

He began his career at the age of 17 at Újpest Dózsa in Budapest. He played for the club for 17 years. Between 1961 and 1978 he scored 303 goals in 417 league matches for the club. During this time he won the Hungarian Championship in 8 matches with the club – from 1969 to 1974/75 7 times in a row and 3 times with the Hungarian Cup in 1969, 1970, 1974/75.

In the 1968/69 season, he and Újpest made it to the semi-finals of the fair trophy (the forerunner of the UEFA CUps, the forerunner of the Euro-League) after winning against Aris Saloniki, Legia Warsaw, Leeds United and Göztepe Izmir in the semi-finals against Újpest, who lost 2-3 to Newcastle United. Teammates Antal Dunai (10 goals) and Bene (9 goals) were the top scorers in the trophy.

Újpest won all championships from 1969 to 1975, scored exactly 500 goals in the seven championships and reached the quarter-finals of the European Cup of Champions almost every year. In the 1973/74 season, the team even reached the semi-finals, where the later winner Bayern Munich stopped the triumph of the heirs of Nandor Hidegkuti and Ferenc Puskás. Bene became the national top scorer in 1962/63 (23), 1971/72 (29), 1972/73 (23) and 1974/75 with 20 goals. The attack formation Fazekas – Göröcs – Bene – Dunai II – Zámbó was famous and fascinated the fans beyond Hungary.James Peter “Jimmy” Greaves (* February 20, 1940, in East Ham) is one of the most famous English footballers of the late 50s and 60s of the 20th century.

Greaves almost always scored in his first game. So he scored in his first game in 1957 for Chelsea FC. He finished the years 1959 and 1961 as the best scorer in the Premier League. His 41 goals in the 1960/61 season are still Chelsea club record. Greaves was the youngest player of all time in 1960, scoring 100 goals at the age of 20 and 290 days. He joined AC Milan in 1961 and scored 9 goals in 12 games. Difficulties settling in outside the pitch led to a quick end in Milan, whereupon Bill Nicholson signed him up for Tottenham Hotspur for £99,999. Greaves was to be relieved of the pressure of the first “100,000 pound player”, so it remained 1 pound under the then magical mark.

Greaves played for the Spurs between 1961 and 1970 and scored 266 goals in 379 games (including 220 in the first division) of the club record. He finished the seasons 1963, 1964, 1965 and 1969 as the best scorer of the league. Top scorer of the league in 6 seasons is still today English record. Greaves won the FA Cup with the Spurs in 1962. He also won the 1963 European Cup Winners' Cup, scored two goals in a 5-1 win over Atlético Madrid and became the first British club to win a European title for Spurs. In the year 1970 Greaves moved to West Ham United. Again he scored in the first game, as for every other team he made his debut with (including the national team and the U-23 junior team), scoring 2 goals against Manchester City on March 21, 1970.

Two months later he took sixth place in the London-to-Mexico World Cup Rally with his co-driver Tony Fall. He retired from football at the age of 31 after 516 league matches and 357 goals. Greaves made a comeback at the age of 38 when he scored 25 goals in the Southern League for FC Barnet as a midfielder and was voted player of the season. Greaves first played for the English national football team in 1959 and subsequently scored a total of 57 international matches in which he scored 44 goals. He scored only 5 goals less than Bobby Charlton, his goal quota was significantly higher than that of Charlton. He is England's fourth-best scorer behind Wayne Rooney, Charlton, and Gary Lineker. On November 23, 1960, he scored England's 1000th international goal in the second minute of a 5-1 draw with Wales. Greaves was also a regular player during the 1966 World Cup before he injured his leg against France in the match and had to be replaced for the next match. Geoff Hurst, Greaves' substitute, scored the decisive goal in the quarter-finals against Argentina and kept his place until the final. There he scored 3 goals and became an English folk hero together with Wembley goal.Roberto Dinamite is actually called Carlos Roberto de Oliveira (* April 13, 1954, in Duque de Caxias, Rio de Janeiro) and is a Brazilian politician and former national soccer player.

As a footballer, he was one of Vasco da Gama's outstanding players and the club's most successful scorer.

He scored a total of 744 goals in 1022 matches of which 698 were for Vasco. Since 1995 he has had a seat in the parliament of the state of Rio de Janeiro. In 2008 he was elected president of Vasco da Gama.

His nickname “Dinamite” came in November 1971, when the then 17-year-old striker scored a fabulous goal in a match at the Maracanã Stadium. In the official count that we make the basis of the ranking, he scored 512 goals while unofficially there are significantly more goals.Gunnar Nordahl (* October 19, 1921, in Hörnefors; † September 15, 1995, in Alghero, Sardinia) was a Swedish footballer and later a successful coach. 

His career record is 513 goals. Nordahl, with 225 goals, also ranks third on the eternal Serie A scoring list and is the record scorer for AC Milan.

With this club, he won the championship 2 times in the 1950s and became top scorer 5 times in the highest Italian league.

In 1948 he won Olympic gold with the Swedish national team when gold at the Olympic Games in football counted even more than today.Hans Krankl also belongs to the elite club of the +500s applying the ranking of the Rec.Sport.Soccer Statistics Foundation.

Hans Krankl played 69 international matches for Austria from 1973 to 1985 and scored 34 goals. His goal record could only be broken by Toni Polster. He took part with Austria in the World Cup finals in 1978 and 1982. At the World Cup in Argentina, he was instrumental in Austria's legendary 3-2 victory over Germany with 2 goals. He initially ended his team career after the World Cup in 1982 and later returned twice (1983 and 1985). In club football, Hans Krankl celebrated numerous international successes. He started his career at KSV Tram in Vienna. In 1970, he spent half a season at SK Rapid in Vienna, where he hardly ever played. He returned to Rapid in 1972 after moving to Vienna AC, where he scored 27 goals in 26 games to attract attention as a goal scorer.

With the SK Rapid, he won the Austrian Cup in 1976 and became the league top scorer in 3 competitions. In 1978, he won the Golden Boot as the best goal scorer in Europe with 41 goals in the season. He was signed to FC Barcelona after the 1978 World Cup. In his first season for the Catalans, Krankl was Spanish top scorer with 29 championship goals. In the same season, he also won the European Cup Winners' Cup with Barça in the final against Fortuna Düsseldorf.

He scored 1 goal in the 4:3 victory. The Barca fans called him “Goleador”. Krankl played for Barcelona until 1981 and returned to Rapid in Vienna after a fierce dispute with coach Joaquim Rifé. In the following years he was able to celebrate most of his national successes with Rapid: 1982 and 1983 with Rapid the Austrian Championship, 1983 to 1985 cup winners three times in a row and 1985 with the green-whites sensational entry into the final of the European Cup Winners Cup, in which the Viennese lost despite a goal by Krankl to FC Everton with 1:3. Krankl last played for the Vienna Sports Club for two more years and for a short time for Kremser SC in 1988 and 1988 before ending his football career at SV Austria Salzburg in the 1988/1989 season.
Alfredo Stéfano Di Stéfano Laulhe (*4 July 1926 in Buenos Aires; † July 7, 2014, in Madrid) was the formative head of the Real Madrid team that dominated Europe in the late 1950s and early 1960s and founded the “Real myth”. Since 2000, di Stefano has been Honorary President of Real Madrid.

The striker has been named Europe's Footballer of the Year twice (1957 and 1959) and ranked 4th in FIFA's “Player of the Century” poll.

Di Stéfano's most successful period was during the 1950s and early 1960s. As head of the legendary “White Ballet”, di Stefano won the European Cup of National Champions 5 times in a row with Real. He won 14 national championships and became top scorer 10 times in various leagues and competitions. Di Stéfano was also successful as a coach in Argentina and Spain and led FC Valencia to the Spanish Championship and a European Cup victory. As coach of Real Madrid, the club legend was only able to take second places next to the Supercopa de España in 2 terms.

Di Stéfano died on July 7, 2014, at the age of 88 following a heart attack in a hospital in Madrid. At the 2014 FIFA World Cup, a minute's silence was paid in memory of him before the kick-off of the semi-final match between Argentina and the Netherlands, and Argentina played with a mourning pile.Zico is actually called Arthur Antunes Coimbra and was born on March 3, 1953, in Rio de Janeiro. 

He was called the “white Pelé” during his active career and was one of Brazil's most popular players in the 1970s and 1980s. Zico scored 66 goals in 88 international matches. He played for Flamengo in Rio de Janeiro from 1971 to 1983 and 1985 to 1989.

He was also under contract to Udinese Calcio in Italy. Like Pelé, he was number 10 in both the club and the national team, specializing in free kicks from 16 to 30 meters.

He is still considered to be one of the best free-kickers ever. Pelé put him on FIFA 100, a list of the best living footballers. The Seleção – generation led by Zico and Socrates, have had little international success, but are still considered one of the country's best national teams in Brazil because of their playing culture.The striker played for Újpest Budapest from 1936 to 1947 and scored 387 goals during that time. He is still third in the Hungarian league's eternal list of best players.

He became a professional in the Italian Serie A at AS Rome in 1947/48. He moved to Anconitana Ancona in 1949/50 and went to South America in 1951 to the Colombian club Deportivo Samarios. This is where he ended his career in 1952.

He took part in the 1938 Football World Cup in France for the Hungarian national football team. With his goals, he played a decisive role in the vice-world champion title of the Hungarians. The Magyars defeated Italy 2-4 in the final with scandalous circumstances.

Zsengellér came second in the scoring list with 6 goals behind Leônidas da Silva from Brazil. All in all, he scored 39 internationals and 32 goals.József Takács (*June 30, 1904 in Budapest; † September 3, 1983) was a Hungarian footballer. The goalscorer became the Hungarian top scorer 5 times and led Ferencváros to victory in the Mitropapokal, the forerunner of the European Cup in 1928.

József Takács played with Budapesti Vasas in the highest Hungarian league from 1917 to 1926. After attracting attention as the best scorer of the championship in 1926, a season later, József Takács moved to the Ferencvárosi Torna Club, one of the country's leading football clubs at the time. In his first year with the “green Eagles”, he won the Hungarian championship in 1928 and again became top scorer. He became known beyond Hungary through his appearances in the Mitropapokal.

József Takács reached the final with Ferencváros in 1928, where he met last year's finalist SK Rapid in Vienna. Hungary won the first leg in Budapest 7-1 with Takacs score 3 goals. The return leg in Vienna went to Rapid with 5:3, which was enough for Ferencváros to win the title. József Takács was the best scorer with 10 goals in the competition. The striker remained active with the green-whites until 1934, winning two more championships and three more top scorers. In 1932, Ferencváros scored 42 goals in one season and won all 22 championship games.

His goalscoring record in the national dress (26 goals in 32 matches) was also impressive. It is said that France's national goalkeeper Maurice Cottenet declared his resignation from the Tricolore team in 1927 because Takács had overcome him 6 times in a 13-1 win.Friedrich “Fritz” Walter (*October 31, 1920 in Kaiserslautern; † June 17, 2002 in Enkenbach-Alsenborn) is a German Football Icon.

 The national team won the World Cup in 1954 with him as captain. Walter remained loyal to FC Kaiserslautern for over 30 years at club level and won 2 German championships (1951 and 1953) as a player with the club.

He was honored many times for his footballing and social achievements and was the first player to be appointed an honorary captain of the national team in 1954. Fritz Walter died in Alsenborn in 2002, less than a year after the death of his long-time wife Italia.

In the quarter-finals of the 2002 FIFA World Cup against the United States national football team, the German players played in his honor with a mourning pile.

Hugo Sánchez Márquez (*July 11, 1958 in Mexico City) is considered one of the best Mexican Footballers. He was appointed to the Mexican junior selection at the age of 14 and began his club career in the junior section of the UNAM Pumas, the football club of the National Autonomous University of Mexico (Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México, UNAM for short).

In 1976, he joined the professional team, where he celebrated the first national championship title in the club's history just a year later. In 1980 and 1981, the university team from Mexico City won the CONCACAF Champions' Cup, in which the best teams from North and Central America compete against each other. In 1981, they also secured the Copa Interamericana by beating South American champions Nacional Montevideo to win the Mexican championship. Sánchez was a prominent goalscorer in these titles, making himself an attractive choice for top European teams. Sánchez left Mexico at the end of 1981 and moved to Spain to join Atlético Madrid. He scored 19 goals in 1985, but quickly moved to Real Madrid, causing great trouble for Atletico fans. In 7 years with Real Madrid, Sánchez celebrated the greatest successes of his career. Between 1986 and 1990, the striker secured the Spanish scoring title 4 times. He won the Spanish championship 5 times in a row (1986 to 1990), won the Copa del Rey twice (1985 and 1989) and won the UEFA Cup in 1986.

Sánchez was one of the best and most scoring strikers of the 1980s. He harmonized brilliantly with his partners Jorge Valdano and Emilio Butragueño. Despite his sporting successes, the Mexican was not uncontroversial in the Spanish capital because he showed a pronounced penchant for self-expression. Sánchez, whose repertoire often included hidden fouls and swallows, was only moderately popular with his opponents. After winning the Golden Boot as Europe's top scorer with 38 goals for Real in 1990, his career began to decline in 1991. At the beginning of the year, he suffered a serious knee injury and was unable to play for 12 months. When the health problems were solved, he was banned from the club for two months due to insubordination.

Sánchez and Real separated in 1992 and the Mexican returned home. There he joined the first division club ”Club América'. The 1.74 m tall star striker also got problems with his new club because of his escapades and returned to Spain in the summer of 1993 to join the Madrid suburban club ‘Rayo Vallecano', aged 35 in the meantime. At the age of 37, he moved to the Austrian second division club FC Linz in September 1995. His career came to an end in 1997 after a brief stint with Dallas Burn in Major League Soccer and Atlético Celaya.Franz “Bimbo” Binder (* December 1, 1911, in St. Pölten; † April 24, 1989, in Vienna) was an Austrian football player and coach.

Between 1930 and 1949 the striker won 6 Austrian and one Grand German championship titles with SK Rapid in Vienna and also won a cup in Austria and Germany.

Three times the Austrian and German national player became footballer of the year. His score of 421 goals in 347 compulsory and international matches (other than in our ranking) is regarded as outstanding and unrivaled.

In his subsequent career as a coach, he was able to record further successes with Rapid and the successes at 1860 Munich were manageable.James Edward “Jimmy” McGrory (*April 26, 1904 in Glasgow, Scotland; † October 20, 1982) is considered one of the best Celtic Glasgow players of all time.

He moved from St. Rochs to Celtic in 1922. Between 1922 and 1937 he was able to score 408 league goals (except all 13 goals for Clydebank for Celtic). He was top scorer of the first Scottish league in the 1926/27, 1927/28 and 1935/36 seasons. He won two championships (1925/26 and 1935/36) and won the national cup five times.

Between 1928 and 1933 he played 7 matches for the national team (all in the British Home Championship) and scored 6 goals. Scotland won the 1930/31 tournament. The decisive factor was the 2-0 victory over England (the direct competitor) in the last game, with McGrory scoring 1 goal.

He scored a total of 550 goals in his career in competitive games (a record for British football), of which 522 for Celtic. These two values are the best. McGrory is the leader of British football and Celtic Glasgow. After his career ended, he became coach at Kilmarnock and returned to his home club at Celtic Park in 1945. There, he was the head coach for 20 years. He won the league 1 time and the national cup 2 times.Eusébio da Silva Ferreira, or Eusébio for short (* January 5, 1942, or January 25, 1942, in Lourenço Marques, now Maputo, Mozambique; † January 5, 2014, in Lisbon), is Portugal's largest football hero alongside CR7.

He was called “Pantera Negra” (Black Panther) by the English journalist Desmond Hackett in allusion to his cat-like playing style.

He was one of the most dangerous strikers in the history of football and was named European Footballer of the Year in 1965. He finished 9th in the FIFA Player of the Century competition.

Eusébio did wear Lisbon's Benfica jersey for a total of 15 years and shaped the most successful era in the club's history (including 10 champions, 5 cup victories and 1 winner of the European Cup of Champions). Eusebio also records the best scorer in Benfica. At the 1966 World Cup, he was the outstanding player of the tournament. He was top scorer with nine goals, making a significant contribution to Portugal's third place.Ernst Otto Willimowski (sometimes also Ernst Wilimowski; Polish: Ernest Wilimowski) (*June 23, 1916 as Ernst Otto Prandella in Katowice, Upper Silesia, German Reich, today Poland; † August 30, 1997, in Karlsruhe) was an outstanding football player from Upper Silesia. He scored 554 official goals in his career, played 22 times for the Polish national football team and 8 times for the German national team. Ernst Willimowski is the only player to have scored both against Germany (2-5 in Warsaw on September 9, 1934) and for Germany (13 goals in 8 games). Willimowski began his football career in 1927 at the age of eleven with the 1st FC Katowice, the football club of the German minority of the city of Katowice, which has belonged to Poland since 1922.

After joining Ruch Wielkie Hajduki, he became Polish football champion at the age of 18 in 1934. He was able to repeat this in 1935, 1936 and 1938. In 86 games for Ruch Chorzów Willimowski scored 112 goals and became Polish top scorer in 1934 and 1936. On May 21, 1934, he made his debut in the Polish national team in Copenhagen against Denmark. He played 22 times for the Polish national team before the Second World War. His best game was the round of 16 at the 1938 World Cup in France, where he scored 4 goals in the 5-6 defeat to Brazil after extra time to become the first player to score 4 goals in a World Cup match. Willimowski signed the German People's List after the German occupation of Poland. In November 1939 Willimowski played for his new club, which had received his old name Bismarckhütter SV 99. He changed to his first club, 1 FC Katowice, after a single match. He left Katowice after four months to play for two years for the police sports club Chemnitz. In 1941/42 he played 8 international matches for the German national football team and scored 13 goals. He scored 4 goals in his 5-3 success against Switzerland on October 18, 1942. Willimowski joined TSV 1860 Munich in 1942.

He entered the finals of the Tschammer Cup, the predecessor of today's DFB Cup in the same year. He scored the 1-0 lead against FC Schalke 04 in the 80th minute, and in the end, it was 2-0 for Munich, who won their first national trophy. He scored a total of 14 goals in this competition and has set a new record to date. Willimowski had to join the Wehrmacht in the year 1942. In 1943 his division was transferred to the “General Government” before being transferred to Karlsruhe the following year. After 1945 Willimowski remained in Germany. A return to the Upper Silesian homeland was impossible, also because he was considered a traitor to the German national team in Poland because of his commitment as a former Polish national player and Upper Silesia now belonged to Poland. Willimowski had himself recruited in 1945/46, and later again, for a (failed) professional football club foundation in Kassel and played some games for a “wild” club called Kurhessen, then Rapid Kassel. Willimowski later became a sports teacher in Merseburg and played until about February 1948 for the SG Chemnitz-West with short “unofficial” side trips to the SG Babelsberg and Arolsen.

The now 32-year-old striker left the former East Zone in 1948, made a brief guest appearance at TSV Detmold and became a contract player with BC Augsburg at the start of the new season. After a suspension lasting several months, he moved to Racing Strasbourg in France in the summer of 1949, but there were problems in the non-sporting area after a friendly match and Willimowski was dismissed. From 1949/50 Willimowski's life calmed down. He became a player trainer at the Offenburger FV and worked in the upper league, most successfully at the VfR Kaiserslautern. He belongs to the small circle of footballers throughout Europe who have scored more than 200 first division goals in the course of their careers (in Poland and Germany, excluding the Gauliga). Willimowski is said to have scored at least 1,175 goals during his career, which does not count in the official statistics.Arthur Friedenreich, called Fried (*July 18, 1892 in São Paulo; † September 6, 1969) is considered one of the best football players of all time. Arthur Friedenreich grew up in the Luz district of São Paulo. His father, Oscar Friedenreich, was a merchant who was a son of a German immigrant from Dahme in Blumenau in southern Brazil. His mother Matilde was a black washerwoman. Fried” found his way to football at the age of ten through physical education lessons at Mackenzie College, a private high school in São Paulo.

His paternal ancestry gave Arthur Friedenreich access to football, which was also an upper-class sport in Brazil at the beginning. As a German-Brazilian, he was able to join SC Germânia, a club for German-born players in Sao Paulo, in 1909. There he was supported by Hermann Friese, one of the most important sportsmen in Brazil of his time.

His maternal lineage meant that Arthur Friedenreich, as a non-white, suffered from the racism that prevailed in Brazil at the beginning of the 20th century. Fouls on non-white players were not whistled by many referees. It is said that Friedenreich developed his legendary body deceptions to make it harder for his white opponents to stop him by foul play. To appear like a white man, he, like other Afro-Brazilian players, smoothed his curly hair. Sometimes he played with a hairnet. Arthur Friedenreich became a national hero and is regarded as the first Brazilian football star. Friedenreich was one of the players who played the first game for Brazil's national team in Rio de Janeiro on July 21, 1914. The opponent was the English club Exeter City FC and Brazil won 2-0. Friedenreich lost two teeth in the rough game.

In 1925, Friedenreich was the star of Athletico Paulistano's triumphant European tour, the first European tour of a Brazilian team. The French press named him “Roi des Rois du Football” (“King of the Kings of Football”). The Brazilians called him Pé de Ouro (“Gold Foot”) and the Uruguayans honored him after the final of the Campeonato Sudamericano in 1919 as El Tigre (“The Tiger”), a name that is still used. Thanks to his fatherly origins, Arthur Friedenreich was accepted into the Brazilian national football team in 1914. It was not until 1918 that black Brazilians could also become national players. In 1916 he took part in the first competition Campeonato Sudamericano, 3 years and 6 years later he won it with the Brazilian national team. In Argentina in 1921, Friedenreich and all other non-white national players were left out of the Campeonato Sudamericano. Brazil came second and the exclusion of the non-whites was lifted after protests. Friedenreich was not allowed to participate in the first World Cup in 1930, as players from São Paulo were suspended due to disputes between the Associação Paulista de Esportes Atléticos (APEA) and Liga de Amadores de Futebol (LAF). At the 1934 FIFA World Cup, he was 42 years old when he was too old. He played a total of 17 official A caps for Brazil, in which he scored 8 goals, and 6 unofficial matches, mostly against club teams, in which he scored 2 goals.

According to FIFA, Friedenreich scored 1,329 goals during his career (49 more than Pelé) – a different count from our ranking. That would make him the player who scored the most goals in his career. He would also have been the first player to cross the 1000 mark. In total, Friedenreich was top scorer 9 times in the São Paulo State Championship. In addition to the championship goals, there are other goals for the national team and for São Paulo's selection, as well as those in the then-popular tournaments such as the Taça Competência, the cup tournament of São Paulo, and the Torneio Rio-São Paulo. The top scorer of the Liga Paulista was Friedenreich for the following teams:

1912 AA Mackenzie College 12 Goals
1914 Club Athletico Paulistano 12 Goals
1917 CA Ypiranga 15 Goals
1918 Club Athletico Paulistano 25 Goals
1919 Club Athletico Paulistano 26 Goals
1921 Club Athletico Paulistano 33 Goals
1927 Club Athletico Paulistano 13 Goals
1928 Club Athletico Paulistano 29 Goals
1929 Club Athletico Paulistano 16 Goals

Friedenreich had to share the title of top scorer 4 times due to the disputes between amateur and professional clubs and the temporary division of the Liga Paulista into the Liga Paulista de Futebol (LPF, professionals) and the Liga der Associação Paulista de Esportes Atléticos (APEA, amateurs).Túlio Humberto Pereira Costa (born on June 2, 1969), called Túlio or Túlio Maravilha (“Wonder Túlio”), belongs to the category of migratory birds and has played for many international clubs, including Goiás, Botafogo, Corinthians, Vitória, Fluminense, Cruzeiro and Vila Nova as well as for various subclass teams. In Europe, he played briefly for Sion and Újpest.

He had his best years at Botafogo, where he became top scorer of Brazil 3 times (1989, 1994 and 1995) and won the championship in 1995.  He then became a Journeyman and never played more than one season for the same club.

Túlio became famous for his controversial equalizer in the quarter-finals of the Copa Americana against Argentina in 1995, when he took his hand to the rescue. Brazil finally won the game and some Argentine journalists spoke of the devil's hand (an allusion to the hand of God). In the final, Túlio put his team in the lead before Uruguay made up for it. The penalty shootout was a 3-5 loss for Brazil while the striker was the only one to miss his penalty.

According to Tulio, he scored 1000 goals in 2014 at the age of 44. However, he counted countless friendly matches that are not included in our ranking.Uwe Seeler (* November 5, 1936, in Hamburg) was considered one of the best middle forwarders in the world during his active time. Due to his performances to German football, the DFB appointed him the second player ever to be honorary captain of the senior national team in 1972, although he never won a title with it.

Since 1946, Seeler played in the youth department of the HSV. In 1953, at the age of 16, he played for the first time for the senior team in a points game. From July 1954 he was permanently eligible to play in the league team (Oberliga Nord) thanks to a special permit from the DFB. On August 29, 1954, the center forward succeeded in playing against VfB Oldenburg in his first upper league goal. After that, Seeler was the undisputed regular player in the storm center of the Hanseatic League and the team would be unthinkable without him. His scoring rate was phenomenal and as regular top scorer of the Oberliga Nord (1956: 32 goals; 1957: 31 goals; 1959: 29 goals; 1960: 36 goals; 1961: 29 goals; 1962: 28 goals) and he underlined his reputation as Germany's best middle forward. The HSV dominated its regional association and became North German Oberliga champion nine times in a row from 1955 to 1963. In 1957 and 1958, he and his team reached the final of the German championship but had to admit defeat twice.

At the end of the 1959/60 season, Hamburger SV once again reached the final of the German championship, where they met 1 FC Cologne. After two goals by Seeler, the HSV celebrated the third title win in its club history with 3:2 and Seeler himself had finally won an important title. In the same year, he was voted German Footballer of the Year for the first time and was considered one of the best strikers in Europe. In 1961, Seeler received a lucrative offer from Inter Milan, who offered him 1.2 million D-Mark, one of the highest transfer sums ever. Adi Dassler offered Seeler to take over the Adidas agency for Northern Germany in order to persuade him to stay in Hamburg. Seeler renounced the change and stayed in his hometown. In 1963, he won the DFB Cup with HSV. Seeler scored all goals in his 3-0 victory over Borussia Dortmund in the final, making him the first player to score three goals in the cup final. In the 1963/64 season, HSV was accepted into the newly founded Bundesliga and, after the last successes, was also traded as a co-favorite for the championship.

While the team occupied a disappointing sixth place, Seeler was unstoppable and secured with 30 goals with the title of the first Bundesliga top scorer. In 1964, Seeler became Germany's Footballer of the Year for the second time as an expression of his strong performance. Seeler's career seemed to have ended in February 1965, when he suffered an Achilles tendon rupture in the Bundesliga game in Frankfurt. Six months later, however, he was back on the pitch with a special shoe handcrafted by Adi Dassler and laced at the back. During these years, HSV did not have a golden age in sports and regularly landed in the midfield of the league. Seeler, however, remained loyal to the club and in the 1968/69 season, he came second in the scoring list behind Gerd Müller with 23 goals.

Internationally, the red trousers caused a stir when they reached the final of the European Cup Winners' Cup in 1968 (HSV, as finalist in 1967, played in this competition, because final opponent FC Bayern Munich also took part as defending champion of the European Cup), but lost there without a chance against AC Milan with 0:2. It was Seeler's last final. Seeler retired from the active sport in May 1972 with an HSV match against a world team. He interrupted this resignation one more time when he played a guest appearance at Cork Celtic in the first Irish league on April 23, 1978, at the request of the sporting goods manufacturer Adidas. According to Seeler, he was not aware that it was a point-scoring match because he did not know that it was possible to register guest players for point-scoring matches in the Irish league. He scored both goals in a 6-2 defeat to Shamrock Rovers.Seeler made his breakthrough as an international top star at the 1958 World Championships in Sweden, where he formed the storm together with Helmut Rahn and Hans Schäfer. He scored one goal each in the group matches against Argentina and Northern Ireland.

The end for Germany came in the semi-final against Sweden, whereby Seeler injured himself and could not participate in the game for third place against France. In 1961, Seeler wore the captain's armband for the first time in the match against Denmark. In this game, the striker scored a hat-trick with three header goals in a 5-1 victory. At the 1962 World Cup in Chile, Seeler was the German team's great hope. Germany was the sovereign group winner where Seeler contributed with two goals. But the disappointment followed in the quarter-finals when Germany lost 1-0 to Yugoslavia and had to travel home. After the World Cup, team captain Hans Schäfer retired from the national team and Seeler became the new captain. After his severe Achilles tendon injury in 1965, Seeler was fit again in time and the captain shot his team to England in 1966 with the goal of a 2-1 victory over Sweden. At the World Cup, the German team showed strong performances, which was also due to the new national players Franz Beckenbauer, Wolfgang Overath and Sigfried Held. Germany won the group and Seeler contributed the decisive goal to a 2-1 victory over Spain. In the quarter-finals, Uruguay was swept 4:0 from the field (a Seeler goal to the interim 3:0). In the semi-finals, the Soviet Union was defeated 2-1 and Seeler and his team reached the World Cup final against hosts England.

In the legendary final at Wembley Stadium, Germany lost 2:4 in overtime and became vice-world champion. Despite the defeat, Seeler was described as one of the best players of the entire tournament. In 1968, Seeler declared his retirement from the national team, but gave in to the pressure of coach Helmut Schön and returned to the team. At the 1970 World Cup tournament in Mexico, the 33-year-old played as a backward leader behind Gerd Müller. His reappointed captain's efforts paid off, scoring against Morocco and Bulgaria in the group stage.

In the quarter-finals against defending champions England, he scored the most curious goal of his international career when he steered the ball into the back of his head shortly before the final 2-2 equalizer (final score 3-2 for Germany). In the semi-finals, the DFB team lost a dramatic game (“game of the century”) 3-4 against Italy and took third place after a 1-0 win over Uruguay. Despite his age, he counted as one of the “discoveries” of the World Cup and, like 1966, delivered an outstanding tournament. For example, both Müller goals in extra time for the semi-final of the 1970 World Cup against Italy were preceded by a header duel won by Seeler. With his last and 72nd international match against Hungary on September 9, 1970, Seeler beat the record set by Paul Janes in 1942.

He maintained the record until November 24, 1973, and was then outbid by Franz Beckenbauer. Seeler took part in the World Championships in 1958, 1962, 1966 and 1970, where he played in a total of 21 international matches. He succeeded in registering himself on the scorer's list at all 4 World Cup tournaments, an achievement that only Pelé and Miroslav Klose could attain apart from him. Seeler did this in the 56th minute of the match against Morocco by equalizing 1:1, Pelé in the 59th minute in Brazil's simultaneous match against Czechoslovakia. Seeler was the first player to play more than 20 World Cup matches. His record was only surpassed by Lothar Matthäus in 1998.Ferenc Desak scored 576 goals in his career. He began his career at Szentlőrinci AC, where he played from 1935 to 1947. He scored 66 season goals for Szentlörinci AC in 34 league games in the 1945/46 season, and still maintains the record for the most season goals in a European league. He repeatedly became the top scorer in the 1946/47 season when he scored 48 times. 

He then moved to Ferencváros Budapest, where he played until 1950. There he scored 41 goals in his first year. In his second year at Ferencváros Budapest, he scored 59 goals and became the top scorer for the third time and won the national title. In 1950, he moved to Újpest Budapest, where he played until 1954. He played a total of 238 league games (1st Division) during his career, in which he scored 305 goals.

He ended his career in the 2nd division in 1955 with Spartacus Budapest, Egyetertes Budapest and finally in 1958 with Siofok. Between 1946 and 1949, he played twenty times for the Hungarian national team and scored 29 goals. He made his national team debut on October 6, 1946, in Budapest against Austria, when he scored twice alongside Gyula Zsengellér and Ferenc Puskás in a 2-0 win.

He was a member of the Hungarian squad, which won the European Cup of National Football Teams from 1948 to 1953. With a 5-0 victory over Sweden on November 20, 1949, in Budapest with scorers Sándor Kocsis (3), Puskas and Deak before ending his national team career.
Lionel “Leo” Andrés Messi Cuccittini, born on June 24, 1987, in Rosario, is next to Cristiano Ronaldo the football superstar of the 21st century.

Lionel Messi has been playing for Barca since he was 14. At the age of 24, he became record scorer of Barca. At 25, he became the youngest player in the history of LaLiga who has scored more than 200 goals. Meanwhile, he is the best scorer in the history of the top Spanish league.

When Messi was 13, his parents emigrated to Barcelona with him and three siblings. They wanted to escape the economic crisis in Argentina. At the same time, they were looking for a way to have the hormone disorder treated by Messi, which cost 900 US dollars a month. Messi suffered from a growth disorder caused by somatropin deficiency so that at 13 years of age he was barely 1.40 m tall. After he had not been admitted to well-known Argentine teams because of his small body size and the high treatment costs for local conditions due to his illness and made his parents went to FC Barcelona.

During a trial training, the youth coach of FC Barcelona was so enthusiastic that there is a tradition that he immediately had Messi sign a contract on a napkin. FC Barcelona paid the therapy costs of Messi and a small entry fee.  The magic combination Messi-Barca was “born”.Cristiano Ronaldo is called Cristiano Ronaldo dos Santos Aveiro and was born on February 5, 1985, in Fuchal, the capital of Madeira. 

Next to Lionel Messi, he will be the dominant footballer of the 21st century by 2018. Cristiano Ronaldo was born the youngest of four children of Maria Dolores dos Santos Aveiro (* 1954) and José Dinis Aveiro (1954-2005). He grew up together with his brother and his two sisters in simple backgrounds. One sister is a singer known in Portugal under the stage name Ronalda. Ronaldo's mother was a chef in a restaurant, his father worked as a municipal gardener and a witness for the regional league club CF Andorinha. He got his second first name “Ronaldo” after the then US President Ronald Reagan, his father's favorite actor. Ronaldo's father was an alcoholic and died of liver and kidney failure at the age of 51 in 2005.

Ronaldo was trained in the youth of Sporting Lisbon. His commitment to Sporting is based on the following story of friendship and happiness.  After that CR7 had the luck to have a very special football friend. He is said to have helped him to get involved with Sporting Lisbon. The friend's name is Albert Fantrau.

Both played for the same youth club and before a game of this club, the Sporting officials had announced that they would include the one who would score the most goals in the next game in their own youth academy. Ronaldo's team won the match 3-0, with Ronaldo scoring the first goal and Albert the second. By the third goal, Albert had already played around the goalie but the goal was empty. Nevertheless, he passed the ball to Ronaldo. He shot in. When Ronaldo later asked him the reason, Albert said: “because YOU are better than me”. The story was discovered only a few years ago by a journalist who visited Albert in his big house. Albert is unemployed, but he's fine. His family's lifestyle can be described as luxurious. CR7 hasn't forgotten his old friend, who gave him the chance to live by giving up.Gerhard “Gerd” Müller (*November 3, 1945 in Nördlingen) is a former German professional soccer player. With 365 goals, the “Bomber of the Nation” is the current record scorer of the German Soccer League and is considered one of the best strikers of the 20th century.

As a player of FC Bayern Munich (1964 to 1979), Müller won four German championships, four times the DFB Cup, three times the European Cup of State Champions, once the European Cup of Cup Winners and once the World Cup.

With the German national team, he became European Champion in 1972 and World Champion in 1974.

In the course of his career, Müller became the top scorer in 18 different competitions (including seven times in the Bundesliga). After the end of his career, he worked from 1992 to 2014 as a coach for the second team of FC Bayern.Ferenc Puskás (* April 1, 1927, in Budapest, the Kingdom of Hungary as Franz Purczeld; † November 17, 2006, in Budapest) was a Hungarian footballer and coach. His nicknames were Puskás Öcsi, Der Major, Sváb (for Donauschwabe), Pancho and Cañoncito Pum.

Puskás led the Hungarian national football team as team captain between 1950 and 1954. The high point of his career was to be the 1954 World Cup in Switzerland alongside his 6-3 victory over England in the 1953 “game of the century”. Hungary, however, had to admit defeat 2-3 as Germany's favorite in the final in Bern. After the suppression of the Hungarian uprising in 1956, he emigrated and played for Real Madrid in Spain from 1958 after an 18-month FIFA ban imposed by the Hungarian Football Association. With this team, he won the European Cup of Champions three times and the Spanish Championship several times and was repeatedly top scorer in all competitions. After acquiring Spanish nationality, he played for Spain at the 1962 World Cup. At the age of 39, he ended his career as a player and became a football coach.

As a coach, he trained many different teams over a shorter period of time, which earned him the reputation of a globetrotter. His most successful coaching position was Panathinaikos Athens, where he not only won two Greek championship titles but also reached the final of the European Champions Cup in 1971. In 1993 he became coach of the Hungarian national team. Puskás is regarded as the best Hungarian footballer to date and is not only mentioned in his homeland in the same breath as football greats such as Cruyff, Beckenbauer or Di Stéfano.

He established the reputation of the back number 10, which since his time has mostly been worn by a team's designers, and was feared by the opposing goalkeepers mainly because of his hard and precise shots with his left foot. The IFFHS honored him as the best scorer of the 20th century. He was included in the FIFA 100 list of best players by the World Football Association in 2004.Pelé, KBE – actually Edson Arantes do Nascimento, mentioned in his birth certificate as Edison Arantes do Nascimento – (*October 23, 1940, in Três Corações, Minas Gerais) is considered to be the best footballer of all time.

He scored 767 goals in his career. Pele received the FIFA World Player of the 20th Century Award and was named Sportsman of the Century by the IOC.

His fame was based not least on his triple victory at the World Cup (1958, 1962, 1970) and the mark of 1281 goals in 1363 matches (odds: 0.94). His 77 goals make him one of the record scorers for the Brazilian national team.

In the jersey of his long-time club, FC Santos, he won a total of 26 titles in 17 years. After his active career, Pelé used his popularity to work for his sports marketing agency and was Brazilian Minister of Sport from 1995 to 1998. In Brazil he is also known as Pérola Negra (Black Pearl), O Rei do Futebol (King of Football), O Rei Pelé (King of Pelé) or simply O Rei (The King).
Romário de Souza Faria (*January 29, 1966 in Rio de Janeiro) is one of Brazil's best-known strikers and a relatively popular politician. He scored an incredible 772 goals in his career. In 1994 Romário was voted World Footballer of the Year.

He was included in the list of the 125 best living football players in 2004. He was elected in October 2010 for the Partido Socialista Brasileiro (PSB) of the State of Rio de Janeiro in the 2011-2015 legislative period of the Chamber of Deputies of the Brazilian National Congress. Romário, in Brazil often called “Baixinho” (the short) because of his small body size, he began his professional career in 1985 at CR Vasco da Gama, where he won 2 times the national championship of Rio de Janeiro (Campeonato Carioca). From 1988 to 1992 the striker played in the Eredivisie for PSV Eindhoven. His coach there was Dutchman Guus Hiddink, who described Romário as “the most interesting player I've ever worked with” and above all praised his enormous presence and nerves of steel in important games where he often scored the winning goal. He won the league title with PSV in 1989, 1991 and 1992 and was named Dutch Footballer of the Year in 1989, scoring a total of 174 goals for the club. In 1993, he moved to FC Barcelona for a transfer fee of 6 million US dollars, where he formed a furious attack with Michael Laudrup, Christo Stoitschkow and Pep Guardiola.

With 30 goals in 33 games, he became the Spanish top scorer (Pichichi) and won the first of two Spanish championship titles with Barcelona. FC Barcelona also reached the final of the 1993/94 UEFA Champions League with Romario but lost 4-0 to AC Milan. In the El Clásico against Real Madrid, he scored a hat-trick in Madrid and prepared a goal for the 5-0 final. In 1994, he defended his title and won the Spanish Supercup. His coach in Barcelona was Johan Cruyff, who described Romário as the “genius of the penalty area”.

Romário scored 55 goals in 70 international matches for the Brazilian national football team, making him the third most successful goalscorer of all time in the Seleção after Pelé and Ronaldo. He made his debut against Ireland in Dublin on May 23, 1987, and scored his first goal against Finland in Helsinki five days later. At the 1988 Summer Olympics in Seoul, he and the national team won the silver medal at the football tournament, scoring seven goals in the course of the tournament and becoming the top scorer of the tournament. Brazil won the Copa América in 1989. Romário scored once against each opponent in the three final matches. He was the most successful Brazilian scorer of the tournament after Bebeto. On April 27, 2005 (almost four years after his penultimate international), he played his farewell game, scoring a 3-0 goal against Guatemala.Josef “Pepi” Bican (*September 25, 1913, in Vienna; † December 12, 2001, in Prague) was an Austrian and Czechoslovak football player. Pepi Bican scored 1468 goals in 918 matches, including friendly matches and reserve matches.

He scored 805 goals in 530 matches if only official matches are taken into account. Therefore, the first goalscorer of the official football statistics, the Rec.Sport.Soccer Statistics Foundation (RSSSF), leads the list of the most successful goalscorers in football history. Grailkeeper No. 2, the International Federation of Football History & Statistics (IFFHS), ranks him No. 2 in the official match ranking and assigns him 518 goals. Pele has 541 goals and is number 1. Considering all goals of Pele, Pele has 1284 goals.

But who was Josef Bican? An Austrian, but also a Czech. Because Pepi Bican represented both the Austrian and the Czech football of the intermediate and post-war period. In the Czech Republic, he is still a football legend whose popularity has easily survived the years of socialism in the Czech Republic. With the Austrian national team, Bican reached the semi-finals of the World Cup in 1934. From 1939 to 1944 he was Europe's best scorer five times in a row. Already at the age of 17, the Viennese played for Rapid in the first Austrian league. There are rumors that if you add up all the goals he has ever scored, he will score more than 5000 goals. That can't be verified. But what is certain is that he scored 643 of them in the first and second leagues of the Austrian league.

He was awarded the Trophy for the World's Best Goalscorer of the 20th Century by the International Organization of Football Historians in Munich in 1997 in recognition of this performance. Pepi Bican grew up in a small apartment on Quellenstraße in Favoriten in Vienna. The district with its many brickworks was an attraction for numerous immigrants who hoped to be able to build up a livelihood as workers in the Danube metropolis. In his spare time, Pepi Bican played football like most boys at that time – mostly barefoot, because it was impossible to think of his own football boots. In his childhood, Bican also got to know the family of Matthias Sindelar; his uncle was one of the best friends of the later Viennese Austria star, who was ten years older. He himself did not get along very well with the shy, somewhat introverted “Schindi” throughout his life. Josef Bican's competitive thinking began early on.

After appearances at several small favorite football clubs, the student played in 1927 and 1928 in the youth team of the Austrian first division club ASV Hertha, where Sindelar had also started his career. For every goal he scored, he received a shilling from the club sponsors as an incentive. Pepi Bican was able to run the 100 meters in 10.8 seconds and was thus as fast as the top athletes of his time. His mother also liked to storm the pitch during his youth. Armed with an umbrella, the opponent had a hard time fouling his son. Bican later played for Rapid in Vienna and Slavia in Prague, among others, when they were still really big numbers in international football. Bican also played in the national team, but only scored 14 goals in 19 international matches for Austria. There is a story that Bican put empty bottles on the bar during training and then shot them one by one from a distance of 20 meters. On average he is said to have shot 9 out of 10 bottles in the first attempt. Josef “Pepi” Bican spent the last months of his life in a Prague hospital due to heart disease. There, the world's best goal scorer died of a heart attack on December 12, 2001, two weeks before Christmas at the age of 88. He was buried in the Vyšehrad cemetery near the Vyšehrad fortress.Wikipedia publsihes the ranking of the +500e goal scorers at https://en.wikipedia.org/…. RSSSF publish their list at http://www.rsssf.com/nersssf.html. IFFHS (International Federation of Football History & Statistics) has their own ranking at http://iffhs.de/ ihr eigenes Ranking.

There are differences in the lists and there are some other players called and listed in different positions. This does not detract from the size and skill of the players. And it's not that important somehow…

On the systematics: We base our ranking (see the following table) on that of the RSSSF. 28 players have scored more than 500 goals in their career so far. Only players who played exclusively or primarily in the first league were included in the ranking.  And only goals scored in official matches were included in the ranking. All age groups and clubs in all leagues apply.

[table id=226 /]

List of men's footballers with 500 or more goals

Date 24th September 2018

Source: WikipediaCR7 and Lionel Messi are still active as of 31st March 2019. By now they are ranked 6th and 7th.

Whether they will reach Gerd Müllerremains to be seen. The ratio of 0.93 goals per game will not be reached.

Zlatan Ibrahimovic has also finally made it into the elite club of those players who have scored more than 500 goals. Whether he reaches 600? That will be difficult.


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