Ranking the 5 greatest strikers of all time

Who are the top five greatest strikers of all-time?
Who are the top five greatest strikers of all-time?
Sachin Bhat

When it comes to individual honors in football, the most prolific strikers often sweep them all over their counterparts from other positions.

It may seem unfair, but their job is not as easy as it seems, as teams depend on them for goals - the single biggest factor in the sport.

Football's history is filled with so many amazing goalscorers, some of whom are/were penalty-box assassins, while some are/were all-rounders.

Regardless, whittling it down to the top five is never easy, but we've given it a shot. Without further ado, here is a look at the

5 greatest strikers to have ever played the sport

#5 Alfredo Di Stefano

Di Stefano was deemed the complete player in history by Michel Platini
Di Stefano was deemed the complete player in history by Michel Platini

Real Madrid's original superstar Alfredo Di Stefano's brilliance throughout the mid-20th century still resonates with much of the footballing world.

Nicknamed 'Blond Arrow' for his power, speed, creativity and skill, the striker was a leading figure when Los Blancos won five consecutive European titles in the 1950s and 60s. He is one of only three players to achieve the feat - and even scored in each of those finals.

He was a goalscoring wizard, scoring 487 club goals and another 29 in his international career (six for Argentina and 23 for Spain). The Argentine striker won two Ballons d'Or and eight domestic and European Golden Boots.

When it came to delivering consistently in the big games, there was nobody even close to Di Stefano, whose incredible record and glorious accomplishments are still revered in modern day football.

#4 Ferenc Puskas

Puskas was a prominent member of Hungary's Magical Magyars in the 1950s
Puskas was a prominent member of Hungary's Magical Magyars in the 1950s

An iconic name from Hungary's golden era, Ferenc Puskas was the sport's first international superstar. He was recognized as the greatest top division scorer of the 20th-century by the International Federation of Football History and Statistics (IFFHS).

And why not? The Hungarian legend amassed more than 700 goals in his illustrious career as he possessed a perfect balance of power, flair and passion, which made him one of the most perfect strikers.

Puskas had already achieved legendary status after 13 glorious years in his homeland with local side Budapest Honved. However, he garnered more recognition after joining Real Madrid, whom he guided to six league titles and three European cups.

Puskas is widely considered the greatest Hungarian player of all-time and one of the best strikers the sport has ever seen. Aside from having won many individual accolades, he even has an award named after himself for the most beautiful goal scored in a year.

#3 Gerd Muller

R.I.P Gerd Muller, the greatest footballer Germany has ever produced!
R.I.P Gerd Muller, the greatest footballer Germany has ever produced!

There are fewer nicknames in football cooler than 'Der Bomber', which should tell you just how peerless Gerd Muller was.

He was a striker renowned for his clinical finishing and a penchant for turning up in the right place at the right time. The former German international loved scoring goals. In fact, he scored more than 700 goals in his illustrious career.

He set numerous records along the way, including that of most goals in the history of Bundesliga (398), the most in the history of Bayern Munich (563) and the most Golden Boots in the history of Bundesliga (7) - all of which remain untouched even to this day.

Muller's scoring prowess transcended international boundaries too, helping Die Mannschaft to 1974 World Cup glory, during which he scored 10 of his 68 international goals overall.

Sadly, he passed away on August 15th this year, but his legacy is indelible, and he remains an idol for so many budding, as well as professional footballers around the world.

#2 Ronaldo Nazario

Ronaldo set a huge bar for strikers
Ronaldo set a huge bar for strikers

Brazil have been blessed with so many incredible strikers in their history. But no one can hold a candle to O Fenômeno, who became the gold standard for a whole generation of strikers who came after him.

A multi-functional striker, he struck fear in the hearts of the opponents. Such was Ronaldo's goalscoring prowess, and he often turned heads with his impeccable skills on the ball.

His biggest accomplishment was helping Brazil win the 2002 FIFA World Cup, wherein the striker netted eight times, including twice in the finals against Germany. That brace was undoubtedly the most important pair of strikes of his illustrious career which yielded a total of 414 goals.

At club level too, he played for many sides, but most famously for Barcelona, Inter Milan and Real Madrid. He guided each of these sides to numerous honors with his exploits, which were rewarded with countless individual honors too, including two Ballons d'Or.

A true icon of the sport indeed.

#1 Pele

The greatest striker in the history?
The greatest striker in the history?

Where do we even begin with Pele? 'The Black Pearl of football' is the greatest of all-time in the eyes of many. And there's little disputing about it too.

Since bursting into stardom at the age of 17 for guiding Brazil to World Cup glory in 1958, he never looked back, and kept the world transfixed as the striker went on to accomplish many great things.

He still holds the Guinness World Record for most career goals with 1,279, although his official count is somewhere between 720 and 740 - no small feat either.

Fans of the current generation still do not truly gage what an exceptional player he was, but his records speak volumes about him. There are enough clips of him dancing through defenses that can easily catch your imagination.

Pele's imperious goalscoring prowess has yielded him 30 major trophies, including three World Cups. For that reason, among others, he has been labeled "the greatest" by FIFA themselves. Period.

Edited by Aakanksh Sanketh


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