Lionel Messi overtakes Cristiano Ronaldo as Europe’s greatest goalscorer

April 15, 2023

Lionel Messi is officially the greatest goalscorer in European football history after overtaking his archrival Cristiano Ronaldo with his 703rd goal in PSG’s 3-1 win over Lens on Saturday. 

The Argentine international is arguably the greatest player in the world for his talent and all-round game. But his goals have also set him apart, with his most recent sending him clear at the top of the best goalscorers in Europe club football. 

Messi might be from Argentina, a South American country, but he has spent all his professional football career in Europe. The 35-year-old first joined Barcelona at the age of 13 before going on to cement himself as the club’s greatest-ever player.

He scored a whopping 672 goals for the Catalan side, which is why he’s now recognised as Europe’s greatest-ever goal-getter.

Since moving to PSG, he has not hit the heights that helped him win seven Ballon d’Or trophies, but he continues to bang in the goals. His most recent has added another feather to his already flowery cap as he became the player with the most goals on the continent at the club level only. He has 31 goals for PSG in all competitions, bringing his total goals scored in the European club to 703. 

However, if international goals in Europe had been included, Cristiano Ronaldo would be comfortably top of the list as the Portuguese has scored a staggering 122 international goals for his country–the most of any individual in history for a nation. But if only club goals is counted, Messi is the king with 703 goals plus 298 assists.  

With the seven-time Ballon d’Or winner climbing to the number one spot, which other players make up the top 12?

Let’s take a look 

12. Robert Lewandowski (Poland) – 515 goal

11. Gerd Muller (Germany) – 526 goals

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10. Fernando Peyroteo (Portugal) – 539 goals

9. Jimmy McGrory (Scotland) – 540 goals

8. Glenn Ferguson (Northern Ireland) – 563 goals

7. Abe Lenstra (Netherlands) – 591 goals

6. Joe Bambrick (Northern Ireland) – 608 goals

5. Jimmy Jones (Northern Ireland) – 636 goals

4. Ferenc Puskas (Hungary, Spain) – 640 goals

3. Josef Bican (Austria, BM, CS) – 690 goals

2. Cristiano Ronaldo (Portugal) – 701 goals

  1. Lionel Messi (Argentina) – 703 goals

While Ronaldo cannot add to his tally as he is currently playing for a Saudi Arabian team, Messi has time to add more goals to his tally as he still plays for a Europe-based team. Although his contract at PSG will expire this summer, there are strong indications that he will remain in Europe with Barcelona, who are leading the race for his signature. 

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