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Ronaldo surpassed Pele in the Best Goalscorers All-Time list with 759 goals in official matches. Who ranks first?

Edson Arantes and Cristiano Ronaldo
Edson Arantes do Nascimento, known as Pelé and Cristiano Ronaldo

At the end of Sunday’s match against Sassuolo, Cristiano Ronaldo picked up the ball in midfield and made a run towards Andrea Consiglia to set up the final score of the match, 3-1. 

It was the 759th goal of his career, only official matches for clubs and the national team are taken into account. It took Cristiano 1037 career appearances to accumulate such an impressive number.

According to some statistics, Ronaldo has now caught up on the number of goals scored in official matches with Josef Bican, the great goalscorer of the early twentieth century. The King of Football, legendary Pelé was left behind a few days ago when Cristiano scored a double against Udinese.

But there are some difficulties with counting all the goals of retired football stars of the 20th century. Because of World War II, not all data has been preserved. Sources disagree on the exact number of goals. One amateur structure holds different and probably more accurate data, it was organized in 1994 by statistics fans Lars Aarhus, Kent Hedlundh and Karel Stokkermans. They include in ranking only players who have spent most of their career at the top level. Let’s take a look.

Prolific Scorers (Official Matches)

NameCountry of originGoals scored
1. Josef BicanAustria, Bohemia/Moravia805+
2. RomárioBrazil772
3. PeléBrazil767
4. Cristiano RonaldoPortugal759
5. Gerd MüllerGermany735

So according to the stats, Ronaldo is only the fourth, to reach Bican he needs to score 46 more goals. Fortunately, he still has a couple of years of his career to do that.

Ronaldo had the most flamboyant numbers during his stay in La Liga. On average he scored one goal every match for his former club Real Madrid.

Cristiano Ronaldo goal record:

Sporting Lisbon5 goals from 31 appearances
Manchester United118 goals from 292 appearances
Real Madrid450 goals from 438 appearances
Juventus84 goals from 106 appearances (and counting)
Portugal102 goals from 170 appearances (and counting)
  • Milan are in the lead in the Italian championship with 40 points while Juventus are in fourth place with 33 points and one match left to play.
  • Cristiano Ronaldo is the only player to score 15+ league goals in each of the last 15 seasons in Europe’s top five leagues.
  • Josef Bican began his career in 1931 – his first club was Rapid in Vienna. After the escalation of the situation (the arrival of Hitler supporters, the Anschluss) he left for Prague, where he played for the local Slavia for most of his career. It was the same for the national team: Bitsan started in Austria, but in 1938 he switched to Czechoslovakia.