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7 forwards who scored bucket-loads at club level but surprisingly few for their countries

Crossing the divide...

A lot has been made of Raheem Sterling’s international goal record recently.

The 23-year-old doubled his England tally with an exceptional brace against Spain on Monday night.

Prior the Three Lions’ famous win in Seville, the Man City winger had scored just twice in 45 caps for England.

A performance for the ages

PA:Press Association
A performance for the ages

Obviously, Sterling has contributed in other ways and should not be measured in goals alone.

However, given that he has reached double figures in each of his last five seasons at club level (including 23 in 46 games last season), many have questioned why goals have been significantly harder for him to come by at international level.

Sterling is not alone though — in fact, he’s in fine company…

1 Carlos Tevez

Apache spirit

News Group Newspapers Ltd
Apache spirit

13 goals in 76 caps.

Here’s a man with a Premier League Golden Boot on his mantelpiece and a Serie A record that stands up against any forward of the last decade.

However, with the likes of Hernan Crespo, Gonzalo Higuain, Sergio Aguero and Lionel Messi for competition, his record for Argentina is modest in comparison.

See also Diego Milito’s four goals in 25 caps.

2 Francesco Totti



9 goals in 58 caps.

The Emperor of Rome is the second-most prolific goalscorer in Serie A history and struck a triple of century of career goals.

Incredibly, he failed to hit double figures for Italy.

Totti embraced his selfless creative side when representing the Azzurri — 24 assists is evidence of that.

One of the reasons the classical No10 scored fewer international goals than you might expect is because of his somewhat premature retirement.

He officially retired from international football in 2007, a full decade before he hung up his boots at Roma.

3 Teddy Sheringham


Times Newspapers Ltd

11 goals in 51 caps.

Sheringham’s one-in-five (ish) ratio pales in comparison to his impressive Premier League strike rate.

His international career overlapped with Alan Shearer’s peak and so Sheringham often took up the ‘second striker’ position, a role he excelled in at club level too on occasion.

Michael Owen’s sensational emergence also denied Teddy a chance to lead the Three Lions’ line.

His excellent technique and link-up play meant he was utilised more than some of the other prolific Prem strikers of the time — Robbie Fowler and Andy Cole made just 41 appearances for England between them.

4 Roy Makaay

Banged ’em for Deportivo and Bayern though…

Banged ’em for Deportivo and Bayern though…

6 goals in 43 caps.

Another who would have a century of caps were it not for some serious competition.

Makaay spent much of his international career watching from the bench as the likes of Patrick Kluivert, Dennis Bergkamp, Ruud van Nistelrooy and even Pierre van Hooijdonk have all the fun.

5 Hulk


PA:Empics Sport

11 goals in 47 caps.

Did you know that Hulk has never scored a goal in a competitive international fixture? You do now.

The powerful forward has bullied goals for fun in Japan, Portugal, Russia and China’s respective domestic leagues but has found the international stage tougher to conquer.

6 Alvaro Recoba

You are obliged to have a soft spot for this man

You are obliged to have a soft spot for this man

11 goals in 69 caps.

Okay, so the Uruguayan with a wand for a left foot wasn’t exactly prolific at club level.

But most would have expected more than 11 goals from a whopping 69 caps.

Not a great goalscorer but a scorer of great goals.

7 Oliver Neuville

Sehr gut

AP:Associated Press
Sehr gut

10 goals in 69 caps.

Not as prolific as most the others on this list at club level but a tremendous servant for Bayer Leverkusen and Borussia Monchengladbach.

We’ve included his name on this list purely because German forwards with modest goal records are rare beasts.

Miroslav Klose, Lukas Podolski, Thomas Muller, Oliver Bierhoff and Mario Gomez have all plundered goals for fun in recent times.