Scottish footballer Gavin Strokes owns the record for the fastest goal in football.

While playing for Maryhill in the West of Scotland Super League First Division, Gavin Strokes netted the fastest-ever recorded goal in 2.1 seconds against Clydebank in 2017.

However, records related to the fastest goal in football are debated for several reasons.

Firstly, football is considered to be the most popular sport played over 200 countries and territories at many different levels. 

Additionally, numerous records listed for fastest goal in football in the Guinness World Records were not filmed, which makes it even more difficult to verify the accurate timing of goals.

That said, we take a look at fastest goal in various major football competitions around the world:

Fastest goal in football

Fastest goal in international football 

Germany’s Lukas Podolski etched his name into history books after he scored the fastest goal in international football. During an international friendly in 2013, Podolski netted a goal six seconds after kickoff for Germany against Ecuador. The Germans secured a 4-2 victory in the clash.

Fastest goal in FIFA World Cup 

Former Turkish footballer Hakan Sukur owns the record for the fastest goal in FIFA World Cup history. During the third-place play-off encounter at FIFA World Cup 2002, Hakan Sukur opened the scoring for Turkey in just 11 seconds against hosts South Korea. His goal helped Turkey register a 3-2 win in Daegu, South Korea.

Meanwhile, Christian Benteke has the record for the fastest goal in a FIFA World Cup qualification game. The Belgium striker scored a goal in 8.1 seconds against Gibraltar in 2016, helping his team to a 6-0 triumph.

Fastest goal in UEFA Champions League 

Former Dutch footballer Roy Makaay holds the record for the fastest goal in UEFA Champions League history. While playing for Bayern Munich, Makaay netted a goal in 10.12 seconds against Real Madrid during their second leg of Round of 16 tie in 2007. Makaay’s goal helped the Bavarians pip Madrid to qualify for the quarter-finals.

Fastest goal in UEFA Europa League

Czech professional footballer Jan Sýkora recorded the fastest goal in UEFA Europa League. Jan Sýkora opened the scoring for Czech side FC Slovan Liberec against Qarabag in 2016. The Group J match ended in a 2-2 draw.

Fastest goal in women’s football 

Megan Searson holds the record for the fastest goal in women’s football. She opened the scoring for the University of Mary in three seconds against Minnesota Crookstown in a National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) match in 2016. The University of Mary won the game 2-0.

Lionel Messi fastest goal 

Argentine talisman Lionel Messi's fastest goal came against Australia in an international friendly in 2023. The 2022 FIFA World Cup winner netted a goal one minute and 20 seconds after kickoff for Argentina at the Workers’ Stadium in Beijing, China. Argentina registered a clinical 2-0 win in the encounter.

Cristiano Ronaldo fastest goal 

Portuguese star Cristiano Ronaldo's fastest goal came against Xerez in a La Liga game in 2009. While playing for Real Madrid, Cristiano Ronaldo opened the scoring in 45 seconds to register his fastest goal in his career. Ronaldo ended the match with a brace as Madrid thrashed Xerez 5-0.

Photo credit: Alamy