Goals win games and that’s why scoring goals is the most important part of football. This is probably the reason why most of the big stars in the world of football are strikers or scorers. They are the ones who end up stealing the show, even if it takes a team of eleven players to come together and win a game.
At the highest level of the sport, scoring goals is an important thing in itself. But scoring goals when your team needs you most or being decisive in critical situations truly defines greatness in players.
A cup final is where things get really intense because the stakes are high and at the end of the game it’s either euphoria or heartache. Situations like this can cause a lot of pressure, but it’s these scenarios that separate the best from the rest.
Without further ado, let’s take a look at the five players who have scored the most goals in the finals.
#5 Romario – 19 goals
Romario de Souza Faria is widely regarded as one of the greatest strikers of all time. He is one of the top scorers in football history, having found the net 755 times during his career.
Romario was the main architect of Brazil’s triumph at the 1994 FIFA World Cup, scoring five goals and winning the Golden Boot. The former FC Barcelona forward was also named FIFA World Player of the Year in 1994.
Romario is one of the players responsible for reinventing the centre-forward position. He liked to go deep, collect the ball, take defenders from the back and pass them with his speed and skill, before beating the keeper and finding the back of the net.
Romario has scored 19 final goals in his senior career and that’s one more reason why he is one of the greatest shot-stoppers of all time.
#4 Cristiano Ronaldo – 20 goals
Cristiano Ronaldo is the greatest goalscorer in the history of football. The five-time Ballon d’Or has scored 813 goals in his career. He is also the top scorer in men’s international football (117) and the top scorer in the UEFA Champions League (145).
Ronaldo is a prime example of a player who thrives under pressure. The Manchester United striker takes the lead in high-pressure scenarios and that’s what propelled him to glory. The legendary Portuguese striker has scored 20 final goals so far in his career.
#3 Neymar Jr. – 21 goals
Neymar Jr. is one of the superstars of modern football. Despite this, it still feels like he doesn’t get the kind of recognition he really deserves. The Brazilian winger is a modern day great and one of the most exciting strikers of all time.
Neymar is just four goals away from overtaking Pelé to become Brazil’s all-time top scorer in men’s international football. He recently netted a brace in Paris Saint-Germain’s 4-0 win over Nantes in the Trophée des Champions.
These two goals bring to 21 the number of his achievements in the final phase. It goes to show that Neymar is one of the elite strikers on the planet and also one of the most reliable.
#2 Pele – 31 goals
Pelé is one of the great football champions. The Brazilian is the only footballer to have won three FIFA World Cups in football history. He is Brazil’s all-time top scorer in men’s international football, with 77 goals in 92 games for the Selecao.
He was a global superstar and mesmerized football fans around the world with his incredible ability and exquisite technique. Attacking with both feet, he was as good a playmaker as he was a scorer.
Pele, widely regarded as one of the sport’s icons, scored no less than 31 final goals during his senior football career.
#1 Lionel Messi – 32 goals
Lionel Messi is arguably the greatest footballer of all time. He has won the Ballon d’Or seven times in his career and has dominated the sport for the past fifteen years. The legendary Argentine striker is one of the most complete and versatile players in football history.
Just as Neymar overtook Cristiano Ronaldo last night with his brace against Nantes, Messi overtook Pele to top the list. The 35-year-old opened the scoring for Paris Saint-Germain in their 4-0 win over Nantes in the Champions Trophy final.
Messi has now scored 32 final goals in his career. This is definitely a GOAT level achievement.
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