There’s a lot to love about La Liga. It has two of the best football stadiums in Europe, the biggest derby in Europe, and the almost decade long Messi-Ronaldo rivalry. Year after year the Spanish top-flight delights with the arrival of all magnitude of managers, prodigies and superstars. Today we take a look at all time top scorers in La Liga.
5 all time top scorers in La Liga
One of the most consistent players to grace the Bernabéu, Raúl González Blanco aka Raúl dominated La Liga from 1994 to 2010.
A decade and a half of goal-scoring magic with Real Madrid put Raúl as their second-highest goalscorer of all time with 323 goals in all competitions. With 228 of these coming from league games, he also holds the club record for most appearances with 741.
For all his efforts and world-class performances, he never did manage to win the Ballon d’Or. He came in a close second in 2001, missing out to a spritely 21-year-old Michael Owen. That same year he finished third in the FIFA World Player of the Year rankings as well, sitting behind Beckham and Figo.
Hugo Sánchez (234)
Is Hugo Sanchez the greatest Mexican footballer of all time? No debate. He is also one of the all time top scorers in La Liga.
After a blistering four years with Atletico, he joined Real Madrid in 1985 to what would be a career-defining 7 years. Due to his penchant for volleys, bicycle kicks and a knack for being in the right-place-at-the-right-time, he rose the ranks of the La Liga goal-scoring list, finally settling at the number 4 spot with 234 goals.
Even in his early years at UNAM (Club Universidad Nacional) in ‘78, Sánchez was making headlines. 97 goals in 188 games had him firmly in Atletico’s sights. Later he would return to the Pumas as manager and in 2004 lead them to their first league win in thirteen years.
Telmo Zarra (251)
The Pichichi Trophy is the award given to the highest goalscorer of any given La Liga season. Messi is currently in the top spot with seven, but Telmo Zarra is known as the “man before Messi”, having won the title a total of six times.
After a single season at Erandio, Zarra joined Athletic Bilbao in 1940 where he stayed for 15 years. In his time at Los Leones, he gained an incredibly loyal fan-base and superstar status for his time spent at the top of the goal charts. Three seasons in a row Zarra was La Liga’s top scorer, with a final career total reaching 251 goals.
He championed Athletic to 5 Copa Del Rays and a single La Liga win. He also holds the record for most goals scored in the Copa Del Ray with 81. Since his passing in 2006, he has been commemorated with the Zarra Trophy; An award that is now given to the highest scoring La Liga player of Spanish descent.
Cristiano Ronaldo (311)
Not much can be said about this man that hasn’t already been said a thousand times over. Unsurprisingly, Cristiano Ronaldo is second on our list of the all time top scorers in La Liga.
Back-to-back Ballon d’Or wins in 2013/14 and again in 2016/17 and winner of 31 major trophies across his career, his time spent at Real Madrid was the most fruitful of his career to date.
Those nine years from 2009 to 2018 saw Ronaldo score an incredible 311 goals in just 292 games; The only player on the La Liga goalscorers list with a positive match-to-goal ratio. His £80 million transfer to Real Madrid was a record-breaking fee at the time, after which he became pivotal in their extensive trophy campaign, helping them to win 15 before his move to Juventus.
Lionel Messi (455)
If not Ronaldo, then who else but Lionel Messi. It should come as no surprise that the Argentinian wonder claims the top spot as the all-time top scorer in La Liga history with a huge 455 goals.
A lifelong career at Barcelona has had Messi in the spotlight since 2001. The first-ever winner of the Ballon d’Or four times in a row, most goals scored in a single season and a place at the top of Barcelona’s goalscoring ranks which will likely never be broken – a ridiculous 649 so far.
Provided the rocky relationship with Barcelona smoothes out, who knows how high his goal tally will go.
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