Ronaldo, Messi & Neymar: Which active international player has the best goal-to-game ratio?

Cristiano Ronaldo has scored 101 goals for Portugal

Back in September, Portuguese superstar Cristiano Ronaldo became just the second player in the history of international football to score 100 goals.

The Juventus forward notched a brilliant brace against Sweden in the UEFA Nations League, taking his overall tally for A Selecao to 101 strikes in just 165 games.

Ronaldo’s numbers are ridiculous and the 35-year-old needs just nine more goals on the international stage to eclipse Ali Daei’s record haul of 109 for Iran.

If he can avoid serious injury, the former Real Madrid goal machine will no doubt break the record in the next 12 months.

But how do Ronaldo’s goal scoring exploits rank among the other leading active scorers? Well, we decided to take a look.

Ronaldo in action

Of course, the global icon’s number of goals is streets ahead of anyone else, India’s Sunil Chhetri the closest player to Ronaldo in that respect with 72 strikes to his name.

However, the one area in which the Portuguese does not dominate is when it comes to ranking the top active scorers by their goal-to-game ratios.

Below, we’ve ranked the top 15 active international goal getters by that exact metric and Ronaldo has to make do with a joint fourth-place finish.

Bader Al-Mutawa in action for Kuwait

15. Bader Al-Mutawa | Kuwait | 0.31

Games: 178

Goals: 56

The 35-year-old striker is also joint-third on the list of international players with the most caps, just six behind Egypt’s Ahmed Hassan.

14. Shinji Okazaki | Japan | 0.42

Games: 119

Goals: 50

The former Leicester man scores goals for fun on international duty and he helped Japan win the AFC Asian Cup back in 2011.

13. Edinson Cavani | Uruguay | 0.43

Games: 116

Goals: 50

Manchester United’s new striker is a goal machine for Uruguay, forging a lethal partnership over the years with Luis Suarez – who we’ll see further down the list.

Cavani with Uruguay

12. Asamoah Gyan | Ghana | 0.47

Games: 108

Goals: 51

Gyan is still going strong for Ghana at the age of 34. Back in 2013, the former Sunderland man scored an impressive 11 goals in just 15 games for his country.

11. Javier Hernández | Mexico | 0.48

Games: 109

Goals: 52

Hernandez is a bonafide legend out in Mexico. Between the years of 2010 and 2011, the former Manchester United striker scored a whopping 23 goals in just 32 games for his country.

10. Lionel Messi | Argentina | 0.51

Games: 139

Goals: 71

The great man only manages a 10th-place finish here. However, Messi has contributed with 47 assists on international duty as well, comfortably more than any other player on this list.

Messi with Argentina

9. Luis Suarez | Uruguay | 0.53

Games: 112

Goals: 59

Suarez sits ahead of his old mate Messi. The all-action forward played a key role in Uruguay’s 2011 Copa America triumph, scoring 10 goals in just 13 games that calendar year.

=7. Robert Lewandowski | Poland | 0.54

Games: 112

Goals: 61

The Bayern Munich superstar is as prolific for his country as he is with his club. The eight-time Polish Player of the Year scored 11 goals in seven international games in the year of 2015.

=7. Edin Dzeko | Bosnia | 0.54

Games: 109

Goals: 59

One of the most underrated strikers of the modern era. In six of his 13 years with the Bosnian national team, Dzeko has scored five or more goals – impressive stuff.

Dzeko with Bosnia

6. Neymar | Brazil | 0.60

Games: 101

Goals: 61

Given he’s far from an out-and-out striker, Neymar’s international record is outrageously good. The PSG man is only 17 goals away from eclipsing Pele as Brazil’s record goal scorer.

=4. Romelu Lukaku | Belgium | 0.61

Games: 85

Goals: 52

Despite only turning 27 back in May, Lukaku is comfortably Belgium’s all time leading scorer. In 2018, the striker enjoyed his finest year in international football, finding the back of the net 14 times in as many games.

=4. Cristiano Ronaldo | Portugal | 0.61

Games: 165

Goals: 101

Along with his 100 goals, Ronaldo helped Portugal win Euro 2016 and the inaugural UEFA Nations League tournament in 2019.

Ronaldo warming up with Portugal

3. Sunil Chhetri | India | 0.63

Games: 115

Goals: 72

The second highest scorer among active players, Chhetri is showing no signs of slowing down at the age of 36, notching seven goals in 11 games for India in 2019.

2. Ali Ashfaq | Maldives | 0.66

Games: 80

Goals: 53

The 35-year-old striker has been a goal machine for Maldives. Ashfaq’s best year for his country came in 2013, when the Club Green Streets forward scored 14 goals in just seven games.

1. Ali Mabkhout | United Arab Emirates | 0.76

Games: 83

Goals: 63

The 30-year-old Al Jazira Club forward sits comfortably at number one, with 19 of his international goals coming in just 13 appearances back in 2019 – outstanding numbers.

Mabkhout celebrates after scoring
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