The 10 Top Goal Scorers for Argentina

Top Goal Scorers for Argentina: The top 10 list of the best goal scorers in the history of the Argentina national football team spans various generations of Argentine football talent. From the current superstar Lionel Messi to legends like Diego Maradona and other exceptional players like Leopoldo Luque and Luis Artime, Argentina has been graced by remarkable goal scorers.

Top Goal Scorers for Argentina

Let’s take a look at the 10 Argentine players who have scored the most goals for the national team throughout their careers. Together, these ten players have netted a total of 398 goals while wearing the Albiceleste jersey. This record is likely to continue evolving since many of these goal-scorers are still actively playing for the national team.

1. Lionel Messi

  • Career: 2005–present
  • Matches: 176
  • Goals: 104
  • Average: 0.59

Lionel Messi started playing for Argentina’s national soccer team in 2005. He played 161 matches and scored 104 goals for the team.

Lionel Messi
Image Source: Instagram

In his first game in 2005 against Hungary, Messi was shown a red card for a bad tackle just seconds after coming onto the field. But in his third game against Peru, he got to start for Argentina. It took him six games to score his first goal for the team in 2006 against Croatia. Messi played in the 2006 World Cup, but Argentina was knocked out by Germany, although Messi didn’t play in that particular game.

He also played in the 2007 Copa América, where he did really well and Argentina finished second. Messi won a gold medal with Argentina at the 2008 Olympics in China.

From 2010 to 2016, Messi was the team captain, but Argentina faced some tough losses in the World Cup and Copa América. In the 2014 World Cup, Argentina made it to the finals but lost to Germany. Messi was named the best player of the tournament, but this decision was debated.

In 2016, Messi briefly retired from international soccer but came back. He scored many goals and broke records, including becoming Argentina’s all-time leading scorer. In 2021, he won the Copa América with Argentina, which was his first major international title with the national team.

In the 2022 World Cup, Messi led Argentina to victory, becoming a world champion for the third time. He was the tournament’s second-top scorer and broke several records along the way.

After winning the World Cup, Messi initially said he would retire from international soccer but later decided to play a few more games as a world champion. He continued to score goals for Argentina in 2023.

Overall, Messi has had an outstanding career with the Argentine national team, achieving many successes and becoming one of the greatest soccer players in history.

2. Gabriel Batistuta

  • Career: 1991–2002
  • Matches: 78
  • Goals: 56
  • Average: 0.72

Gabriel Batistuta started playing for the Argentine national team in 1991. He helped Argentina win the Copa América in 1991 and 1993. He also played in the 1994 World Cup in the USA, the 1998 World Cup in France, and the 2002 World Cup in Japan and South Korea.

In the 2002 World Cup, Argentina was expected to do well, but they were eliminated in the early rounds after losing to England and tying with Sweden. Batistuta scored a crucial goal in the preliminary round against Nigeria before announcing his retirement from international soccer.

Batistuta achieved a unique feat by scoring three goals in a single game in two different World Cup tournaments. He did this in 1994 against Greece in the USA and in 1998 against Jamaica in France.

Overall, he scored 56 goals in 78 international matches, making him Argentina’s 2nd top scorer. Because of his impressive goal-scoring record, Batistuta earned the nickname “Batigol.”

3. Sergio Agüero

  • Career: 2006–2021
  • Matches: 101
  • Goals: 41
  • Average: 0.41

Sergio Agüero made his debut for the Argentine senior national team on September 3, 2006, in a match against Brazil. He came onto the field as a substitute for Carlos Tévez.

In 2007, Agüero played a key role in Argentina’s victory at the Junior World Cup, scoring the crucial equalizer in the final. He was named the tournament’s best player and also received the Golden Boot as the top scorer, with six goals and four assists.

Image Source: Instagram

In August 2008, he helped Argentina win the Olympic football tournament in Beijing, contributing two goals in the semi-final victory against Brazil.

During the 2014 World Cup, Agüero was part of the “Four Fantastics” of the Argentine national team, along with Lionel Messi, Ángel Di María, and Gonzalo Higuaín. Argentina reached the final but lost to Germany 0-1. Following a loss in the Copa America final, Agüero initially announced his retirement from the national team but later reversed his decision.

He was included in the Argentina national team squad for the 2018 World Cup in Russia. In a pre-tournament game against Haiti, after recovering from an injury, Agüero scored the final goal in a 4-0 victory with an assist from Messi. However, Argentina was eliminated in the round of 16 by France in a 3-4 defeat. Agüero scored two goals in four games during the tournament.

In November 2019, Agüero played in the Superclásico de las Américas against Brazil, where he remained on the bench in a 1-0 victory and later played in the oldest Superclásico in the Americas against Uruguay in Tel Aviv, scoring the equalizer with a header in a 2-2 draw.

He also participated in four games at the 2021 Copa América and helped Argentina win the tournament with a 1-0 victory over defending champions Brazil on July 10, 2021.

In his international career spanning from 2006 to 2021, Sergio Agüero scored a total of 41 goals in 101 matches.

4. Hernán Crespo

  • Career: 1995–2007
  • Matches: 64
  • Goals: 35 64
  • Average: 0.55

Hernán Crespo started playing for the Argentine national team in February 1995, in a friendly match against Bulgaria, which they won 2-1. However, he didn’t get to play for a long time after that, about 16 months. He scored his first goal for the team two years after his debut. But he did well with Argentina’s Olympic team in the 1996 Olympics, winning a silver medal and becoming the top scorer in the tournament with six goals in six games.

Crespo had a tough time in the national team because other coaches like Daniel Passarella, Marcelo Bielsa, and Gabriel Batistuta were usually preferred over him. He went to the 1998 World Cup in France, but he didn’t play much, only once as a substitute in the round of 16 against England.

From 1998 to 2006, Crespo became a regular player and a top scorer. He scored nine goals in the qualifiers for the 2002 World Cup, but he faced the same problem as in 1998. The coach didn’t pair him with Batistuta because they played a similar style, so one of them had to be on the bench. The coach chose Batistuta, even though he had some knee problems. Argentina didn’t do well in that World Cup and didn’t meet expectations.

Crespo did well in the qualifiers for the 2006 World Cup, scoring two goals in a 3-1 win against Brazil, which helped Argentina qualify early. He became the top scorer for Argentina in World Cup qualifiers with 19 goals in 33 games.

In the 2006 World Cup in Germany, Argentina lost in the quarterfinals to the host country, Germany, in a penalty shootout. Crespo played four games and scored three goals, earning the Silver Boot award. He was also selected for the World Cup All-Star team.

Hernán Crespo served the Argentine national team for 12 years, from 1995 to 2007, scoring 35 goals in 64 matches, making him their top scorer during that time.

5. Diego Maradona

  • Career: 1977–1994
  • Matches: 91
  • Goals: 34
  • Average: 0.37

Diego Armando Maradona is a legendary Argentine soccer player who played for the national team from 1977 to 1994. He scored 34 goals in 91 matches.

In the 1986 World Cup in Mexico, Maradona led Argentina to victory as the team’s captain. He played exceptionally well, scoring important goals and assisting his teammates. In the quarter-finals against England, he scored two memorable goals, one of which was controversial because he used his hand to score. He also scored two goals in the semi-finals against Belgium. In the final against Germany, although he was closely marked by opponents, he provided a crucial assist for the winning goal. Maradona was named the best player of the tournament and received several awards.

Image Source: Instagram

In the 1990 World Cup in Italy, Maradona was again the captain, but he struggled due to injuries. Argentina had a tough time in the group stage but managed to reach the quarter-finals, thanks to Maradona’s brilliance. They won on penalties against Yugoslavia in the quarter-finals and faced Italy in the semis. Maradona’s comments about Naples caused some controversy, but Argentina won again on penalties. In the final against Germany, Maradona’s performance was disappointing, and Argentina lost.

In the 1994 World Cup qualifiers, Argentina struggled, and they even lost 0-5 to Colombia. Maradona was called back to the team for the playoffs against Australia, despite his lack of match practice. He performed well in the opening match against Greece, scoring a goal. However, he was later disqualified from the tournament after banned substances were found in his urine sample, which he claimed were given to him without his knowledge. This marked the end of his international career.

Maradona never won the Copa América. He participated in a few, but his best finish was third place in 1989. In 1991 and 1993, he couldn’t participate due to FIFA bans and injuries.

6. Gonzalo Higuaín

  • Career: 2009–2018
  • Matches: 75
  • Goals: 31
  • Average: 0.41

Gonzalo Higuaín was born in France, so he has both Argentine and French citizenship. Even though he doesn’t speak French, he had the opportunity to play for the French national team when he was nominated by their coach in 2006. However, he declined this offer because he preferred to play for Argentina. He made his debut for the Argentine national team in October 2009 in a match against Peru.

Image Source: Instagram

In the 2010 World Cup, Higuaín was part of the Argentine squad. He had a standout performance in the group stage, scoring three goals in a 4-1 win against South Korea. In the round of 16, he scored another goal against Mexico, helping Argentina to a 3-1 victory. Unfortunately, Argentina was eliminated by Germany in the quarter-finals.

Four years later, Higuaín played in the 2014 World Cup. During the qualifying matches, he was one of the top scorers for CONMEBOL with nine goals. Argentina qualified as group winners. Higuaín played in all seven of Argentina’s matches and scored the winning goal against Belgium in the quarter-finals, earning him the Man of the Match title. Argentina ultimately lost to Germany in the final, but their performance was their best in a World Cup since 1990.

In 2015, Higuaín reached the final of the Copa América with Argentina, where he scored two goals during the tournament. However, Argentina lost in the final on penalties, with Higuaín missing one of the penalty kicks.

Higuaín was also part of the Argentina national team for the 2018 World Cup in Russia. Unfortunately, the team was eliminated in the round of 16 by the eventual world champions, France.

In March 2019, Higuaín announced his retirement from the national team, marking his final appearance in the World Cup’s group stage game on June 26, 2018. Throughout his international career, Higuaín scored a total of 31 goals for Argentina.

7. Ángel Di María

  • Career: 2008–present
  • Matches: 133
  • Goals: 29
  • Average: 0.22

In 2007, Ángel Di María joined the Argentina U-20 national team and played in two tournaments: the 2007 South American U-20 Championship in Paraguay and the 2007 World Junior Football Championship in Canada. Argentina’s U-20 team won the latter, and Di María scored three goals during that tournament.

Image Source: Instagram

He was also part of Argentina’s victorious team at the 2008 Olympic Football Tournament in China, where he scored the deciding goal in the final against Nigeria. Di María made 12 appearances in the 2014 World Cup qualifying matches and participated in the tournament in Brazil, where Argentina finished as runners-up. One of his memorable moments was scoring a crucial goal in the 118th minute during the round of 16 against Switzerland. Unfortunately, he suffered an injury during the quarter-finals against Belgium, causing him to miss the semi-finals and the final, despite his desire to play. FIFA even considered him for the tournament’s best player award.

Ángel Di María was also part of the Argentina national team for the 2018 World Cup in Russia, playing in two of the three group games. He scored a goal in the round of 16 against France, but Argentina ultimately lost 3-4, and he wasn’t in the squad after that. However, he made a comeback to the national team in 2019 for friendly games but couldn’t play due to a thigh injury.

In 2021, Di María scored the winning goal in the 2021 Copa América final against Brazil, leading Argentina to a 1-0 victory. Additionally, at the 2022 World Cup in Qatar, he became a world champion with Argentina. He scored his only goal of the tournament in the final against France, won a penalty, and was substituted in the 64th minute. Argentina won on penalties after a 3-3 draw.

In total, Ángel Di María has scored 29 goals for Argentina in 132 appearances.

8. Luis Artime

  • Career: 1961–1967
  • Matches: 25
  • Goals: 24
  • Average: 0.96

Luis Artime began playing for the Argentina national football team in 1961. During his time with the team, he scored an impressive 24 goals in just 25 appearances, making him the 8th highest goalscorer in Argentina’s history.

His scoring rate of 0.96 goals per game for Argentina also means he’s one of the most successful goal-getters in Argentine international football.

He had the chance to represent Argentina in the 1966 FIFA World Cup, and he also played in the South American Championship in 1967, where he was the tournament’s leading goalscorer.

9. Leopoldo Luque

  • Career: 1975–1981
  • Matches: 45
  • Goals: 22
  • Average: 0.49

The striker got his first chance to play for the Argentina national team in 1975 and participated in the 1975 Copa América tournament. He did really well there, scoring four goals and becoming the top scorer, even though Argentina didn’t make it past the preliminary round. Over the next few years, Luque became an important part of the South American team’s attack.

So, it wasn’t a surprise when he was chosen to be part of Argentina’s World Cup team for the 1978 World Cup, which was held in their home country.

Luque showed his gratitude to his coach, César Luis Menotti, by scoring four goals in five games during the tournament. Winning the 1978 World Cup was the absolute best moment of his soccer career. He continued to play for the national team until 1981. Unfortunately, he couldn’t make it to the 1982 World Cup in Spain, and he never played for Argentina again after that. In total, he scored 22 goals in 45 international matches for Argentina.

10. Daniel Passarella

  • Career: 1976–1986
  • Matches: 70
  • Goals: 22
  • Average: 0.31

He got the nickname “El gran Capitan” or “Emperor” because he was really good at soccer and a great leader on the field. Passarella was a defender who also knew how to score goals. In 451 games, he scored an amazing 134 goals.

The most important moment of his career was when he played in the 1978 World Cup in his home country, Argentina. He was the captain and played in every game. He even scored a goal in the early rounds and got to lift the World Cup trophy when they won the final. Passarella was also the captain of the Argentine team in the 1982 World Cup in Spain, but they couldn’t win again and got knocked out in the second round. He scored two goals during that tournament.

In the 1986 World Cup in Mexico, he was on the Argentine team but didn’t get to play in any games. This was because he had some problems with the coach Carlos Bilardo and the new captain, Diego Maradona, two years before the World Cup.

After 11 amazing years playing for the Argentine national team, Passarella scored 22 goals in total for his country. He played for clubs like Fiorentina, Inter Milan, and River Plate during his career.

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