Top 10 All-time Bundesliga goal scorers

With names like Müller and Lewandowski, the Bundesliga has laid claim to a cadre of incredibly gifted goal scorers across more than six decades of its existence

Since 1963, the Bundesliga has been the home of some of the most legendary names in German football.

Though the likes of Fritz Walter, Max Morlock, and Helmut Rahn either did not get a taste of the remodeled German top flight or competed for just a short sting right after its inauguration, there has been an endless procession of truly world-class talent that has plied their trade across more than six decades of Bundesliga history.

As expected, those who achieved fame in front of goal are often the names many fans think of, though they hardly own exclusive rights to the memory banks of German football fans who remember players like Franz Beckenbauer, Paul Breitner, Matthias Sammer, Lothar Matthäus, Günther Netzer, or Philipp Lahm.

But this is a piece that very much intends to tap into the obsession of many; goalscoring. Here is the top ten list of all-time goalscorers in Bundesliga history.

10: Klaus Allofs - 177 (1.FC Köln, Fortuna Düsseldorf, SV Werder Bremen)

Spending his entire career in Germany and France, the Düsseldorf-born Allofs will forever be remembered in the fashion city for being a key catalyst during the club’s back-to-back DFB-Pokal wins in 1978-79 and 1979-80. He would eventually go on to Köln to yet again claim Pokal honors before plying his trade in France with Olympique de Marseille and Girondins Bordeaux across three combined seasons. But a return to Germany saw him achieve his greatest success with Werder Bremen while taking home a further three honors; another Pokal win, the Bundesliga title, and a famous Cup Winners’ Cup win.

9: Dieter Müller - 177 (1.FC Köln, VfB Stuttgart, 1.FC Saarbrücken, Offenbacher Kickers)

Owner of one of the best strike rations in Bundesliga history (0.58 goals/match), Müller did not spend his entire career in Germany, but during his eight years with Köln between 1973-81 stand the test of time for one of the most passionate fanbases anywhere in Europe. Müller still holds the club record for goals in a single Bundesliga match after scoring 6 against Werder Bremen on 17 August 1977. He will forever remain an iconic figure in club history after helping Die Geißböcke to three major honors during his time in the historic city, with a Bundesliga title and a pair of DFB-Pokal successes on his CV.

8: Stefan Kuntz - 179 (1.FC Kaiserslautern, VfL Bochum, KFC Uerdingen, Arminia Bielefeld)

The current head coach of the Turkish national team in the wake of having a considerable impact on German football after hanging up his boots when holding positions as head coach of the U21 side for five years, Kuntz played a vital role in one of the most memorable moments in Bundesliga history when Kaiserslautern bagged three major honors between 1989-91; winning the Bundesliga, while also lifting the DFB-Pokal and DFL-Super Cup. Kuntz went on to make 449 appearances across four stints Bochum, Uerdingen, Kaiserslautern, and Bielefeld.

7: Ulf Kirsten - 181 (Bayer Leverkusen)

One of the best players to ever emerge from east Germany, the Saxon-born Kirsten holds legendary status with domestic giants Bayer Leverkusen after spending his entire Bundesliga career with Die Werkself from 1990-2003 while helping the club to DFB-Pokal success during the 92-93 campaign and also topping the domestic goal chart on three occasions along the way. Though he spent seven seasons with Dynamo Dresden before arriving at Leverkusen at the age of 25, the diminutive striker is adored by the Leverkusen fanbase to this day.

6: Claudio Pizarro - 197 (SV Werder Bremen, Bayern Munich, 1.FC Köln)

The highest-scoring South American to ever feature in the Bundesliga and the second-highest-scoring foreigner in league history, Peruvian legend Claudio Pizarro enjoyed immense success in Germany across multiple stints with both Werder Bremen and Bayern Munich as well as a short spell along the Rhine with Köln for a single season in 2017-18. Pizarro, who accrued seventeen major honors during his spell in Germany, is also the proud record holder of the most appearances by a foreigner in league history. Many will forget how much of a mainstay he truly was.

5: Manfred Burgsmüller - 213 (Borussia Dortmund, SV Werder Bremen, Rot-Weiss Essen, 1.FC Nürnberg)

One of many former German stars that do not carry the same gravitas outside of the Bundesliga, Burgsmüller was well-traveled during his lengthy career, featuring for six different clubs between 1968-1990. Rarely ever capped for West Germany, Burgsmüller still scored quite a few times in his career, most notably for Borussia Dortmund where he found the back of the net on 135 occasions in 224 Bundesliga appearances for Die Schwarzgelben during a seven-year spell at the Westfalenstadion. Anecdotally, he is the oldest player to ever feature in an American Football game at the age of 52 as a place-kicker for Rhein Fire in NFL Europe.

4: Jupp Heynckes - 220 (Borussia Mönchengladbach, Hannover 96)

Many fans outside of Germany will best remember Heynckes for his brilliant managerial career that spanned nearly forty years from 1979-2018, which included thirteen major honors won, including a Champions League win with Bayern Munich. But those closer to the central European nation will think back to a player who helped mold hometown club Borussia Mönchengladbach into a domestic powerhouse in the 1970′s, with so many of his 220 career goals coming in serve of his boyhood club on the way to four Bundesliga titles, a UEFA Cup triumph, and a DFB-Pokal win. A true legend.

3: Klaus Fischer - 268 (FC Schalke 04, 1.FC Köln, 1860 München, VfL Bochum)

Some might taint Fischer’s legacy due to his involvement in a bribery scandal during the 1970-71 season that nearly saw him banned for life but from a footballing perspective, the former goal of the decade and goal of the century holder defined the very art of finding the back of the net in Germany across a career that spanned twenty-one seasons in the German top flight. Fischer most notably scored the vast majority of his goals for domestic giants Schalke, with his 182 goals for Die Königsblauen still standing as the club’s record to this day.

2: Robert Lewandowski - 312 (Bayern Munich, Borussia Dortmund)

One of the greatest goalscorers of any era in football, Polish star Robert Lewandowski captivated fans across Germany - and indeed the globe - during his combined stints with Borussia Dortmund and Bayern Munich after his unheralded rise through the Polish football ranks before finally finding his voice at both Znicz Pruszków and Lech Poznań. Though he led the line for Dortmund in title-winning seasons, he will best be remembered as the man that pushed Müller’s unbreakable total goals record, though he did eclipse the legend’s single-season goal tally when he hit 41 in the 2020-21 season.

1: Gerd Müller - 365 (Bayern Munich)

“Der Bomber” was unquestionably one of Germany’s greatest-ever players, with many having Müller’s colleague Franz Beckenbauer ahead of him in that discussion. What is most impressive about the Nördlingen-born Bavarian, is that every single one of his 365 Bundesliga goals he scored came in a Bayern Munich shirt, but his goalscoring capability was already on display for his hometown side TSV 1861 Nördlingen for one season where he scored 51 goals in 31 matches before heading off to eternal fame with Bayern. His total goal tally in the Bundesliga is likely to never be broken.

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Andrew Thompson

US-based Football writer. German football guru with a wealth of experience in youth development and analysis. Data aficionado. Happily championing the notion that Americans have a knowledgeable voice in the beautiful game.

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