Manchester United and Portugal forward Cristiano Ronaldo became the first player to score 800+ career goals following a brace against Arsenal in a 3-2 win for the Red Devils at Old Trafford. The former Real Madrid star has now scored 801 goals which is the most career goals in football.

That said, it’s worth mentioning that there is a disputed claim that Czech great Josef Bican has scored most career goals in football history according to the Czech FA which contests that the legendary striker netted 821 goals in official matches. However, official football statistics estimate Bican’s tally at 759, out of which 730 were club goals and 29 for the national team.

The numbers behind Ronaldo’s achievements are simply breathtaking, to say the least. To begin with, his tally of 801 goals in 1095 games means that he is averaging a goal every 1.36 games.

Furthermore, his last 700 goals have come in just 794 appearances and the Portugal skipper has netted 338 times in 377 games since turning 30. At club level he’s scored 450 goals for Real Madrid, 130 for Manchester United, 101 for Juventus and five for Sporting Lisbon. For country, the five-time Ballon d’Or winner has netted 115 times.

Ronaldo’s tally of 801 career goals puts him ahead of rival Lionel Messi, who has scored the second-most career goals in football. The former FC Barcelona frontman has netted 767 goals for club and country. Brazil great Pele and Romaria complete the top five list with 757 and 743 career goals respectively.

Amongst active players, Zlatan Ibrahimovic, with 570 goals, is third on the list for most career goals. The Swede is followed by Bayern Munich forward Robert Lewandowski (547 goals) and Atletico Madrid’s Luis Suarez (512 goals) among active players. 

Most career goals in football

Player Goals
Cristiano Ronaldo 802*
Lionel Messi 767*
Josef Bican 759
Pele 757
Romario 743

Featured photo: AFP / Ben Stansall