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The La Liga top scorers - Who leads the all-time list, and who's on top among current players?

La Liga is Europe's strongest league over the past five seasons according to UEFA's league coefficient rankings and has always boasted of some of the world's leading strikers of the game.

La Liga trophy
The La Liga is Europe’s strongest league over the past five seasons as per UEFA’s league coefficient rankings

The Spanish La Liga of Liga BBVA is the most technically skillful league in the world, boasting some of the best players who have played the game. As per UEFA’s league coefficient rankings, the La Liga is the strongest league in Europe over the past five years. It’s no surprise, then, that the league has hosted a wide array of top goalscorers who have racked up the numbers for their teams.

Flashy football and emphasis on youth players coming through the clubs’ ranks make the La Liga extremely appealing to fans who also get to witness some of the best talents from across the world. The league is presently home to arguably two of the best players in the game at present – Cristiano Ronaldo and Lionel Messi. And a look at the most prolific goalscorers in the league reveals that the pair features prominently in the Top 10 and are the only active players in the list. 

Messi sits comfortably at the top of the La Liga goalscoring charts with 284 goals in 313 appearances. Still only 28 and with every chance that of ending his career at the Nou Camp, the Argentine’s goal tally by the end of his career is the stuff of far-reaching imagination right now.

Ronaldo is head and shoulders above the rest when it comes to the goals/games ratio. The Portuguese international averages a staggering 1.125 goals per game and is the only player with a realistic chance of catching Messi.

So who all make the list in the Top 10 goal scorers in La Liga history? Let’s take a look.  

Lionel Messi Barcelona
Lionel Messi is La Liga’s all-time leading goalscorer with 284 goals

No Player Year Clubs Matches Goals Ratio
1 Lionel Messi 2004 – Present  Barcelona 313 284 0.907
2 Telmo Zarra 1940 – 1955 Athletic Bilbao 278 251 0.902
3 Hugo Sanchez

1981 – 1985

1985 – 1992

1993 – 1994

Atletico Madrid 

Real Madrid

Rayo Vallencano

111

207

29

54

164

16

0.486

0.792

0.551

  347 234 0.674
4 Raul Gonzalez 1994 – 2010 Real Madrid 550 228 0.414
5 Alfredo di Stefano

1953 – 1964

1964 – 1966

Real Madrid

Espanyol

282

47

216

11

0.766

0.234

  329 227 0.69
6 Cristiano Ronaldo 2009 – Present Real Madrid 200 225 1.125
7 Cesar Rodriguez

1940 – 1941

1941 – 1955

1955 – 1956

1959 – 1960

Grenada

Barcelona

Cultural Leonesa

Elche

24

287

15

27

23

192

3

5

0.958

0.669

0.2

0.185

  353 223 0,632 
8 Quini

1970 – 1980

1980 – 1984

Sporting

Barcelona

325

100

175

54

0.538

0.54

  425 219 0.515
9 Pahino

1943 – 1944

1945 – 1948

1948 – 1953

1953 – 1956

Celta Vigo 

Celta Vigo

Real Madrid

Deportivo

15

67

122

72

4

52

108

46

0.266

0.776

0.885

0.639

  276 210 0.761
10 Edmundo Suarez

1939 – 1950

1950 – 1951

Valencia

Alcoyano

210

21

186

9

0.886

0.428

        231 195 0.844

Top La Liga goalscorers who are still active in the game

Cristiano Ronaldo Real Madrid
With 225 goals from 200 games, Ronaldo is Messi’s only rival to the No 1 spot

Among the leading goalscorers who are still playing the game, there are lethal forwards like David Villa, Samuel Eto’o and Diego Forlan, who are in the twilight of their careers, as well as players like Gonzalo Higuain, Alvaro Negredo and Roberto Soldado who still have a few years of top flight football left in them.

Rivaldo would have featured in the list as well – at the No. 9 spot – had he not announced his retirement (yes, again!) from the game this weekend, at the age of 43.


No Player Matches Goals Ratio
1 Lionel Messi 313 284 0.907
2 Cristiano Ronaldo 200 225 1.125
3 David Villa 352 185 0.525
4 Samuel Etoo 280 172 0.614
5 Raul Tamudo 403 145 0.36
Diego Forlan 240 128 0.533
7 Aritz Aduriz 312 111 0.356
8 Gonzalo Higuain 190 107 0.563
9 Alvaro Negredo 239 107 0.448
10 Roberto Soldado 207 101 0.488
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