Messi, Ronaldo, Suarez: The player with most league goals in each year of 21st century

Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo made goalscoring look way too easy in their primes.

Between 2010 and 2020, the pair of Ballon d’Or hoarders were simply too good and consistently averaged more than a goal per game across all competitions.

In league action, the duo were simply outrageous.

From 2010 to 2020, Messi or Ronaldo finished with the most goals scored in Europe’s top five leagues in 10 of the 11 calendar years.

Yeah, it’s just absolutely ludicrous and part of the reason why they’re viewed by many as the two greatest footballers in history.

You’ll find some of Messi and Ronaldo’s insane league stats in our list below, which features the top scorer from the top quintet of divisions in every single completed year of the 21st century thus far.

All stats below have been sourced from the ever-reliable Transfermarkt.

Let’s begin…

2000 | Gabriel Batistuta (Fiorentina/AS Roma)

Games: 28 | Goals: 26

Gabriel Batistuta in action with Roma
15 Feb 2001: Gabriel Batistuta of AS Roma in action during the UEFA Cup fourth round first leg match against Liverpool played at the Stadio Olimpico, in Rome, Italy. Liverpool won the match 2-0. \ Mandatory Credit: Jamie McDonald /Allsport

2001 | Hernan Crespo (Lazio)

Games: 33 | Goals: 30

2002 | Alan Shearer (Newcastle United)

Games: 38 | Goals: 27

2003 | Ronaldo Nazario (Real Madrid)

Games: 38 | Goals: 32

2004 | Thierry Henry (Arsenal)

Games: 39 | Goals: 34

2005 | Luca Toni (Palermo/Fiorentina)

Games: 37 | Goals: 31

2006 | Luca Toni (Fiorentina)

Games: 36 | Goals: 24

2007 | Ruud van Nistelrooy (Real Madrid)

Games: 35 | Goals: 24

Ruud van Nistelrooy in action with Real Madrid
MADRID, SPAIN – NOVEMBER 01: Ruud van Nistelrooy of Real Madrid celebrates after Real’s first goal against Steaua Bucharest during the UEFA Champions League Group E match between Real Madrid and Steaua Bucharest at the Santiago Bernabeu stadium on November 1, 2006 in Madrid, Spain. (Photo by Denis Doyle/Getty Images)

2008 | Samuel Eto’o (Barcelona)

Games: 29 | Goals: 29

2009 | David Villa (Valencia)

Games: 31 | Goals: 28

2010 | Lionel Messi (Barcelona)

Games: 36 | Goals: 42

2011 | Cristiano Ronaldo (Real Madrid)

Games: 34 | Goals: 43

2012 | Lionel Messi (Barcelona)

Games: 38 | Goals: 59

2013 | Cristiano Ronaldo (Real Madrid)

Games: 33 | Goals: 38

2014 | Cristiano Ronaldo (Real Madrid)

Games: 28 | Goals: 38

Cristiano Ronaldo celebrates with Real Madrid
MADRID, SPAIN – SEPTEMBER 13: Cristiano Ronaldo of Real Madrid celebrates scoring his sides first goal during the UEFA Champions League group H match between Real Madrid and APOEL Nikosia at Estadio Santiago Bernabeu on September 13, 2017 in Madrid, Spain. (Photo by Denis Doyle/Getty Images)

2015 | Cristiano Ronaldo (Real Madrid)

Games: 38 | Goals: 37

2016 | Luis Suarez (Barcelona)

Games: 35 | Goals: 37

2017 | Lionel Messi (Barcelona)

Games: 38 | Goals: 40

2018 | Cristiano Ronaldo (Real Madrid/Juventus)

Games: 34 | Goals: 36

2019 | Lionel Messi (Barcelona)

Games: 32 | Goals: 34

2020 | Cristiano Ronaldo (Juventus)

Games: 29 | Goals: 33

2021 | Robert Lewandowski (Bayern Munich)

Games: 34 | Goals: 43

Robert Lewandowski celebrates a Bayern goal
GELSENKIRCHEN, GERMANY – JANUARY 24: Robert Lewandowski celebrates after scoring their sides second goal during the Bundesliga match between FC Schalke 04 and FC Bayern Muenchen at Veltins-Arena on January 24, 2021 in Gelsenkirchen, Germany. Sporting stadiums around Germany remain under strict restrictions due to the Coronavirus Pandemic as Government social distancing laws prohibit fans inside venues resulting in games being played behind closed doors. (Photo by Leon Kuegeler – Pool/Getty Images)

So, it’s Manchester United‘s Ronaldo who is the dominant figure, the Portuguese superstar claiming top spot in six completed years, with Messi having to settle for four gold medals.

The only other player to feature on the list more than once is Toni, which is a stern reminder of how good he was in his pomp.

With Palermo, Fiorentina, Bayern Munich and Verona, the giant Italian striker was an absolute menace in front of goal and he actually won the European Golden Shoe in 2005/06 after scoring 31 goals in 38 Serie A games.

In terms of 2022, Paris Saint-Germain‘s Kylian Mbappe currently leads the way with 26 goals from just 24 Ligue 1 appearances.

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