Top 10 footballers with the most penalty goals in the history of the game

Top 10 footballers with the most penalty goals in the history of the game

Claudia Kogi

Scoring penalties may look easy, but the pressure before kicking the ball makes it an absolutely difficult task. Over the years, football has produced some of the best penalty-takers, who have scored more than 100 goals from the spot.

Most penalty goals in history
Cristiano Ronaldo of Man United scores their side's second goal from the spot during their EPL match against Brentford at Old Trafford on 2 May 2022, in Manchester, England. Photo: Catherine Ivill
Source: Getty Images

A player must have steel nerves and a lion's heart to score from the spot. It takes courage and confidence to master the art of penalty-taking. However, to some, it is more of guesswork and mind games with the goalkeeper.

Who is the highest penalty scorer?

Cristiano Ronaldo holds the record for scoring the most penalty goals in football history. The Man United forward has found the back of the net 145 times from the spot.



Penalty Goals

Cristiano Ronaldo



Lionel Messi



Francesco Totti



Zlatan Ibrahimovic



Alessandro Del Piero



Alan Shearer






Frank Lampard



Edinson Cavani



Sergio Aguero



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Who scored the most penalty goals, Messi or Ronaldo?

Many people often debate about the player with the most penalty goals, between Messi and Ronaldo. However, the Argentine has netted 103 spot-kicks as of 11 October 2022, 42 goals less than the Portuguese star. Below is an updated list of the top 10 highest penalty scorers the world has witnessed.

10. Sergio Aguero

Who scored the most penalty goals, Messi or Ronaldo
Sergio Aguero poses beside his statue at Etihad Stadium on May 13 2022 in Manchester, England. Photo: Matt McNulty
Source: Getty Images

The legendary Argentine and Manchester City striker is the 10th-best player with the most penalty goals in football. Aguero was a prolific scorer and one of the best no.9s of his generation.

  • Position: Striker
  • Total penalties: 62
  • Scored: 48
  • Teams: Indipendiente, Atletico Madrid, Manchester City, FC Barcelona, Argentina.
  • Year: 2003-2021

9. Edinson Cavani

Who scored the most penalty goals, Messi or Ronaldo
Edison Cavani of Valencia CF looks on during the La Liga Santander match against RCD Espanyol at RCDE Stadium on 2 October 2022 in Barcelona, Spain. Photo: Pedro Salado
Source: Getty Images

Cavani has played in top European leagues such as Serie A, Ligue 1, the Premier League, and La Liga. He has scored plenty of goals, including penalties.

  • Position: Striker
  • Total penalties: 72
  • Scored: 58
  • Teams: Danubio, Palermo, Napoli, Paris Saint-Germain, Manchester United, Valencia, Uruguay
  • Year: 2005-date

8. Frank Lampard

The Chelsea legend is one of the highest goal-scoring midfielders of all time. Lampard played as a box-to-box midfielder and was a good penalty-taker. He only missed 10 times from the spot kick.

  • Position: Midfielder
  • Total penalties: 70
  • Scored: 60
  • Teams: West Ham United, Chelsea, Manchester City, New York City, England
  • Career: 1995-2016

7. Ronaldinho

Most penalty goals, between Messi and Ronaldo
Former Brazilian footballer Ronaldinho poses ahead of the TV show on 15 May 2022 in Paris. Photo: Franck Fife
Source: Getty Images

Gaucho became a household name and fan favourite because of his magical ability. Besides bending free kicks into the net, Ronaldinho also scored penalties with ease.

  • Position: Attacking midfielder
  • Total penalties: 87
  • Scored: 70
  • Teams: Grêmio, Paris Saint-Germain, Barcelona, AC Milan, Flamengo, Atlético Mineiro, Querétaro, Fluminense, Brazil
  • Career: 1998-2015

6. Alan Shearer

Talk about the player with the most penalty goals in the Premier League. Shearer netted 56 times from the spot in the league. He is also the all-time top scorer in the English topflight with 260 goals.

  • Position: Striker
  • Total penalties: 77
  • Scored: 72
  • Teams: Southampton, Blackburn Rovers, Newcastle United, England
  • Career: 1988-2006

5. Alessandro Del Piero

Most penalty goals, between Messi and Ronaldo
Former player Alessandro Del Piero looks on during the UEFA Nations League Group 3 football match between Italy and England. Photo: Marco Canoniero
Source: Getty Images

The Juventus legend scored 77 times from the spot during his career. Del Piero is also Juventus's all-time top scorer with 290 goals and one of the leading scorers in the history of Serie A.

  • Position: Striker
  • Total penalties: 92
  • Scored: 77
  • Teams: Padova, Juventus, Sydney FC, Delhi Dynamos, Italy
  • Career: 1991-2014

4. Zlatan Ibrahimovic

Most penalty goals, between Messi and Ronaldo
Zlatan Ibrahimovic of AC Milan looks on during the UEFA Champions League group E match against Chelsea FC at Giuseppe Meazza Stadium on 11 October 2022 in Milan, Italy. Photo: Marco Luzzani
Source: Getty Images

The self-anointed football 'lion' has defied expectations throughout his career. Zlatan still plays in a top European club (AC Milan) at 40. However, he has missed 17 penalties from 101 opportunities.

  • Position: Striker
  • Total penalties: 101
  • Scored: 84
  • Teams: Malmö FF, Ajax, Juventus, Inter Milan, Barcelona, Paris Saint-Germain, Manchester United, LA Galaxy, AC Milan, Sweden
  • Career: 1999-date

3. Francesco Totti

Most penalty goals in a season
Francesco Totti during the Serie A match between AS Roma vs US Salernitana on 10 April 2022 in Rome, Italy. Photo: Fabio Rossi
Source: Getty Images

Totti is AS Roma legend and the third player with the most penalty goals in football. He is the only one-club player on the list, having netted 86 times from the spot during his career. Totti also played for the Italian national football team.

  • Position: Striker
  • Total penalties: 106
  • Scored: 86
  • Teams: AS Roma, Italy
  • Career: 1993-2017

2. Lionel Messi

Most penalty goals in a season
Lionel Messi of PSG during the UEFA Champions League group H match against SL Benfica at Estadio do Sport Lisboa e Benfica aka Estadio da Luz on 5 October 2022 in Lisbon, Portugal. Photo: Jean Catuffe
Source: Getty Images

Leo is second on the list after converting 103 chances from the spot. He is widely considered the best player ever in football. However, the Argentine and PSG star has missed the most penalties in history.

  • Position: Striker
  • Total penalties: 135
  • Scored: 105
  • Teams: Barcelona, Paris Saint-Germain, Argentina
  • Career: 2004-date

1. Cristiano Ronaldo

Most penalty goals missed by a player
Cristiano Ronaldo of Manchester United reacts during the UEFA Europa League group E match against Omonia Nikosia at Old Trafford on 13 October 2022 in Manchester, England. Photo: James Gill
Source: Getty Images

The Portuguese star holds the record for netting the most goals from the spot in this century. He is also second among the players who have missed the most penalties. Ronaldo became the first footballer to reach 700 goals after scoring for Manchester United in a 2-1 home win over Everton on 9 October 2022.

  • Position: Striker
  • Total penalties: 174
  • Scored: 145
  • Teams: Sporting Lisbon, Manchester United, Real Madrid, Juventus, Portugal.
  • Career: 2002-present

Who has scored the most penalty goals in a season?

Cr7 also has the record for the most penalty goals scored in a league season. Ronaldo converted 12 opportunities from the spot in the 2011-12 and 2019-20 seasons. Others are Messi (10) in the 2011-12 season and Jorginho (10) in 2021.

Most penalty goals in UCL

Ronaldo has also scored the most goals from the spot in the Champions League (19), followed by Messi (18) and Robert Lewandowski (16) as of 11 October 2022.


UCL penalties scored

Cristiano Ronaldo


Lionel Messi


Robert Lewandowski


Ruud Van Nistelrooy


Sergio Aguero


Luís Figo






Thomas Müller


Steven Gerard


Most penalty goals missed by a player
Nicolas Gonzalez scores a penalty to make it 5-1 during a UEFA Europa Conference League match between Fiorentina and Heart of Midlothian on October 13, 2022, in Florence, Italy. Photo: Ross MacDonald
Source: Getty Images

What are the most penalty goals missed by a player?

The highest number of penalties a footballer has ever missed is 30 (Lionel Messi). The Argentine has even faced criticism from fans in the past after failing to convert crucial opportunities from the spot. Other stars who also missed the net from the spot are:

  • Cristiano Ronaldo - 29
  • Francesco Totti - 20
  • Zlatan Ibrahimovic - 17
  • Ronaldinho - 17
  • Antonio Di Natale - 15
  • Edinson Cavani - 14
  • Wayne Rooney -14
  • Sergio Aguero - 14
  • Frank Lampard - 10

Most penalties scored in a game

In March 2022, Washington FC and Bedlington Terriers played 140 minutes and recorded 54 penalties in the shootouts before the winner was decided in Sunderland. The game ended 3-3 in normal and extra time, paving way for post-match penalties. Washington won the match 25-24, beating the previous world record of 48, set in Namibia in 2005.

Ronaldo's record of the most penalty goals in the history of the game could stand for many years unless Messi steps up his game. Perhaps the likes of Erling Haaland and Kylian Mbappe will rise and beat the stats.

READ ALSO: Ranking the 20 most influential footballers of this decade recently compiled a list of the 20 most influential footballers of this decade. These players have performed remarkably for their club and country. According to publications on the internet, many former and current football players are considered extraordinary.

Currently, Ronaldo and Messi stand out as the most influential among the rest. Follow the above link to find out about other players on the list.