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DREAM TEAM

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LEGACY

Which current players have a decent chance of becoming their country’s all-time top scorer?

Neymar has Pele in his sights but who else is hoping to usurp a legend?

Say what you want about Neymar, and many do, but his numbers are astounding.

At 26-years-old, he’s already scored 339 career goals — more than Hernan Crespo, Robbie Fowler and Christian Vieri managed their whole careers.

59 of those have come while playing for Brazil, making him the Selecao’s third top scorer in the country’s illustrious history.


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Not bad, not bad at all…

Reuters
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Not bad, not bad at all…

Having already surpassed the likes of Rivaldo, Bebeto, Zico and Romario, Neymar needs just three more goals to draw level with Ronaldo.

After that, it’s just the big dog left — Pele.

Brazil’s all-time leading goalscorer finished with 77 international goals meaning Neymar needs just 18 more goals to equal the great man.

Barring a career-ending injury, the PSG forward should stroll past Pele.

Symbolic

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Symbolic

This got us thinking, are there are other current players who could become their country’s most prolific goalscorer?

(we’re only concerned with those who haven’t already achieved this feat — your Messis, your Ronaldos, etc…)

ENGLAND

Golden Boy

Getty - Contributor
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Golden Boy

Harry Kane already has a World Cup Golden Boot to show for his efforts in international football.

The Three Lions’ talismanic centre-forward has been just as clinical for club and country in the last two years.

He’s scored 14 goals in his last 17 England games, and his overall tally stands at 19 from 34.

Still just 25-years-old, Kane will fancy his chances of chasing down record-holder Wayne Rooney’s 53 goals before hanging up his boots.

FRANCE

Va Va Voom

EPA
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Va Va Voom

Thierry Henry leads the way for Les Bleus with 51 goals.

If Antoine Griezmann maintains his current form past his 30th birthday then he may end up close to top spot, but it’s a tough ask.

Olivier Giroud needs three more France goals to go past David Trezeguet and take a place on the podium.

However, at 32-years-old, there doesn’t appear to be enough time for him to challenge Michel Platini (41 goals) and Henry.

Kylian Mbappe is the one to watch out for in this contest…

Sensation

Getty - Contributor
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Sensation

The breathtaking teenager has ten international goals to his name already — more than Francesco Totti scored his whole career.

He would only have to average roughly four goals per calendar year for France from hereon to break Henry’s record before his 30th birthday.

You never know what might happen of course — we’ve seen bright starlets fade in the past.

But at this stage few would bet against Mbappe, such is the intimidating nature of his talent.

GERMANY

Running out of time

Getty - Contributor
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Running out of time

Thomas Muller is the only current player in with even a remote shot at No1 for Die Mannschaft at this stage.

Bayern Munich’s resident raumdeuter has scored 38 goals for Germany.

Unfortunately for him, Miroslav Klose is sitting pretty at the top with an imposing 71 goals.

Muller recently turned 29-years-old and his form in recent times is evidence of a decline, particularly in front of goal.

This one’s longer than a long shot.

NETHERLANDS

Golden Oldie?

PA:Press Association
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Golden Oldie?

As far as we can tell, Klass-Jan Huntelaar has not retired from international football.

The veteran target man needs just eight more goals to equal Robin van Persie as Netherlands’ top scorer (50).

He hasn’t represented the Oranje since 2015 but his record since returning to Ajax is more than respectable.

At 35-years-old there’s no time to waste if he is to launch a late charge and earn a recall.

Sadly for Huntelaar, Netherlands have focused on blooding the next generation in recent months.

RVP’s record is probably safe for a few more years at least.

URUGUAY

Partners in crime

Getty Images - Getty
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Partners in crime

This one is a battle of longevity.

Luis Suarez has 55 goals (and counting) for Uruguay, more than anyone else.

His long-time strike partner Edinson Cavani leads the chasing pack with 46 goals.

Both are the same age (31) and so if the PSG marksman is to take pole position he will have to resist the sands of time for a couple of years longer than Barcelona’s No9.

Who will blink first?


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