Close this search box.

Who are the La Liga all time top goalscorers and where are Messi and Ronaldo?

The Spanish league has been home to some master marksmen since it’s inception.

There have been plenty of impressive finishers in La Liga over the years, with the Spanish top flight having played host to the likes of David Villa, Fernando Torres, Ronaldo Nazario, Zlatan Ibrahimovic and Thierry Henry at one time or another in the last two decades.

But, having been founded almost a century ago, there have been generation upon generation of stars that have left an indelible mark on the division before the latest batch of heroes.

We took a look at just who sits in the top 10 for all time goals across La Liga.

1. Lionel Messi (Barcelona) – 474

Miles clear at the top, Lionel Messi’s incredible 474 goals in La Liga puts him over 100 goals clear of his closest competitor, and is almost double that of third place on this list.

The Argentine magician, who played for Barcelona from 2004 to 2021, managed his 474 strikes in just 520 games, and those goals helped fire Barcelona to 10 league titles, seven Spanish cups and 4 Champions League trophies.

2. Cristiano Ronaldo (Real Madrid) – 311

Rivals on and off the pitch, Cristiano Ronaldo is next up in the La Liga goalscoring charts, with the pair having dominated the division for over a decade.

Capable of the spectacular on a regular basis and one of the best athletes the sport has ever seen, his spot in second is pretty safe even for years to come.

Spanish top goalscorer on four occasions, he helped Los Blancos to four Champions League trophies, as well as two La Liga titles and two Spanish cups.

3. Telmo Zarra (Athletic Bilbao) – 251

Another one club legend, Telmo Zarra has a trophy named after him for the highest scoring Spaniard in the division, such was his impact on the Spanish top flight.

The striker won the La Liga golden boot six times, and his record of 81 Copa del Rey goals remains unchallenged despite having lost his spot atop this list in the last decade.

Beginning his top flight career in 1940, he grabbed 251 goals for Bilbao in 277 games spanning 15 seasons, leading his side to 5 Copa Del Rey wins and a La Liga title during his time in the Spanish capital.

4. Hugo Sanchez (Atletico Madrid, Real Madrid & Rayo Vallecano) – 234

Though he may not be in fourth spot for long, at the time of writing (March 8th 2023), Mexican sensation Hugo Sanchez occupies this spot, largely thanks to an excellent spell in the Spanish capital.

One of few players to successfully switch from Atletico to Real Madrid, he is widely regarded as the greatest player that Mexico have ever produced. After four years with Atleti, in which time he scored over 50 goals, he made the switch across the City to Los Blancos, and it was here that his career took off.

164 goals in just 207 appearances later, Sanchez had rocketed to the top of the Real Madrid all-time goalscoring charts and had helped them win five successive La Liga titles between 1985 and 1990.

5. Karim Benzema (Real Madrid) – 230

The only player on this list that can still move up, Frenchman Karim Benzema spent much of his career in the shadow of Cristiano Ronaldo at Real Madrid.

But, since Ronaldo’s departure from Spanish shores, he has become the main man in his own right. The veteran attacker, who won the 2022 Ballon D’or, has scored over 100 goals since the Portuguese star joined Juventus, and has become the Los Blancos talisman, consistently delivering results.

6. Raul (Real Madrid) – 228

The man recently displaced by Benzema in the rankings, Raul was another talent poached from Atletico Madrid, joining Los Blancos from their youth system and going on to become one of the best strikers of his generation.

The third highest-appearance maker in the division, it is no surprise that the Spaniard finds himself so high up this list, while a list of his teammates includes the likes of Guti, Zinedine Zidane, Cristiano Ronaldo and David Beckham.

7. Alfredo Di Stefano (Real Madrid, Espanyol) – 227

Another Real Madrid man (sensing a theme here?), Di Stefano was a large part of making the Spanish side the European giants that they are today.

Across 11 years with Real, Di Stefano spearheaded them to 8 La Liga titles, and a further 5 Champions League wins during the club’s most successful spell in history. He won the Ballon D’or twice in that time, and was also Spanish player of the year on four occasions.

8. Cesar Rodriguez (Granada, Barcelona, Elche) – 221

Playing for Barcelona in the 1940s and 50s, Cesar Rodriguez carved himself out a position in Spanish history with his eye for goal, helping the Blaugrana to five La Liga titles.

After two seasons on loan with Granada, where his goalscoring exploits helped them into La Liga, he made his name at Camp Nou, firing in 221 goals in the Spanish top flight as he led the line for a series of managers fortunate enough to be blessed with his talents.

9. Quini (Sporting Gijon, Barcelona) – 219

A Sporting Gijon star, Quini’s career in the top flight spanned 16 years, just 4 of which were spent away from the Spanish side.

Winning the Spanish top goalscorer award on seven occasions, he made his debut in 1970 and scored 13 times in the 70-71 season. It was all up from there, however, with Quini hitting double figures in eight of his next nine seasons.

Following a brief spell with Barcelona, where he became famous for being kidnapped as much as the goals that he scored, Quini returned to Gijon but never again hit double figures as his career fizzled out.

10. Pahiño (Celta Vigo, Real Madrid, Deportivo) – 212

Relegated in his first professional season, Pahino returned to La Liga football with a bang after helping Celta Vigo back into the top flight.

The Spanish striker, who began his career in 1943 with boyhood club Celta, helped them into a best ever 4th placed finish in La Liha in 1947, before making the switch to Spanish giants Real Madrid.

He continued to find the back of the net regularly (109 goals in 124 appearances) but was sidelined by the arrival of Di Stefano and eventually found himself leaving the Bernabeu and heading to Deportivo, where he was once more polific.


Picture of Ben Browning

Ben Browning

Football writer and analyst. Long-time writer of all things Arsenal and avid watcher of European football. Happy to discuss all things football over on Twitter.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *