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Goal takes a look at the most prolific strikers in international football, which includes a wide variety of players from around the world.

Cristiano Ronaldo | Portugal | 111 goals / 180 caps

Without a doubt one of the best players of his generation, Cristiano Ronaldo has broken record after record in his career and he is by far Portugal’s top scorer of all time. He broke Ali Daei’s record of 109 goals in September 2021 with a brace against the Republic of Ireland.

Ali Daei | Iran | 109 goals / 149 caps

The record for most international goals in men’s football belongs to Ali Daei, who scored 109 goals for Iran in 149 appearances between 1993 and 2006. The striker’s career has seen him field for Bayern Munich, but he has enjoyed much of his success on the international stage.

Mokhtar Dahari | Malaysia | 89 goals / 142 caps

Playing between 1972 and 1985, Mokhtar Dahari is considered one of the most legendary strikers in Malaysian football history.

Ferenc Puskas | Hungary & Spain | 84 goals / 89 caps

Real Madrid legend Ferenc Puskas was one of Hungary’s ‘magical Magyars’ in the 1950s and his exploits for his country secured him his iconic status in Budapest and beyond. Puskas scored 84 goals in 85 games for Hungary and then played for Spain in the early 1960s. However, his Spanish experience had an impact on his goals-to-game ratio as he failed to score in four appearances for La Roja.

Godfrey Chitalu | Zambia | 79 goals / 108 caps

Godfrey Chitalu is the most prolific African international footballer of all time, having scored 79 goals in 108 games for Zambia. The Kabwe Warriors star became a coach after hanging up his boots, but met a tragic end with the rest of the Zambia squad during the 1993 air disaster in Zambia.

Hussein Said | Iraq | 78 goals / 137 caps

With 78 goals, Hussein Saeed is Iraq’s all-time top scorer and has reached that number in 137 games for his country. Saeed has spent his entire career with Al-Talaba and has played in the 1986 World Cup as well as three Olympic Games (1980, 1984 and 1988).

Pelé | Brazil | 77 goals / 92 caps

Widely regarded as one of the best footballers to ever play, Pelé has an impressive 77 goals in 92 appearances for Brazil. He has played four World Cups, won three and remains the Selecao’s top scorer to this day.

Ali Mabkhout | WATER | 76 goals / 92 caps

Al Jazeera legend Ali Mabkout is a clinical finisher and in addition to being one of his club’s top scorers, he is also the UAE’s all-time top international scorer.

Lionel Messi | Argentina | 76 goals / 149 caps

Barcelona icon Lionel Messi may not have enjoyed much success in silverware on the international stage with Argentina, but he is the country’s top scorer, having passed Gabriel Batistuta in 2016.

Sandor Kocsis | Hungary | 75 goals / 68 caps

While Ferenc Puskas may have been Hungary’s talisman in the 1950s, Sandor Kocsis was their main scorer. The former Barcelona man has scored 75 goals in 68 games for the Magyars during an international career that only lasted eight years.


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Erica Gill

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