It’s a shame that, contrary to widespread belief, it seems Romario de Souza Faria did not score 1000 goals in his career. That theory is espoused by both the player and FIFA, but we couldn’t find any evidence of it. If it were so, he would probably have edged into first place on this list.

What seems to be the case is that Romario’s representatives included goals scored during his youth career, as well as friendly and non-official games. Regardless, a more realistic (and accounted for) career total of 688 goals in 886 appearances is still staggering, with 314 in 383 coming in the 1990s.

The diminutive Brazilian was the perfect example of a poacher, spending large portions of games hardly involved, only to pop up and deliver brilliant goals as soon as a chance fell to him. It was fitting that he was named the outstanding player of Brazil’s 1994 World Cup triumph.