Messi vs Ronaldo – Players that Scored at the Most Major Goals in International Tournaments

Xherdan Shaqiri rolled back the years with his superb finish against Scotland in the group stages of Euro 2024. It sealed a remarkable statistic as it made the former Stoke City man the first player to score at all of the last three European Championships and all of the last three World Cups. The Swiss international is still 32 years old and younger than the likes of Mohamed Salah and Kevin De Bruyne. Perhaps only surprisingly as he is no longer a well-known face in European football, now playing for MLS side Chicago Fire.

European Championships

That goal took Shaqiri to six separate major international tournaments scored in – scoring at Euro 2016, Euro 2020, and Euro 2024, and the 2014 World Cup, the 2018 World Cup and the 2022 World Cup. So where does that rank the winger overall? In the early hours of Wednesday morning, 36-year-old Argentina legend Lionel Messi scored to send his nation to the Copa América 2024 final, so where does he now climb to? We have put together a list of the players to have scored at the most separate international tournaments – that being World Cups and major continental tournaments like the Euros, the Copa América, the Gold Cup, the Asian Cup, and the Africa Cup Of Nations. Some legendary players crop up on the list!

Players to have scored at the most major international tournaments

Leading the way, the top two will certainly not come as a surprise. It’s hard to find a stat at top level football without this pair near the top. Cristiano Ronaldo has incredibly scored at 10 different tournaments starting with Euro 2004 and topped the list earlier this month. If he had managed to score for Portugal at this summer’s Euro 2024 he would have moved to 11, but it was far from the fairytale ending he would have hoped for. In total, he has 22 goals at major international tournaments. After Wednesday morning’s goal, Lionel Messi has now scored at ten separate tournaments himself and actually overtakes Ronaldo on the list as he has 27 goals in those tournaments. Beginning with his goal at the 2006 World Cup to this summer’s Copa América, the magician has lit up the international stage for two decades.

European Championships

In third is Ghana legend Asamaoh Gyan, who has scored at eight separate tournaments with the Black Stars, scoring 14 goals. Perhaps his most memorable tournament was the 2010 World Cup where he led the line as Ghana made the quarter-finals and went out agonizingly to Uruguay. In fourth is blast from the past in Brazil’s Zizinho who scored in seven tournaments totalling 19 goals. Then it’s another Ghan player in André Ayew who also scored in seven tournaments, scoring 13 goals. Completing the trio on seven tournaments scored in, but coming in sixth is Ángel Di María who has scored in seven separate tournaments for Argentina, but only scoring eight goals in total.

There are as many as 13 players who have scored at six separate tournaments. However, when we rank the player’s level by the amount of goals scored at those tournaments it puts Argentina’s Gabriel Batistuta (23 goals) in seventh, Cameroon hero Samuel Eto’o (21 goals) in eighth, the all-time top World Cup scorer Miroslav Klose (19 goals) in ninth, and another German in Jürgen Klinsmann completes the top 10 with 16 goals. Shaqiri comes in 16th with 10 goals in total.

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