Lionel Messi might be the best player in the world today, but the amount of celebrations actually needed from his capturing the top spot on the Barcelona scoring charts should have its limits. Let’s not forget – while Barcelona might be the best club in Europe for the last few years, historically, in terms of continental success, they’re have a few minor clubs ahead of them.
And like Barcelona haven’t invented football, despite what you might have read, Messi isn’t the first player to score in bucket loads. His pace is staggering, but he still has quite a way to go before he reaches Raul and other great scorers from across the years.
Real Madrid – Raul
Still hard to think of Raul not as a Real Madrid player. After 16 seasons with Real, his last two seasons with Schalke, despite being successful (34 goals in 89 matches) seem out of place. For Real, he has scored 323 goals in 741 matches, more importantly 228 in 550 league matches. He won the Pichichi twice – In 1999 with 25 goals and in 2001 with 24. He’s the all time leading scorer in the Champions League with 66.
Coming in fast behind is Cristiano Ronaldo, with 99 league goals in 91 matches, 129 in 130 in all competitions, one goal shy of entering the top 10, where Michel Gonzalez await with 130.
Barcelona – Lionel Messi
Lionel Messi’s incredible scoring pace, especially since Guardiola took over the club in the summer of 2008, has been record shattering. Hat-tricks right and left, four goal performances and even that five goal night against Leverkusen. Messi, at 24, has scored 153 goals in 204 matches for the club in La Liga. He has scored 234 in 314 matches, putting him over Cesar, who magically lost three goals in a recent stat finding mission.
AC Milan – Gunnar Nordahl
Eight seasons with AC Milan were enough for Nordahl to cement his place as the club’s greatest goalscorer of all-time, netting 221 goals in 268 appearances, in the days before one could play dozens of matches a season in continental competition. He never won the league title with the Rossoneri, but did lead the Serie A in scoring 5 times between 1950-1955.
At second is Andriy Shevchenko, who played for Milan between 1999-2006 and then again for a short while in 2008-2009. He won one league title and one Champions League title, scoring 175 goals in 322 matches for the club.
Juventus – Alessandro Del Piero
Sad to see that Del Piero has yet to score a league goal in 2011-2012, not getting ample opportunities under the Antonio Conte regime, already declared a free player by the end of the season. At 37, I wonder if Del Piero, who went down with Juventus and came back in 2007-2008 with one of his best seasons ever, will choose to retire or keep on playing elsewhere.
Numbers? Del Piero has 287 goals in 694 matches for the club, leading the team in appearances as well. His 21 goals in 2008 were enough to win the Serie A top goalscorer award. He left Boniperti, with 182 goals, behind a long time ago. Roberto Baggio has 115 goals, ranked 9th all time.
Internazionale Milano – Giuseppe Meazza
Meazza played for Inter, Milan and Juventus during his 20 year career, but played his first 13, and most successful seasons with the nerazzurri, scoring 284 goals for the club in 408 matches. He won two world cups with Italy in 1934 and 1938. Among the active players, Diego Milito, with 54 goals in 114 is the leading scorer.
Bayern Munich – Gerd Muller
Gerd Muller scored 398 goals in 453 matches for Bayern Munich, playing for the Bavarian giants between 1964-1979. He was brilliant for the national team as well, scoring 68 goals in 62 caps. Muller won four Bundesliga titles with Bayern, three consecutive European Cups (1974-1976) and led the league in scoring seven times between 1967-1978, scoring over 30 league goals a season five times.
Manchester United – Bobby Charlton
Bobby Charlton played for Manchester United from 1956-1973, surviving the Munich air disaster, going on to win the European Cup in 1968 and the World Cup with England in 1966. He scored 249 goals in 758 matches. With 49 goals for England, he’s still the national team’s all time leading scorer.
Wayne Rooney, with 174 goals in 356 matches, is sixth on the United all time scoring list. Ryan Giggs, with 903 matches, is ninth (163 goals).
Liverpool – Ian Rush
Rush enjoyed an incredible first half to his career, scoring 207 goals for Liverpool on his first 7 seasons with the club, winning four league titles and the European Cup in 1984. He wasn’t an integral part of the squad during the 1981 triumph. After his Italian episode, Rush wasn’t the same in terms of numbers, adding another 139 goals until 1996. He finished his career for Liverpool with 346 goals in 660 matches.
Roger Hunt, who played for Liverpool during the 1960’s, is the club’s leading goal scorer in league action with 245 goals. Steven Gerrard is ninth on the all time list with 149 goals in 576 matches. Michael Owen is 7th with 158 goals for Liverpool, while Robbie Fowler is fifth with 183 goals.
SL Benfica – Eusebio
Eusebio began playin for Benfica in 1960 after being snapped up from Mozambique, winning 11 league titles with the club during his 15 years there. He led the league in scoring seven times between 1964-1973, and scored an incredible 638 goals in 614 matches for Benfica, averaging 1.07 goals per match for the team.
Nuno Gomes, currently with Braga, is 8th on the all-time list with 160 goals for the club in 391 matches. Oscar Cardozo, with Benfica since 2007, has 126 goals for the club.
FC Porto – Fernando Gomes
Gomes was part of Porto’s rise to dominance in Portuguese football, capturing the top spot from Benfica. He won five league titles with the club between 1977-1988, leaving in 1989 to finish his career with Sporting. He scored 318 goals for the club, winning the European Golden Shoe twice, in 1983 and in 1985.
Ajax – Piet van Reenen
Although the authenticity of numbers from the period of 1929-1942, when van Reenen played for Ajax, isn’t exaclty accurate, the clubs’ books show him as the top scorer for Ajax with 273 goals. Johan Cruijff is second, with 271 goals in 369 matches.
Marco Van Basten is fifth on the all time list with 153 goals. Dennis Bergkamp is 10th with 122 and Luis Suarez, another example of how hard it is for the club to hang on to its best players, scored 111 goals in just over three seasons with the club.