Top 10 players with most goals in football scored by the age of 21

Brazilian Ronaldo Nazrio has the record for scoring the most goals in football by the age of 21. Here's a list of the top 5 footballers who scored the most goals in football by the age of 21.

Koushik Biswas and Shreya Ghosh
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Most Goals in football scored by the age of 21 -

Football history and present have witnessed many skilful and formidable goalscorers. Many great footballers play for their country and represent the country, but only a few can make a distinct difference and win the match. Football fans are always in search of accomplished players and there is an abundance of them. Many footballers started their journey at a very young age and some of them even achieved a lot in their careers. Here is a list of the top 510 footballers who have scored the most goals in football by the age of 21.

1. Ronaldo Nazario | 167 goals in 185 games

Most Goals in football scored by the age of 21 - Ronaldo Nazario -

The youngest Ballon d'Or winner in football history and arguably the greatest No. 9 in football history, Ronaldo Nazario is the player with the most goals scored in football by the age of 21. Ronaldo by 21 had scored 167 goals in just 185 games playing for Brazil and clubs like PSV Eindhoven, FC Barcelona, Cruzeiro and Cruzeiro. 

Ronaldo started his career in Brazil and gradually came through the ranks after scoring a lot of goals. He then joined PSV and FC Barcelona before joining Inter Milan, where he won his first of two Ballon d'Or awards. Ronaldo went on to win two FIFA World Cups with Brazil. However, he never won the UEFA Champions League as a player. 

Read Also: 5 Youngest Ballon d'Or winners in football history

2. Neymar Jr. | 140 goals in 220 games

2013 - Overview | Neymar Jr.

If anyone came close to the skills of Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo in the modern era, it was Nyemar Jr. Playing for Santos in Brazil, Neymar made a name for himself with his dribbling skill and goal-scoring ability. Neymar before turning 21, scored 140 goals in just 220 games playing for Santos and Brazil. He then went on to join FC Barcelona and created the most prolific trios of football with Luis Suarez and Lionel Messi. With FC Barcelona he won every possible trophy there was to win for the Spanish team. Moreover, he then went on to win the Gold medal for the Brazil team in the 2016 Rio Olympics. 

Read Also: MSN vs BBC: Rivalry of football's greatest trio in stats

3. Erling Haaland | 118 goals in 167 games

Most Goals in football scored by the age of 21 - Erling Haaland -

The next footballer on this list with 113 goals in 164 appearances by the age of 21 is Erling Haaland. The 21-year-old is regarded as one of the best strikers in the Football world and no wonder why he is credited so. The youngster is well known for his strength, agility, and vigour on the field. In the 2019 FIFA U-20 World Cup, he was the winner of the tournament's Golden Boot by making a record scoring 9 goals in a single match. After this, he made his senior debut in the Norway football team in September 2019. His first senior International goal was against Austria in the year 2020-2021 UEFA Nations League B. 

In his club career, Haaland first came through the ranks of the Norweigan football system and then enriched his skill in Germany where he first joined RB Salzburg and then Borussia Dortmund. Right after turning 21, he joined Premier League giant Manchester City and won the treble with the club in the 2022/23 season.

4. Kylian Mbappé | 116 goals in 199 games

Most Goals in football scored by the age of 21 - Kylian Mbappe -

Kylian Mbappe has taken football to another level in the past few years. He creates a new record in the world of football every time he steps on the field. In 2017, he made his senior debut for the French team and since then he has not looked back. He is a World Cup winner with France and became the youngest French footballer to score a goal at the World Cup. Also, he is the second teenager after Pele to score a goal in a World Cup final. The end of the tournament was the best for him as he finished it by becoming the joint second-highest goal scorer and also received the Best Young Player and French Player of the Year awards. He made his debut at 18 years of age and within 21 years of age, he scored a whopping 118 goals in 199 appearances.

Read also: Erling Haaland: Top 10 fastest to 20 UEFA Champions League goals

5. Sergio Aguero | 84 goals in 213 games

Most Goals in football scored by the age of 21 - Sergio Aguero -

Sergio Agüuero, Manchester City's record goalscorer, holds the third position on this list with the most goals in football. In 213 appearances by the age of 21, the Argentina forward player has scored 84 goals. He was the youngest debutant to play for the Primera Division at 15 years and 35 days. He made his debut in the senior Argentina team in 2006. The 33-year-old has played for several clubs in his senior career.

From 2003-2006 he played for Independendiente. His extraordinary performances opened his road to Atletico Madrid in 2006 for a €23 million transfer. From 2007 to 2008, he scored 27 goals in 50 matches, and then he moved on to Manchester City in 2011 and played for a decade over there. In 2021 he transferred to Barcelona. Aguero is Argentina's all-time 3rd-highest goalscorer. He has a Don Balon award, Tuttosport's Golden Boy, and the World Soccer Young Player of the Year in his name as well.

6. Michael Owen | 76 goals in 156 games

Most Goals in football scored by the age of 21- Michael Owen -

Michael Owen, one of the youngest Ballon d'Or winners in the history of football, stormed into the football world with his striking ability for Liverpool FC. Owen joined Liverpool from the youth team in 1997 and had a stellar career there before joining Real Madrid in 2004. At the age of 21, Owen scored 76 goals in just 156 games for Liverpool and England which makes him appear on this list at number six position. Own won the Ballon d'Or award in the 2001 season 4 days after turning 22. 

7. Wayne Rooney | 66 goals in 212 games

Career in Pictures: Manchester United and England legend Wayne Rooney |  Page 4 | Shoot - Shoot

One of the greatest Premier League history, Wayne Rooney joined Manchester United from Everton, where he finished his career as a legend. Rooney came through the ranks of Everton Youth Academy and joined the senior team in 2002. At the age of 21, Rooney scored 66 goals in 212 games while featuring for Everton and Manchester United alongside the England National team. Rooney was always told to be the best young player of the era and with his skill and goal-scoring ability, he proved everyone right down the line. 

8. Karim Benzema | 62 goals in 143 games

Most Goals in football scored by the age of 21: Karim Benzema -

The 21-year-old Karim Benzema was touted to be one of the best young strikers in football. Then an Olympique Lyon striker scored 62 goals in 143 games and then left the French club to join Real Madrid in 2009 just after turning 22. Benzema in 2008/09 scored 23 goals in 47 games and assisted six times before joining the Madrid giants. 

Benzema went on to become one of the highest scorers for Real Madrid and won the Ballon d'Or once in 2022.

9. Lionel Messi | 51 goals in 140 games

Messi in 2008 -

The list would have remained incomplete without the modern-day G.O.A.T of football. Lionel Messi enlisted his name in this prestigious list of most goals in football by the age of 21 by scoring 51 goals in 140 appearances. In the mid-2000s, the Ronaldinho-inspired player joined Barcelona. He scored his first Blaugrana goal against Albacete in May 2005. Little did people know that this player would change football history and emerge as one of the greatest players of all time. At the age of 14, he shifted to Spain to prepare himself for joining Barcelona. Within 3 years of his debut in Barcelona, he established himself as one of the most impactful players in the club.

Read also: 10 biggest and unexpected football transfers of all time

In 2008-09, he played extremely well and helped the club to win the first treble in Spanish football. This win led him to his first Ballon d'Or. The next three seasons were extremely successful for him and he consecutively won 4 Ballons d'Or. Messi went on to win 7 Ballon d'Or awards till now. 

10. Cristiano Ronaldo | 36 goals in 182 games

Most Goals in football scored by the age of 21: Cristiano Ronaldo -

Right one step below Lionel Messi, one of his biggest rivals, Cristiano Ronaldo is sitting in the 10th position with 36 goals in 182 appearances by the age of 21. It is impossible that there will be a list of top goal scorers and Ronaldo is absent in it. No wonder why he is regarded as one of the greatest goal-scorers and best players of all time. In 2003, he signed a contract with Manchester United after scoring 5 goals for Sporting. He won his FA Cup in his very first season. In 2003, he made his senior debut in the Portugal National Football team.

Read also: Football facts: 10 players who have played most games with Cristiano Ronaldo

Meanwhile, he played for Manchester United from 2003 to 2009 where one of his best seasons was 2005-06. Then 18-year-old scored 9 nine goals and had 7 assists in 33 Premier League games in his first season. With the Five Ballon d'Or award, he is the European player with the most individual awards in football history. 

Let us know in the comments who is your favourite.

Cristiano Ronaldo Neymar Kylian Mbappe Erling Haaland Lionel Messi Karim Benzema Wayne Rooney Sergio Aguero Michael Owen Ronaldo Nazario