Football is a game that goes far beyond just the number on the scoreboard. Football is about the many subtleties which finally lead to a host of ‘almosts’ which ultimately brings us to that one thing that can make the crowds in the stadium roar with joy; that one thing that can make or break a match in the matter of a few seconds. That one thing is a goal. And in such a game, being able to consistently perform well and the score is no easy feat.
Although the consistency of performance can be measured in a lot of ways, one of the easiest ways is the consistency when it comes to scoring goals. Though all players in a team (like the goalkeeper) cannot be measured in the same manner, consistency in scoring goals is what makes some of the players reach the platform they have now reached.
It is a no-brainer that we have contemporary players like Neymar, Suáerz, Messi, and Ronaldo are some of the best players in the world with mind-boggling performances. It would be foolish, however, to ignore the giants who came before them whose goals-per-game ratio has been out of this world. The best example is Portugal’s Fernando Peyroteo whose ratio was a ridiculous 1.77 goals per game. He could even boast of an unimaginable 2.5 goals per game in his debut season. Other players include Czech-Austrian striker Josef Bican (1.52 goals per game) and Hungarian forward Imre Schlosser (1.3 per game).
While these three legendary players passed away in 1978, 2001 and 1959 respectively. But the game goes on, and while no one can replace these legends, we have other players who added their own flavor to the dish. These players influenced and inspired the football world with the unmatchable skill they brought to the table. These legendary players do not actively play the sport professionally anymore but have had impressive careers that boast of an exceptional goals-per-game ratio throughout their football career.
They went beyond their sport and continue to influence and inspire the world in the form of politicians, UN Ambassadors, and football coaches.
Pelé - 0.92
Born as Edson Arantes do Nascimento, Pelé is arguably the most legendary football player in the sport. He holds the Guinness World Record for most career goals at 1,279 goals between 7 September 1956 and 1 October 1977. However, this number also includes unofficial and friendlies. His official number lies at an impressive 767 goals in 831 matches which means his goals-per-game ratio is 0.92 goals. He also holds the record for the most number of hat-tricks with a startling 92 hat-tricks. For most of his career, Pelé played with Santos FC and then with New York Cosmos till the end of his career. He also had a very illustrious career leading Brazil to win three championships.
Since his retirement, Pelé has been known to be an active humanitarian including being declared a UN ambassador for ecology and the environment.