Updated January 5th, 2024 at 15:31 IST

Ranking the best football players of 2023; No Lionel Messi is nowhere near the top-5

A look at the top 5 football players in 2023 with the most goals for club and country. Will Lionel Messi be on the list?

Aryan Suraj Chadha
Lionel Messi, Cristiano Ronaldo
Lionel Messi (left) in action for Argentina and Cristiano Ronaldo (right) reacts while representing Portugal | Image:AP

Goal scorers are the heartbeat of every club with lofty aims. Their ability to routinely find the back of the goal may frequently be the game-changer, sparking the aspirations and ambitions of their teammates, coaches, and spectators. In the quest for championships and ambitious goals, these sharpshooters act as catalysts, transforming a team from excellent to exceptional. In this article, we'll look at the top 5 players in 2023 who have scored the most goals for club and country, creating magic on the football pitch with their great abilities and drive.

Will Lionel Messi make it onto the list?

In 44 games in 2023, Messi scored 28 goals and contributed 12 assists, averaging a goal per 132 minutes and a goal contribution every 92 minutes. While these figures are great, they fall short of Messi's past seasons' outstanding standards. The Argentine maestro encountered difficulties at both PSG and Inter Miami in the MLS, which hampered his overall effectiveness.


5. Romelu Lukaku:40 (AS Roma/Belgium)

Romelu Lukaku has made an impression at Roma under Jose Mourinho, displaying his goal-scoring ability. Lukaku scored 40 goals for his teams in 2023, with 13 of his goals coming in the Serie A.

Surprisingly, 39% of Lukaku's 2023 goal total came while representing Belgium. During the Euro 2024 qualification round, the 30-year-old striker was crucial as Belgium's leading goal-scorer. Lukaku's constant and outstanding performance for his national team highlighted his significance and dependability as a prolific goal-scorer. His ability to produce on both the club and international levels cements his place as one of the world's best attackers.


4. Erling Haaland: 50 (Man City/Norway)

Erling Haaland's summer 2022 transfer to Manchester City was a watershed event in his career. The Norwegian star wasted no time demonstrating his value in the Premier League during his rookie season, laying the groundwork for a breakout year in 2023. Haaland set multiple scoring records in his debut season with the club, scoring 52 goals in 53 games across all competitions.

In addition to his domestic triumph, Haaland played a key role in Manchester City's unprecedented continental triple last season. He won the Premier League Golden Boot and the European Golden Shoe for his exceptional goal-scoring ability. Haaland's influence on and off the pitch cannot be overstated. His towering stature and insatiable desire for goals make him a nightmare for any defence.


He has already scored 50 goals for club and country in 2023. The Norwegian Thunder is a force to be reckoned with, and his constant ability to find the back of the net has elevated him to the ranks of the world's finest players. 

3. Kylian Mbappé: 52 (PSG/France)

In 2023, Kylian Mbappé has excelled above expectations. The French star took his superb goal-scoring prowess onto the domestic stage with Paris Saint-Germain (PSG) after winning the Golden Boot at the 2022 FIFA World Cup. His outstanding efforts were essential to PSG's triumphant Ligue 1 campaign. However, his abilities go beyond club football, as he has shown to be a dependable member of the French national squad.


Kylian Mbappé has become one of the world's most prolific attackers in 2023 as he has carried on with his goal-scoring rampage. For both club and nation, he has an incredible 52 goals in the net. Mbappé is a terror for opposition defences because of his speed, accuracy, and football IQ. He also has the extraordinary capacity to change the course of a game with a single play. Defenders are forced to pay attention to him, which opens up space and possibilities for his teammates.

2. Harry Kane: 52 (Bayern Munich/England)

Harry Kane joined Bayern Munich in the summer and has been a consistent goal-scorer for the dominant team in the Bundesliga. In 2023, the captain of the England national team scored 52 goals for his club and country.


1. Cristiano Ronaldo: 54 (Al-Nassr/Portugal)

2023 has been the year of the legendary Portuguese striker's comeback. Throughout his remarkable career, Ronaldo has made it his aim to quiet his detractors and sceptics. He has accomplished this goal innumerable times.

Ronaldo's influence extends beyond his ability to score goals. Portugal has found motivation in him, and he was instrumental in getting them to the 2024 Euro qualifiers. He scored in style in the last game of 2023 in SPL, bringing his goal total for the year to an incredible 54. He becomes 2023's top goal scorer for both club, nation and in world with this incredible accomplishment. Ronaldo finished the year as the top goal scorer after scoring six goals in December.





Published January 5th, 2024 at 15:31 IST

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