Former Real Madrid forward Cristiano Ronaldo who netted his 760th career goal yesterday in Juventus’ 2-0 win over Napoli in Italian Super Cup has been claimed to be the highest scorer of all time by many reports.

However, is this really true?

The former Red Devils forward bagged five goals for his home country club Sporting Lisbon before he joined Manchester United where he added 118 goals to his career.

Ronaldo who left Old Trafford in 2009 for the Los Blancos, netted further 450 career goals in Spain before he joined Juventus where he has currently added 85 goals to his name.

Adding all these goals to his 120 international goals for his nation Portugal, there is no doubt about the 5 time Ballon d’or winner’s figure.

Unfortunately, there is some bit of confusion from his goalscoring rivals of olden days.

Data from Rec.Sport.Soccer Statistics Foundation (RSSSF) says Josef Bican is football’s all-time top scorer (excluding players who have never played at the top level) with 805 career goals (from only 530 games), with Romario on 772 and Pele on 767.

Bican, who died in 2001, played for five clubs including Rapid Vienna and Slavia Prague as well as Austria and Czechoslovakia – in a career which lasted from 1931 to 1955.

But among the 805 goals were 27 for Rapid’s reserve and amateur teams, as well as strikes which were not in official international games.

Remove those and Bican finished his career on 759 goals in 495 games. Well maybe, because RSSSF says some data is partially missing on the Czech second division in 1952.

So what of Pele and Romario? Again there is some dispute over their goal tallies – with both Brazilian strikers claiming to have netted more than 1,000 goals.

Barcelona’s Lionel Messi recently broke Pele’s world record of 643 goals for one club… but Santos then claimed Pele’s friendly goals count and he scored 1,091 for the club.

Pele’s own Instagram bio says he is the “Leading Goal Scorer of All Time (1,283)”.

But remove friendly and unofficial strikes (including one for a military team in 1959) and Pele’s 757 goals for Santos, Brazil and New York Cosmos seems to be the figure doing the rounds.

Romario celebrated his 1,000th goal in 2007 – but that included youth, friendly and testimonial games.

The Brazilian is credited with 745 goals in a career which took in spells in South America, Europe, Asia and Australia – although that goal tally seems to change from report to report.

So to answer the question, maybe Ronaldo is the highest scorer ever. Maybe. Possibly. Not sure actually.

We do know Messi is 41 behind after scoring 719 goals for Barcelona and Argentina in an era when stats are recorded more officially.

So at least we’ll know which of the two definitely scored the most goals in their career.

Original Story: BBC Sport

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