Scoring a goal is pretty much the essence of the beautiful game.
It is the one thing that, more than everything else combined, makes crowds gasp. The one thing that made football the absolut king of sports.
When it comes to goal-scorers, thankfully, the game has been truly blessed. There is a never-endind list of players that have or have had the phenomenal talent of putting the ball into the back of the net. That being said, picking a top ten list of the greatest scorers to ever play the game, seems an almost impossible task.
I tried to do my best, but it is beyond preposterous to believe that everybody would agree.
Note* : The players on this list were put in order to how great their scoring ability was/is and not to how much raw footballing talent they have/have had.
Certainly one of the most enjoyable players to watch, El Fenomeno was also able to score in every way imaginable, due to his wince-inducing dribbling skills, his all-encompassing range of shooting and his killer goal scoring instincts. The ultimate star of the 2002 World Cup managed to score more than 350 goals, even though his career was sadly marred with injuries.
9. Marco van Basten
Marco van Basten married the technique and vision of a playmaker and the elegance of a winger with the positioning and natural instinct of a great striker. A serious injury in 1993 stopped his wonderful career when he was only 27, but his stats are still tremendous. He managed to score almost 300 goals during his club career, having also won the European Cup two times, the European Championship of 1988 and three Ballon d'Or awards.
Many fans remember the Brazilian for his extraordinary personality, but it is an undeniable fact that Romario was a fantastic scorer. He used his technique and his combination of a short body with great balance, along with a sharp striker's mind, to be one one of the most prolific and dangerous strikers in the world. His love towards the beautiful game made Romario play until he was 43, managing to score more than 750 goals during his great career (although he claims he scored 1000).
7 - 6. Regarding their goal-scoring talent - a talent that they both have undoubtedly proven throughout the years - this time being, the most safe thing to say is that they are equal. Each one is an enormous scorer in their own way. When the years pass, we'll see who can be the winner of a highest ranking in this list. Maybe they will stay where they are, or maybe they will battle for the top two positions...
One can say many things about Messi's skillset, but his goalscoring abilities may well be his most incredible asset. His calmness in front of goal is just ridiculous. It’s as if time slows down for him as soon as he faces the goalie, always making the perfect choice of a shot.
At the age of 26, the Argentinian magician, the four-time Ballon d'Or winner, has scored over 400 goals.
His fantastic athletic abilities and his all-around talent have made Ronaldo one of the most prolific scorers of all-time.
The Portuguese player also has an incredible talent for which he is rarely praised upon though. Ronaldo can create space out of nothing, as he manipulates minuscule space to work an opening for him to score. As for his finishing, well, the 252 goals in 246 appearances for Real Madrid and his overall 400+ goals probably speak for themselves.
5. Alfredo Di Stefano
Decades ahead of his time, the Real Madrid legend seemed to score when he wanted to, either playing up front as a classic "9", or playing as a box-to-box striker (a position that he is the only one in the world to ever play).
The Argentinian was frequently the one who would set-up attacks from midfield and would finish many of them himself, successfully.
Most probably the greatest African footballer of all time, Eusebio was also a beast in front of goal. With great athleticism, glorious technique and a ferocious right foot shot, the Black Panther is one of the most loved figures in Portugal. With Benfica, he has an astonishing goal-scoring record of 473 goals in 440 competitive games. Through the end of his career, Eusebio managed to score more than 700 times.
3. Ferenc Puskas
The Hungarian's left foot shot was so powerful and so well-targeted that it could almost always lead to a goal. Furthermore, it is truly challenging to find footage of Puskas not being able to place the ball into the back of the net, when he was one-on-one with the goalkeeper. One of the pillars of the Real Madrid side which won five consecutive European Cups, Puskas scored over 750 goals throughout his great career.
2. Gerd Muller
Amazingly, Muller is the only football player on this list that was not technically gifted at all. He was also short, not that fast - and not particularly powerful.
Nonetheless, his low centre of gravity, his explosiveness in small spaces and most of all his unique killer instinct, made him one of the greatest opportunists and prolific scorers this game has ever seen, as he was able to blow holes at football's greatest defences at seemingly nothing situations. Being a star for both Germany and Bayern Munich, both which he led to glory many times, Der Bomber scored over 700 goals.
What could one write about the phenomenal Brazilian that hasn't already been written?
Pele played the 1-2 with the opposing defender. Pele discovered half the dribbling tricks that footballers use today. Pele was 17 when he chipped the ball over the defender and then smashed it past a helpless goalie in the 1958 World Cup final. Pele has won the World Cup three times. Pele scored almost 800 goals.
Pele, is the King of football.
Honourable Mentions : Gabriel Batistuta, Just Fontaine, Uwe Seeler, Thierry Henry
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