The 50 players with the best goal-to-game ratio in the 21st century (50th-31st)

Gonzalo Higuain's goal-to-game ratio is mighty impressive

Scoring a goal at a rate close to one every two games played is what most strikers aim to achieve at the start of their careers.

It’s a record that is mighty tough to achieve at the highest level due to both the brutal demands of the modern game and the quality of defences across the globe.

In fact, less than 30 players in the 21st century can boast a goal-to-game ratio higher than 0.50.

Below, we’ve provided the 50 players with the best goal-to-game ratio this millennium. Only goals from Europe’s top five leagues and the cup competitions within those countries have been included.

All data sourced from Transfermarkt.

Owen with Liverpool

50. Michael Owen (0.44)

Games – 379

Goals – 167

The 2001 Ballon d’Or winner was a goal-machine at Liverpool and was pretty effective during his short time at Real Madrid as well.

49. Jamie Vardy (0.45)

Games – 242

Goals – 108

The latest member of the Premier League’s ‘100 Club’ and the division’s top scorer in 2019/20.

48. Rivaldo (0.45)

Games – 145

Goals – 69

A Barcelona legend with an absolute wand of a left peg. His hat-trick against Valencia in 2001 is still the greatest treble of all-time.

47. Didier Drogba (0.45)

Games – 490

Goals – 221

Goals came in abundance for the Ivorian at both Marseille and Chelsea, as did trophies.

46. Cheick Diabate (0.45)

Games – 181

Goals – 82

The Malian striker’s record at Bordeaux between 2008 and 2016 is severely underrated.

Diabate with Bordeaux

45. Marco Reus (0.45)

Games – 375

Goals – 170

Borussia Dortmund’s main man is just always among the goals when he’s fit, which is sadly not always a guarantee.

44. Iago Aspas (0.46)

Games – 279

Goals – 128

He may be a Liverpool flop, but Aspas has been world-class ever since his return to Spain with Celta Vigo.

43. Wissam Ben Yedder (0.47)

Games – 343

Goals – 160

The Frenchman has scored goals for fun at Toulouse, Sevilla and – most recently – AS Monaco.

42. Karim Benzema (0.47)

Games – 656

Goals – 310

One of Real Madrid’s greatest ever strikers, which says it all about Benzema really.

41. Alan Shearer (0.47)

Games – 260

Goals – 123

Shearer’s best days were behind him, but his goal record since the turn of the century is still hugely impressive.

Shearer with Newcastle

40. David Villa (0.48)

Games – 480

Goals – 228

One of Spain’s greatest ever strikers. Villa scored goals for fun during his days with Valencia and Barcelona.

39. Edin Dzeko (0.48)

Games – 546

Goals – 260

Brilliant at Wolfsburg, effective at Manchester City and back among the goals at Roma these days. Dzeko is one of the most underrated strikers of the modern era.

38. Ailton (0.48)

Games – 243

Goals – 117

The now retired Brazilian striker was prolific at Werder Bremen during the early 2000s.

37. Antonio Di Natale (0.48)

Games – 520

Goals – 251

The fact Di Natale’s goal record was achieved at Udinese highlights just what an unbelievable player he was.

36. Romelu Lukaku (0.48)

Games – 356

Goals – 172

A figure of ridicule at times, but Lukaku’s goal-to-game ratio speaks for itself and it’s no surprise to see him smashing it at Inter Milan in the present day.

Lukaku with Inter Milan

35. Diego Milito (0.48)

Games – 333

Goals – 161

Milito was revered as one of the best in the business during his days with Genoa, Real Zaragoza and Inter Milan.

34. Klaas-Jan Huntelaar (0.49)

Games – 290

Goals – 141

At Schalke in his prime, there were few better out-and-out goal scorers in world football than Huntelaar.

33. Lisandro Lopez (0.49)

Games – 168

Goals – 82

Remember him? Between 2009 and 2013, the lightning-quick Argentine scored a plethora of goals for Lyon.

32. Andriy Shevchenko (0.49)

Games – 378

Goals – 185

He wasn’t great at Chelsea, but never, ever forget the sheer brilliance of Sheva at AC Milan in the early 2000s.

31. Gonzalo Higuain (0.49)

Games – 592

Goals – 290

Like Shevchenko, Higuain struggled majorly at Chelsea, but he’s found the back of the net consistently at Real Madrid, Napoli and Juventus.

Higuain with Juventus


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