The 10 Top Goal Scorers For Portuguese Football Team All-Time

Top Goal Scorers For Portuguese Football Team All-Time: Portugal has always been good at football, but they haven’t won many big tournaments. Still, they’ve produced legendary players, even without a super-strong local league like Germany, Spain, or England.

Top Goal Scorers For Portuguese Football Team All-Time

So, today, we made a list of the top goal scorers for the Portuguese national team ever. This helps us see how these players influenced modern football and bust some myths about the game.

1. Cristiano Ronaldo

  • Career Span: 20 August 2003 – 20 Jan 2024
  • Matches: 206
  • Goals: 128
  • Average: 0.61

When we talk about the all-time top goal scorer for the Portuguese football team, Cristiano Ronaldo is impossible to ignore. He’s incredibly dedicated, always training to improve his skills. Ronaldo is exceptional at scoring, whether with his feet or his head. He has scored 837 goals in 1166 matches, making him one of the best scorers ever.

Ronaldo led Portugal to the Euro 2004 final and the 2006 World Cup semi-final. He became Portugal’s captain in 2007. His first international title came in Euro 2016, and he also won the inaugural Nations League in 2018-2019.

Ronaldo has won the Ballon d’Or five times, a feat shared by only one other player. He holds the record for most goals in the history of Real Madrid, Portugal, and the Champions League. His achievements and lucrative endorsements make him one of the wealthiest athletes globally. There’s no doubt that Cristiano Ronaldo is the greatest Portuguese football player in history.

2. Pauleta

  • Career Span: 20 August 1997 – 8 July 2006
  • Matches: 88
  • Goals: 47
  • Average: 0.53

Pauleta is a legendary Portuguese player known for his skills as a striker, especially during his time with PSG. He was quick, skilled with both his feet and head, and had a knack for scoring goals. Throughout his career, he scored 332 goals in 620 matches.

When playing for Portugal between 2000 and 2006, Pauleta was part of several international tournaments. He reached the semi-finals in Euro 2000, was the runner-up in Euro 2004, and reached the semi-finals in the 2006 World Cup. He scored 47 goals for Portugal in 88 matches.

3. Eusébio

  • Career Span: 8 October 1961 – 13 October 1973
  • Matches: 64
  • Goals: 41
  • Average: 0.64

Eusébio is a football legend, not just in Portugal but worldwide. He was an incredible scorer, capable of scoring in any situation. With 631 goals in 650 matches, he’s one of the top 10 scorers in football history. Eusébio was incredibly fast, had perfect ball control, and could dribble past any defender to score or make precise passes.

He particularly shone in the 1966 World Cup. In the quarter-final, with Portugal trailing 3-0, he scored 4 goals, leading his team to the semi-final. Eusébio ended the tournament as the top scorer with 9 goals, helping Portugal secure a 3rd-place finish. His talent was recognized with the Ballon d’Or award in 1965. Eusébio is ranked 3rd in the list of the all-time top goal scorers for the Portuguese national team.

4. Luís Figo

  • Career Span: 12 October 1991 – 8 July 2006
  • Matches: 127
  • Goals: 32
  • Average: 0.25

Luis Figo was a standout player of his generation, known for his skills with both the Portuguese national team and top clubs like Barcelona, Real Madrid, and Inter Milan. He was incredibly technical and strong, making him an exceptional passer due to his incredible understanding of the game.

While playing for the national team, Figo appeared in 127 matches and scored 32 goals. Despite reaching the final in Euro 2000, he didn’t win a major trophy with Portugal. However, his mesmerizing dribbles and beautiful goals left a lasting impression on Portuguese football fans. Not only was he a prolific scorer, but he was also one of the best playmakers in history. His talent was recognized with the Ballon d’Or award in 2000, solidifying his status as one of the greatest Portuguese players in history.

5. Nuno Gomes

  • Career Span: 24 January 1996 – 11 October 2011
  • Matches: 79
  • Goals: 29
  • Average: 0.37

Nuno Gomes is undoubtedly one of Portugal’s best strikers ever. He had excellent goal-scoring skills, finding the net over 200 times in his career. Additionally, he had a keen eye for the game, often setting up goals for his teammates.

In crucial moments for the Portuguese team, Nuno Gomes often played a vital role. However, despite his contributions, he faced some significant disappointments. For instance, Portugal lost in the semi-finals against France at Euro 2000, the final against Greece four years later, and finished fourth in the 2006 World Cup. Despite these setbacks, Nuno Gomes remains one of the top scorers in the history of the European Championship.

6. Hélder Postiga

  • Career Span: 13 June 2003 – 14 November 2014
  • Matches: 71
  • Goals: 27
  • Average: 0.38

Hélder Postiga is the sixth-highest goal scorer for the Portuguese national football team, scoring 27 goals in 71 matches. He played a significant role in the 2004 European Championships when Portugal became runners-up, scoring a crucial goal against England in the quarter-finals during extra time. Postiga also participated in the 2006 World Cup, the 2008 European Championship, and the 2012 European Championship.

During the 2014 World Cup, he started a game against the USA but had to be substituted after 16 minutes due to his own injury. However, he wasn’t considered for the 2010 World Cup in South Africa.

7. Rui Costa

  • Career Span: 31 March 1993 – 4 July 2004
  • Matches: 94
  • Goals: 26
  • Average: 0.28

Rui Costa was an outstanding attacking midfielder and playmaker known for his exceptional technical skills and precise passing ability. His talent extended to scoring from long shots, both during regular play and from set pieces. He was a crucial player for all the teams he played for.

Rui Costa had a successful start to his international career, winning the Under-20 World Cup with Portugal. However, he couldn’t replicate this success at the senior level. He reached the quarter-finals in Euro 1996, the semi-finals in 2000, and the final in 2004, but couldn’t clinch the trophy. With 94 appearances and 26 goals, he’s considered one of the greatest Portuguese players of all time.

8. Nani

  • Career Span: 1 September 2006 – 2 July 2017
  • Matches: 112
  • Goals: 24
  • Average: 0.21

In 2006, Nani made his debut for the Portuguese national team, scoring his first goal in a friendly match against Denmark. He became a regular player from 2008 onwards. In the 2008 European Championships, Portugal reached the quarter-finals but was eliminated by Germany. Nani played in several matches, including the one against Switzerland and as a substitute against the Czech Republic and Turkey.

He was selected for the 2010 World Cup but had to withdraw due to a shoulder injury. In the 2012 European Championships, Portugal was eliminated in the semi-finals by Spain. In the 2014 World Cup, Nani scored against the USA, but Portugal was knocked out in the group stage.

During the 2016 European Championships, Nani scored his first goal in the opening game against Iceland and scored again in the match against Hungary. He played his 100th international match against Croatia in the round of 16. In the semi-final against Wales, he scored, helping Portugal win 2-0. In the final against France, after Cristiano Ronaldo’s injury, Nani captained the team to their first European Championship title.

9. João Pinto

  • Career Span: 12 October 1991 – 14 June 2002
  • Matches: 81
  • Goals: 23
  • Average: 0.30

João Pinto is the ninth-highest goal scorer for the Portuguese national football team, scoring 23 goals in 81 matches. He made his international debut in 1991 and played in two European Championships and two World Cups. Pinto was a key player in the Portuguese team that reached the semi-finals of Euro 2000.

What’s noteworthy about Pinto’s achievement is that he scored these goals from a position not commonly known for goal scoring. His ability to score was a valuable asset for the Portuguese national team, making his record even more impressive.

10. Nené

  • Career Span: 21 April 1971 – 23 June 1984
  • Matches: 66
  • Goals: 22
  • Average: 0.33

Tamagnini Manuel Gomes Baptista, commonly known as Tamagnini Nené, is a former Portuguese footballer born on November 20, 1949, in Leça da Palmeira. He played as a striker for Benfica Lisbon throughout his career.

Nené made his debut for the Portuguese national football team on April 21, 1971, in a match against Scotland (which Portugal won 2-0). He also participated in the 1984 European Championships and helped Portugal reach the semi-finals. In total, Nené scored 22 goals in 66 games for the Portuguese national team.

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