Lionel Messi recorded his 700th top class goal on Tuesday, just a week after celebrating his 33rd birthday. It was Messi’s 630th goal for Barcelona and he has scored another 70 for Argentina.
The goal came in the 50th minute from a “Panenka” penalty kick against Atletico Madrid in La Liga. It was Messi’s 32nd goal to go with 8 assists in 41 career games against Atletico.
Going into Tuesday’s game, Messi has scored 26 goals in 37 appearances for Barcelona this season with 21 of the goals coming in 27 La Liga games. It was Messi’s 5th goal from the penalty spot this season.
The milestone goal by Messi was not enough as the game played out to a 2-2 draw. It was Barcelona’s third draw in its last four La Liga matches and it allowed Real Madrid to stay top of the league. Real Madrid has a point more than Barcelona with a game less played. On Thursday, Real Madrid plays Getafe.
In February, Messi surpassed the 1,000 mark in career goals and assists in full international and club games. He has now scored 727 goals in 917 official games. His first club goal came in the 2003/04 season for Barcelona “C”. The following season he opened his account for Argentina playing for the Under-2os.
Messi’s 727th goal leaves him still only 7th in the list of all-time leading goal scorers compiled by RSSSF (Soccer Statistics Foundation). However, he is now within 9 goals on overtaking the great German goalscorer, Gerd Mueller. Mueller scored 735 goals in 793 matches.
Messi’s great rival, Cristiano Ronaldo, is now tied with Ferenc Puskás as the 4th highest scorer in history. Ronaldo now has 746 goals in 1,041 games and is the only player in the top 7 to have played more than 1,000 official professional games according to RSSSF. Ronaldo scored his 746th goal in a 3-0 win for Juventus on Tuesday over Genoa in Serie A.
The win maintained Juventus’ 4-point lead over Lazio at the top of Serie A with 9 games left to play.
Third and second are Pelé and then Romário. Pelé scored 767 goals in 831 games; Romário 772 goals in 994 games. However, it worth noting that it has been claimed that both players scored more than 1,000 goals.
The top all-time scorer according to RSSSF is the little known Josef Biscan. Biscan played internationally for Czechoslovakia and he was also part of the legendary Austria Wunderteam of the 1930s.
Biscan also played for 8 different club teams in Eastern Europe in the 30s, 40s, and 50s. His 805 goals is recognized as the most by any player in official games although his tally when unofficial games is estimated at over 1,450.
The goal ratio (goals per game) gives us the a revised order:
- Biscan 1.51
- Puskas 0.99
- Pelé 0.92 (tied)
- Mueller 0.92 (tied)
- Messi 0.79
- Romário 0.77
- Ronaldo 0.72
Messi and Ronaldo are the only two current active players in the top seven and are miles ahead of other active players. Zlatan Ibrahimovic is the closest and he is 180 goals behind Messi while having played 10 more games (547 goals in 925 games).
Bayern Munich’s Robert Lewandowski has scored 482 goals in 731 games at a rate of 0.66 goals per game. Lewandowski is having a splendid season and he is currently leading the 2019/20 Golden Boot scoring table.
The award is given to the Europe’s top scorer in the top divisions. Lewandowski’s 34 goals are worth 68 points and he currently enjoys a 10-point lead Lazio’s Ciro Immobile and a 12-point advantage on RB Leipzig’s Timo Werner. The league season is over for Lewandowski and Werner while Immobile has a maximum of 9 games to overtake the leader.
It is close to certain that for the first time since the 2008/09 season a player not called Ronaldo, Suarez, or Messi will win the Golden Boot. Messi has won the award in each of last three seasons.
Luis Suarez completes the “active top-5” with 477 goals in 760 at a rate of 0.63 goals per game.
Active players by goal ratio:
- Messi 0.79
- Ronaldo 0.72
- Robert Lewandowski 0.66
- Luis Suarez 0.63
- Zlatan Ibrahimovic 0.59