La Liga: The most goals scored
The La Liga has had many top strikers and world class players play in the different clubs over the years. From Cruyff to Romário and from Ronaldo to Di Stefano, they all scored plenty of goals in Spain. But who is the all-time top scorer of the La Liga? Read it below in the list of the top 10 scorers from La Liga.
1. Lionel Messi – 50 goals
No one else than Lionel Messi is the record holder for the most goals scored in a single season in La Liga. According to many, Messi is the best player in the world at the moment. The Argentinian striker ended up in the youth of FC Barcelona at the age of 14 and from there his career took off! After a year at Barcelona C and Barcelona B, Messi was called to the first team of the Catalans at the age of just 17. It wasn’t long before he scored his first goal for Barça. On May 1 2005, Messi scored in the home match against Albacete Balompié in the 90th minute. Many goals followed. To date, Messi has been named to scorer in the La Liga 4 times, 5 times in the Champions League and 3 times in the Copa del Rey. In total Lionel Messi has managed to find the back of the net 563 times and has given 240 assists for Barcelona in the 648 matches he has played for the club. Messi’s best season at Barcelona was probably the 2011/2012 season as he scored 50 times in La Liga. Thus, Messi is the all-time top scorer in La Liga!
2. Cristiano Ronaldo – 48 goals
Cristiano Ronaldo is probably the most successful football player ever. His prize cabinet boasts 5 Champions League titles, 3 Premier League titles, 2 La Liga titles and a European title with the national team of Portugal. In addition to these successes with his various clubs, he has also won a huge amount of individual prizes. He was named world footballer of the year 5 times, European footballer of the year 5 times and has been crowned top scorer 16 times across different national competitions. Ronaldo started his career at the Portuguese club Sporting Lisbon, where he had also played in the youth academy. From here the left winger left for England where her played 6 seasons with Manchester United, winning the league 3 times. Then Ronaldo was bought by Real Madrid for the (then) record amount of €94 million. Ronaldo became the top scorer of La Liga 3 times during his time with Madrid, including in the 2014/2015 season when he scored 48 goals! This puts Ronaldo in the second place on the list of the all-time scorer of La Liga.
3. Luis Suaraz – 40 goals
Luis Suárez is known as one of the best strikers in modern football. Suárez started his professional football career at Nacional in Uruguay, where he had moved on from the youth academy to the first team. After just one season in the Uruguayan competition, Luis Suárez was scouted by FC Groningen. Suárez went to Europe for the first time at the age of 19 to play in the Dutch Eredivisie. Luis Suárez made his mark in the Eredivisie and after one season Ajax decided to buy him for €8 million. At Ajax, the Uruguayan played out of this world, scoring 81 times in 4 seasons. Suárez caught the eye of major foreign clubs and Liverpool bought Suárez in 2011 from Ajax. Suárez helped Liverpool show what Liverpool can do by almost winning the championship with them. Luis Suárez decided to leave Liverpool again after 4 seasons and this time made his move to FC Barcelona. The Catalans paid a whopping €94 million for the top scorer from Uruguay. Suárez currently still plays with Barcelona. His most successful season to date was the 2015/2016 season. He scored 40 goals that season, taking spot 4 in the all-time top scorers in La Liga list.
4. Hugo Sanchez – 38 Goals
The Mexican Hugo Sánchez is one of the most successful La Liga strikers ever. The striker kicked off his career at the Mexican club UNAM. He played there for a fairly long period from 1976 to 1981. In total he played 188 games for UNAM. After this period, in which he scored 97 goals, the Mexican decided to seek refuge somewhere else and made the move to Atlético Madrid. In Madrid, Sánchez showed that he had not forgotten how to score. He scored 54 goals in 4 seasons at Atlético, but only when he made the switch to Real Madrid, did Sánchez really fire up. In the 207 league games he played for Real Madrid, he scored 164 goals. His best season with Real was that of the year 1989/1990. In this season, Sánchez scored 38 times in 35 league games. After his time at Real, Sánchez did not say goodbye to the Primera Division. He played one more season with Rayo Vallecano. The Mexican won a total of 5 titles and scored 189 goals in the La Liga.
5. Telmo Zarra – 38 goals
Pedro Telmo Zarraonandía Montoya, commonly known simply as Telmo Zarra, is a true La Liga legend. Telmo Zarra played in a period where club loyalty occurred a bit more often than it does nowadays. Zarra played for Athletic Bilbao almost his entire career. The career of Zarra began in the Segunda Division, the second Spanish division with SD Erandio. In 1940, after having played at SD Erandio for one season, the Spaniard left for Athletic Bilbao, where he would play for 15 years. During these 15 years at Athletic, Zarra also won several prizes: he became champion once and won the Copa del Rey 5 times. He was also crowned the top scorer in La Liga 6 times. The high point in his career came in the 1950/1951 season, where Zarra scored 38 goals in only 30 goals. That means he scored an average of 1.3 goals per game! Telmo Zarra ended his career with Barakaldo in the Segunda Division. Zarra entered the books as the man with the most Copa del Rey titles (5), scored a total of 251 goals on La Liga and is therefore the number 5 on the list of the all-time top scorers in La Liga.
6. Baltazar – 35 goals
The second Brazilian in the list is Baltazar Maria de Morais Júnior. Baltazar is a real football nomad and has played in Brazil, France, Portugal, Spain and Japan, among others . Baltazar started his career, just like the majority of Brazilians, in the Ligo do Brasil. Before he left for Europe, Baltazar first played for Flamengo, Palmeiras and Botafogo. In 1985, at the age of 26, Baltazar transferred to Spanish side Celta Vigo. His first year in the Primera Division was difficult, he only scored 6 times in 32 league games. After three years with Celta Vigo, Baltazar wanted to play somewhere else. The Brazilian went to Atlético Madrid. In his first year in Madrid he exceeded all expectations by scoring 35 goals in 36 games. Baltazar never managed to match this number again and left Atlético 2 years later in 1991. Baltazar was traded to the Porto in the Portuguese competition but only managed to score twice in 19 matches. After his period at Porto, Baltazar played at Stade Rennes (France), Goiás (Brazil) and Kyoto Purple Sange (Japan), where he retired in 1996.
7. Ronaldo – 34 goals
Ronaldo Luís Nazário de Lima, or in short Ronaldo, holds the 7th spot in the list of all-time top scorers in the La Liga. Ronaldo is one of the best known and best Brazilian football players ever. He belongs on a level with players like Pelé, Ronaldinho and Rivaldo. Ronaldo started his career in the national competition of Brazil, also called Ligo do Brasil. Here he played 66 games for Cruzeiro in which he scored an astonishing 64 times. Ronaldo made such an impression that he was already allowed to join the Brazilian national team at the 1994 World Cup in the United States, aged just 17 years old. Immediately after the World Cup, Ronald made the switch to Europe, as he transferred to PSV Eindhoven. By continuing to score over and over again, Ronaldo earned himself a transfer to FC Barcelona; his first experience in La Liga. In his first La Liga season, Ronaldo netted 34 goals in just 37 games. Ronaldo only played for Barcelona for a year. Later in his career, the Brazilian returned to La Liga, this time playing for arch—rival Real Madrid. This of course did not go down well with the fans of Barcelona.
8. Prudencio Sánchez – 33 goals
For the 8th place on the list, we have to go back in time a little. In 8th place we have Prudencio Sánchez, often just called ‘Pruden’. Prudencio Sánchez started his career at UD Salamanca, where he played from 1934 until 1940. After that, the Spanish striker transferred to Atlético Madrid, at that time still known as Atletic Aviación. He only played there for one season, but this proved to be the most productive season (in terms of goals) in his career. In the 1940/1941 season, “Prussia” scored 33 goals. His good performance also stood out to other clubs from Madrid. After a brief return to UD Salamanca, “Pruden” made the switch to Real Madrid. He played here from 1943 to 1948, during which he won two prizes with Real. In 1946 and 1947 he won the Copa del Rey.
9. Diego Forlán – 32 goals
The Uruguayan top scorer Diego Forlán started his career at Club Atlético Independiente. After five years of playing at the highest level in Argentina, the Uruguayan moved to Europe and signed a contract for Manchester United. After 2 years at United, Diego Forlán was introduced to La Liga for the first time when he signed for Villarreal in 2004. After 106 matches and 54 goals for Villareal, Atlético Madrid were knocking on the door. Forlán was quickly convinced and in 2007 he transferred to Atlético who paid no less than €21 million for the top shooter! Forlán continued to score a lot with Atlético, as he had done with his previous clubs. In his second season at Madrid (2008/2009), Forlán scored no less than 32 goals.
After his time at Atlético, Forlán was not yet finished with scoring, The striker also performed extremely well at the international level. At the 2010 World Cup, Forlán won the golden ball, as the tournament’s top scorer and received the reward for goal of the tournament. At 32 goals, Diego Forlán is 9th among the all-time top scorers of La Liga.
10. Alfredo di Stéfano – 31 goals
The Argentine-Spanish footballer Alfredo di Stéfano is in 10th place among the top scorers of La Liga of all-time. Before leaving for Real Madrid at the age of 27, di Stéfano played in Argentina and Colombia at the River Plate and Millonares clubs. Di Stéfano made such a great impression there that both FC Barcelona and Real Madrid fought for the Argentinian striker. In the end Real Madrid won the battle for di Stéfano’s signature. At Real, Di Stéfano, also called “Saeta Rubia” (blonde arrow), played a total of 396 games in which he scored 308 goals. The best season of Di Stéfano was the 1956/1957 season, when the attacker scored 31 goals in one season. After his time at Real Madrid, the striker played two more seasons for Espanyol in Catalonia. Di Stéfano is seen as one of the best strikers ever; he won the Ballon d’Or twice and many Real Madrid fans believe that he is the best player in the history of their club.