The real beauty of football is in its mass appeal and in the art of goalscorers and defenders. It’s the most-watched sport across the globe and the most followed one as well. The diversity of the sport is what makes it stand out. The players and the coaches come from various backgrounds and a football team seems like a melting pot of different cultures.
Different continents have different traditions for the sport but each one of them can boast of certain players who have proven to be the difference-maker for their respective countries on the global stage. Have you wondered who these players could be? In this piece, we will reveal the top goalscorers amongst active players from each of the six continents on earth.
EUROPE | CRISTIANO RONALDO (Portugal)
When it comes to top goalscorers, Cristiano Ronaldo’s name can never be missed. Cristiano seems to have got ice running through his veins and stands out as the most lethal goalscorer this sport has ever seen. Cristiano has won almost everything there is to win in football apart from the FIFA World Cup. Winner of five Ballon d’Or awards, Cristiano rose to prominence during his time at Manchester United. He can do anything a coach needs in the attacking third. He is equally good with both his legs and hardly loses an aerial battle. His fitness standards are inconceivable and he definitely is one of the best professionals to have graced the sport.
He is one shy of a hundred goals for Portugal in international matches. He has the most number of international goals amongst the current crop of players. He is 35 now but there’s no stopping the man. Like wine, he seems to be getting better with age.
ASIA | SUNIL CHHETRI (India)
Captain, leader, legend – need we say more about this prolific goalscorer from India? Sunil Chhetri is a proper striker who punishes the opponents in the attacking third. He is an absolute role model for young football players in India and commands the respect he deserves from the defenders on the pitch.
He has been the go-to man in Indian football for the last 15 years and is still going strong. In 112 appearances for his country, Chhetri has managed to find the back of the net on 76 occasions. That puts him second on the list of goals scored at the international level amongst active players. He continues to inspire the country and stands tall as Asia’s highest goalscorer from the active bunch.
SOUTH AMERICA | LIONEL MESSI (Argentina)
The man who holds six Ballon d’Or awards is unsurprisingly South America’s flag-bearer in terms of goalscoring. Lionel Messi is a one-club man who came through the ranks of the Spanish giants FC Barcelona and has shaken the world with his brilliance on the field. When Messi takes to the field, the whole world awaits magic. More often than not, he’s surrounded by four to five opposition players but still, the little magician finds a way to dribble past them. He is probably the most skilful player this planet has ever experienced and the way he goes about his business is absolutely scintillating.
Like Cristiano, Messi has won everything in world football apart from the coveted FIFA World Cup trophy, though he came extremely close in the 2014 edition where Argentina finished runners-up to Germany. He has a remarkable tally of 70 goals for his country and is the highest goalscorer amongst the current players hailing from South America.
NORTH AND CENTRAL AMERICA | JAVIER HERNANDEZ (Mexico)
Javier Hernandez is a Mexican striker currently playing for LA Galaxy in Major League Soccer (MLS). Javier or Chicharito, as he is commonly known, is his country’s highest goalscorer till date. He famously scored 20 goals in Manchester United’s Premier League title-winning campaign in 2010, his debut season.
Since then, he has gone on to represent some of the best clubs in Europe like Real Madrid, Bayer Leverkusen, Sevilla and West Ham United. On January 2020, he signed a three-year contract with LA Galaxy to become the highest-paid player in Major League Soccer. With 52 goals to his name for his country in over 100 appearances, Javier is the highest goalscorer from North and Central America currently.
AFRICA | ASAMOAH GYAN (Ghana)
Ghana’s Asamoah Gyan has 51 international goals to his name and stands tall as the leading goalscorer from Africa amongst the current lot. Gyan has represented Ghana in three FIFA World Cup tournaments and has a record six goals in the competition, making him the highest-scoring African at the World Cup stage.
Indian football saw shades of Gyan’s brilliance in the 2019-20 Hero Indian Super League season when he donned the jersey of NorthEast United FC and led them from the front. Though his season was cut short due to an injury, his goalscoring abilities even at the age of 34, was visible to one and all.
OCEANIA | CHRIS WOOD (New Zealand)
Born in New Zealand’s Auckland, Chris Wood is a striker who currently represents the Premier League club Burnley and is the vice-captain of the national team. Wood has now completed three consecutive seasons in the English top-flight league and has scored 10 goals or above in each one of them.
He has been capped 57 times by his national team and has found the back of the net on 24 occasions throughout his career. He had represented New Zealand in the 2010 FIFA World Cup and was a part of the squad that won the 2016 Oceania Football Confederation Nations Cup. Wood is just 28 and will surely go on to add more goals to his overall quota in the years to come.
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