Ronaldo, Messi, Neymar: The 40 players with the most goals in the 21st century

Cristiano Ronaldo is the greatest goalscorer in the history of men’s professional football.

During the 2021/22 season with Manchester United, the Portuguese superstar surpassed Josef Bican’s haul of 805 goals for club and country.

Ronaldo‘s memorable hat-trick against Tottenham Hotspur at Old Trafford on March 12th saw him take top spot outright and it’s without question one of sport’s greatest ever achievements.

To score over 800 goals in the modern era almost beggars belief, with Barcelona legend Lionel Messi closing in on 800 himself.

The two Ballon d’Or hoarders are comfortably the two greatest goalscorers of the 21st century, but when it comes to the art of finding the back of the net, it’s not just all about Ronaldo and Messi.

Those trailing the pair deserve to have some time in the spotlight as well and the folks over at PopFoot will help us do just that for them.

The stats-based Twitter account have named the 40 players with the most goals for club and country since the turn of the millenium.

On top of that, they’ve included the goals-per-game ratio for each footballer mentioned.

Raphinha to Chelsea, not Arsenal? (Football Terrace)

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Check out their data here…

The 40 players with the most goals for club and country in the 21st century

40. Raul Gonzalez | 279 goals (0.40 goals-per-game)

39. Mohamed Salah | 279 goals (0.48 goals-per-game)

38. Dieumerci Mbokani | 279 goals (0.49 goals-per-game)

37. Roberto Soldado | 281 goals (0.40 goals-per-game)

36. Alvaro Negredo | 283 goals (0.40 goals-per-game)

35. Thomas Muller | 287 goals (0.37 goals-per-game)

34. Antonio Di Natale | 296 goals (0.46 goals-per-game)

33. Olivier Giroud | 297 goals (0.40 goals-per-game)

32. Youssef El Arabi | 300 goals (0.52 goals-per-game)

31. Fernando Torres | 301 goals (0.34 goals-per-game)

Fernando Torres in his Liverpool days
LIVERPOOL, UNITED KINGDOM – NOVEMBER 28: Fernando Torres of Liverpool celebrates scoring the opening goal during the UEFA Champions League Group A match between Liverpool and FC Porto at Anfield on November 28, 2007 in Liverpool, England. (Photo by Alex Livesey/Getty Images)

30. Claudio Pizarro | 301 goals (0.39 goals-per-game)

29. Miroslav Klose | 301 goals (0.41 goals-per-game)

28. Andre-Pierre Gignac | 312 goals (0.44 goals-per-game)

27. Diego Forlan | 313 goals (0.38 goals-per-game)

26. Harry Kane | 314 goals (0.60 goals-per-game)

25. Carlos Tevez | 322 goals (0.39 goals-per-game)

24. Dimitar Berbatov | 322 goals (0.44 goals-per-game)

23. Robin van Persie | 323 goals (0.46 goals-per-game)

22. Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang | 331 goals (0.51 goals-per-game)

21. Romelu Lukaku | 333 goals (0.51 goals-per-game)

Romelu Lukaku in action for Chelsea
LONDON, ENGLAND – AUGUST 22: Romelu Lukaku of Chelsea celebrates after scoring their side’s first goal during the Premier League match between Arsenal and Chelsea at Emirates Stadium on August 22, 2021 in London, England. (Photo by Michael Regan/Getty Images)

20. Radamel Falcao | 336 goals (0.53 goals-per-game)

19. Mario Gomez | 337 goals (0.50 goals-per-game)

18. Gonzalo Higuain | 352 goals (0.46 goals-per-game)

17. Ruud van Nistelrooy | 355 goals (0.77 goals-per-game)

16. Thierry Henry | 361 goals (0.50 goals-per-game)

15. Wayne Rooney | 366 goals (0.41 goals-per-game)

14. Didier Drogba | 366 goals (0.46 goals-per-game)

13. Edin Dzeko | 383 goals (0.44 goals-per-game)

12. Klaas-Jan Huntelaar | 408 goals (0.55 goals-per-game)

11. Neymar | 415 goals (0.62 goals-per-game)

Neymar celebrates a goal for PSG
PARIS, FRANCE – NOVEMBER 28: Neymar of Paris Saint-Germain celebrates after scoring his team’s second goal during the UEFA Champions League Group C match between Paris Saint-Germain and Liverpool at Parc des Princes on November 28, 2018 in Paris, France. (Photo by Clive Rose/Getty Images)

10. Samuel Eto’o | 424 goals (0.48 goals-per-game)

9. Karim Benzema | 426 goals (0.50 goals-per-game)

8. Sergio Aguero | 429 goals (0.54 goals-per-game)

7. Edinson Cavani | 430 goals (0.55 goals-per-game)

6. David Villa | 438 goals (0.51 goals-per-game)

5. Luis Suarez | 521 goals (0.61 goals-per-game)

4. Zlatan Ibrahimovic | 572 goals (0.58 goals-per-game)

3. Robert Lewandowski | 601 goals (0.72 goals-per-game)

2. Lionel Messi | 769 goals (0.79 goals-per-game)

  1. Cristiano Ronaldo | 815 goals (0.73 goals-per-game)
Cristiano Ronaldo celebrates a goal for Manchester United
NORWICH, ENGLAND – DECEMBER 11: Cristiano Ronaldo of Manchester United celebrates after scoring his sides first goal from the penalty spot during the Premier League match between Norwich City and Manchester United at Carrow Road on December 11, 2021 in Norwich, England. (Photo by Alex Pantling/Getty Images)

So. Many. Goals.

Messi currently trails eternal rival Ronaldo by 46 goals, but the Argentine does possess the best goals-per-game ratio of any player on the 40-man list.

Ronaldo doesn’t even finish second in that regard either. Instead, it’s United icon Van Nistelrooy, which further highlights how underrated he is in the present day.

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Man United line-up

Manchester United vs Chelsea, 2008 UCL Final

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