Undoubtedly one of the best players of his generation, Cristiano Ronaldo has broken record after record during his career and he is, by some distance, 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.
The record for most international goals in men’s football belongs to Ali Daei, who hit 109 goals for Iran in 149 appearances between 1993 and 2006. The striker’s career saw him line out for the likes of Bayern Munich, but he enjoyed much of his success on the international stage.
Playing between 1972 to 1985, Mokhtar Dahari is considered one of the most legendary strikers in Malaysian football history.
Real Madrid legend Ferenc Puskas was one of Hungary’s ‘Magical Magyars’ during the 1950s and his exploits for his country have ensured his status as an icon in Budapest and beyond. Puskas scored 84 goals in 85 games for Hungary and subsequently played for Spain in the early 1960s. However, his Spanish experience impacted his goals-to-games ratio as he failed to score in four appearances for La Roja.
Barcelona icon Lionel Messi may not have enjoyed much silverware success on the international stage with Argentina, but he is the country’s record goalscorer, having overtaken Gabriel Batistuta in 2016.
Godfrey Chitalu is the most prolific African international footballer of all time, having struck 79 goals in 108 games for Zambia. The Kabwe Warriors star transitioned into coaching after hanging up his boots, but met a tragic end along with the rest of the Zambia team in the 1993 Zambian air disaster.
With 78 goals, Hussein Saeed is Iraq’s top goalscorer of all time and he reached that figure in 137 games for his country. Saeed spent his entire career with Al-Talaba and played at the 1986 World Cup as well as three Olympics (1980, 1984 and 1988).
Widely considered to one of the best footballers to ever play the game, Pele has an impressive haul of 77 goals in 92 appearances for Brazil. He played at four World Cups, winning three and remains the Selecao’s top scorer to this day.
Al Jazira legend Ali Mabkout is a clinical finisher and as well as being one of his club’s best scorers, he is also the United Arab Emirates’ top international scorer of all time.
While Ferenc Puskas may have been the talisman for Hungary during the 1950s, Sandor Kocsis was their chief goalscorer. The former Barcelona man hit an amazing 75 goals in 68 games for the Magyars in an international career that spanned just eight years.
One-club man Kunishige Kamamoto was one of the best strikers in Japanese football and, with 75 goals in 76 appearances for his country, he is one of the most prolific international scorers of all time. Kamamoto played for Samurai Blue from 1964 to 1977 and his best year was 1972 when he scored 15 in eight games.
Bashar Abdullah emerged as one of Kuwait’s key players during the late 1990s and early 2000s, writing his name into the record books by scoring a record 75 goals for his country. He featured at three Asian Cups for Kuwait and even played at the 2000 Olympics.
Sunil Chhetri is India’s all-time top goalscorer and also holds the record for most national team appearances.
Saudi Arabia’s top scorer of all time is Majed Abdullah, who hit 71 goals in 116 caps for his country during the course of a remarkable 17-year international career. A one-club man with Al Nassr, Abdullah captained his country to the 1994 World Cup.
One of the greatest strikers of his generation, Robert Lewandowski thrust himself into the conversation with goals for Borussia Dortmund and Bayern Munich, which he replicated on the international stage with Poland.
Kinnah Phiri scored a record 71 goals for Malawi during his playing career, reaching that total in 115 appearances – which is also a record – for the Flames.
The greatest striker in Thailand’s history, Kiatisuk Senamuang holds the record for both goals scored and appearances with 71 goals in 134 games. Senamuang brought the curtain down on his playing career in 2007 and later moved into management, steering the fortunes of his country from 2014 to 2017.
Miroslav Klose will go down in history as Germany’s top goalscorer of all time, surpassing Gerd Muller, with 71 goals during his international career. The former Bayern Munich star helped Die Mannschaft to a World Cup title in 2014 and also holds the record for most World Cup goals.
Just a goal behind compatriot Kiatisuk Senamuang, Piyapong Pue-on’s 70 goals make him one of the best goalscorers in the history of international football. Pue-on spent the majority of his playing career with the Royal Thai Air Force and replicated his club form for his country over the course of 16 years.
The top scorer of any CONCACAF nation in history, Stern John’s 70 goals for Trinidad & Tobago see him rubbing shoulders with some of the world’s best players. John spent the bulk of his career playing in England and spent a number of seasons in the Premier League with Birmingham City and later Sunderland. He competed at the 2006 World Cup with his country but failed to register a goal at the tournament.
Widely regarded as one of the best centre-forwards of all time, Gerd Muller’s international goal tally of 68 is made all the more impressive by the fact that he achieved that number in just 62 games. Known as ‘Der Bomber‘, the former Bayern Munich star was a key player for West Germany, hitting 10 goals as they finished third at the 1970 World Cup and scoring four as they won the 1974 World Cup.
Carlos Ruiz is perhaps most remembered for his goalscoring exploits in Major League Soccer, where he shone for the likes of LA Galaxy and FC Dallas, but he is also undoubtedly one of Guatemala’s best-ever players. Ruiz recently retired but hung up his boots having set the national record for both goals scored (68) and appearances (133).
Former Liverpool, Tottenham and Inter striker Robbie Keane will go down in history as one of the best players to hail from the Republic of Ireland. Keane holds the Irish record for both goals scored (68) and caps (146), and he competed at three major tournaments with the Boys in Green, including the 2002 World Cup.
Egypt’s Hossam Hassan’s international career spanned two decades and he amassed plenty of goals during that period. The striker played at the 1990 World Cup and competed in seven Africa Cup of Nations tournaments, bringing the curtain down on his time with the national team after winning the latter in 2006.