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Top 10 international goalscorers of all time

Sunil Chhetri, Pele and Cristiano Ronaldo have all had glorious careers for their respective countries
Sunil Chhetri, Pele and Cristiano Ronaldo have all had glorious careers for their respective countries

Scoring for your country is always a source of pride. While for many representing their country remains a dream, few manage to do that; fewer manage to score.

While the likes of Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo tend to take the plaudits while representing their countries, there are many players who have performed at a high level for their respective nations.

We look at the top 10 international goalscorers of all-time.


#10 SUNIL CHHETRI - INDIA | 115 caps | 72 goals

Sunil Chhetri in action for India
Sunil Chhetri in action for India

Arguably India's finest footballer, Sunil Chhetri is the current captain of the Indian national team.

The forward, who currently plies his trade in club football for Bengaluru, has scored the second-highest number of goals in international matches among active male footballers. Chhetri has also had stints with Kansas City Wizards and Sporting CP and was very close to a move to Queens Park Rangers in 2009.

Now 35, the former Mohun Bagan forward continues to put in commendable performances for both club and country while remaining the poster-boy for Indian football.


#9 BASHAR ABDULLAH - KUWAIT | 134 caps | 75 goals

While not much is known about Bashar Abdullah's club career, there is no denying that he enjoyed a prolific goalscoring record in international games.

Making his debut in 1994 for Al-Salmiyah, Abdullah spent 16 years with the club, helping them win the league three times. He made his debut for Kuwait in 1996, and played key roles in the country finishing second in the Arab Cup and the Asian Olympics.

Abdullah spent a season with Al Kuwait after leaving Al-Salmiyah in 2010, spending a season with them before retiring in 2011 from football.


#8 KUNISHIGE KAMAMOTO - JAPAN | 76 caps | 75 goals

All-time leading goalscorer for Japan, Kunishige Kamamoto is also a one-club man, spending his entire professional career with Yanmar Diesel (currently Cerezo Osaka).

The forward was prolific for both club and country. Kamamoto made more than 300 appearances for his club, scoring 262 goals in all competitions. He won the Japanese Footballer of the Year seven times.

Internationally, Kamamoto represented Japan in the Olympics as well as in the Asian Games, becoming the top goalscorer for the Summer Olympics of 1968.


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#7 PELE - BRAZIL | 92 caps | 77 goals

Pele is regarded as one of the best footballers of all time
Pele is regarded as one of the best footballers of all time

Regarded as one of the best players to have played the game, Pele is one of the biggest names in the sport.

The forward spent the majority of his playing career with Santos, where he is still the all-time top goalscorer. Pele was well-regarded for his creativity, pace and eye for goal, dropping deeper into midfield during the latter stages of his career. After 18 years with Santos, the Brazilian moved to New York Cosmos, where he spent two seasons before retiring.

On the international level, Pele played a key role in Brazil winning three World Cups and won the Best Player gong for the 1970 World Cup.


#6 HUSSEIN SAEED - IRAQ | 137 caps | 78 goals

Another one-club man, Hussein Saeed is considered to be one of the finest Iraqi footballers ever.

Having made his debut for Al-Talaba in 1975, Saeed enjoyed an incredible goalscoring stint at club level as well. He scored 122 goals in just 81 appearances for his club in the league. However, it is his international performances for which he is well-renowned.

Making his debut for Iraq in 1976, Saeed won the Arabian Gulf Cup twice with his country, also winning the Asian Games Gold Medal in 1982. He retired in 1990, managing Al-Talaba in 1993.


#5 GODFREY CHITALU - ZAMBIA | 111 caps | 79 goals

Regarded as the greatest Zambian footballer to have played the game, Godfrey Chitalu made his debut for Kitwe United in 1964 and enjoyed a good spell with both club and country.

A fan of Denis Law, Chitalu was a gifted yet aggressive footballer who often had issues with authority. After six years with Kitwe United, he moved to Kabwe Warriors, where he would play for the next 11 years. Internationally, he helped Zambia finish second in the African Cup of Nations in 1974.

Post his retirement, Chitalu managed Kabwe Warriors twice, before taking over the Zambia national team. He was manager when the entire squad perished in a plane crash in 1993.


#4 FERENC PUSKAS - HUNGARY | 85 caps | 84 goals

Like Pele, Ferenc Puskas is regarded as one of the best players to have played the game; so much so that there is a famous award named after him.

Puskas made his professional debut in 1943 for Budapest Honved, scoring 358 goals in 350 league games before moving to Real Madrid in 1958. Here Puskas would establish his legend, making 180 league appearances and scoring 156 goals for them.

He helped Hungary finish second in the 1954 FIFA World Cup, also making four appearances for the Spanish national team. He retired in 1966, going on to manage the likes of Alaves and the Hungary national team.


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#3 MOKHTAR DAHARI - MALAYSIA | 139 caps | 85 goals

A strong centre-forward who helped Malaysia beat the likes of South Korea and Japan, Mokhtar Dahari was affectionately known as "Super Mokh".

Spending a major part of his club football career with Selangor FA, Dahari was well-renowned for his passionate style of play. He left Selangor FA in 1987 after 15 years with the club, joining Kwong Yik Bank in 1988. He played for them for two years, before retiring from the sport.

Dahari played a crucial role as Malaysia won the bronze medal in the 1974 Asian Games. He passed away in 1991 due to illness.


#2 CRISTIANO RONALDO - PORTUGAL | 165 caps | 101 goals

Cristiano Ronaldo in Portugal colours
Cristiano Ronaldo in Portugal colours

Arguably the greatest player to have played the game, Cristiano Ronaldo's legend increases on a daily basis.

Currently plying his trade for Juventus, the 35-year old continues to break records. Having made his debut for Portugal in 2003, Ronaldo's crowning moment came when he helped the team win the Euros in 2016. The forward has also played for the likes of Manchester United and Real Madrid, and is considered a great at both the clubs.

In the season gone by, he helped Juventus win Serie A, scoring 31 goals in 33 appearances for the club.


#1 ALI DAEI - IRAN | 149 caps | 109 goals

Ali Daei in action for Iran
Ali Daei in action for Iran

A prolific goalscorer who played for the likes of Bayern Munich and Hertha Berlin, Ali Daei tops this list comfortably.

The Iranian was excellent in the air and well-renowned for his headers. Having played for the likes of Persepolis in Iran, Daei moved to Germany in 1997, playing for Arminia Bielefeld before moving to Bayern Munich.

With Iran he won the Asian Games Gold Medal in 1998, representing his country in the 2006 FIFA World Cup. He retired in 2007 from professional football, going on to coach the likes of Iran and Persepolis.


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Edited by Ashwin
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