The record scorers in international football are a combination of some of the sport’s most prominent players as well as others who have played at the lesser levels of the game. Let’s take a look at some of the most prolific attackers in international football, which includes players from all around the world.
Cristiano Ronaldo: Portugal 112 Goals
Cristiano Ronaldo has scored more goals than any other player in international soccer history, with 112 goals in 181 games for Portugal since his debut in 2003. With a brace against the Republic of Ireland in September 2021, he broke Ali Daei’s 109-goal record.
Ali Daei: Iran 109 Goals
Ali Daei holds the record for most international goals in men’s football, with 109 in 149 appearances for Iran between 1993 and 2006. The striker’s career has seen him play for Bayern Munich and other clubs, but he has been more successful internationally.
Mokhtar Dahari: Malaysia 89 Goals
Dahari is considered one of Malaysia’s most iconic strikers, having played between 1972 and 1985.
Ferenc Puskas: Hungary & Spain 84 Goals
In the 1950s, Ferenc Puskas, a Real Madrid legend, was one of Hungary’s ‘Magical Magyars,’ and his performances for his homeland secured his place as a national hero in Budapest and abroad. After hitting 84 goals in 85 games for Hungary, Puskas ended up playing for Spain in the early 1960s.
Lionel Messi: Argentina 80 Goals
Lionel Messi of Barcelona may not have won much on the international stage with Argentina, but he is the country’s all-time best goalscorer, overtaking Gabriel Batistuta in 2016.
Godfrey Chitalu: Zambia 79 Goals
Godfrey Chitalu is the most productive African international footballer of all time, having scored 79 goals in 108 games for Zambia. After hanging up his boots, the Kabwe Warriors legend got into coaching, but he was unfortunately died in the 1993 Zambian flight crash, along with the rest of the Zambian team.
Hussein Saeed: Iraq 78 Goals
Hussein Saeed has 78 goals in 137 games for Iraq, making him the country’s all-time best goalscorer. Saeed spent his whole professional career for Al-Talaba, competing in three Olympic Games and the 1986 World Cup (1980, 1984, and 1988).
Sunil Chhetri: India 77 Goals
Sunil Chhetri is India’s all-time leading scorer and has appeared for the national team the most times. With a brace against Bangladesh in June, he had previously eclipsed Messi’s goal total, but the Argentine captain moved up to second after a treble against Bolivia in a 2022 World Cup qualifier.
Pele: Brazil 77 Goals
Pele is widely regarded as one of the greatest players of all time, having scored 77 goals in 92 appearances for Brazil. He has played four World Cups, won three, and is still the Seleçao’s all-time top scorer.
Ali Mabkhout: UAE 77 Goals
Al Jazira’s Ali Mabkout is a clinical finisher who is not only one of his team’s finest scorers but also the UAE’s all-time internationally renowned scorer.