Scoring for your country is one of the greatest achievements for a footballer. There can't be many things better than scoring a goal for your home nation and celebrating with your compatriots as you represent your country.
However, there are numerous figures who scored on multiple occasions for their country, with a huge pool of players scoring over half a century of goals. Many of football's finest feature in this cohort, yet many more obscure and unique players have also achieved this feat.
Here's our look at the most prolific and iconic goalscorers in international football.
50. Adnan Al-Talyani - 52 goals
Al-Talyani kicks off this list, having scored 52 international goals for the United Arab Emirates during the 1980s and 1990s.
He also holds the record for the most appearances with 161 caps, though he may soon lose his title as the UAE's record goalscorer with active players Ahmed Khalil and Ali Mabkhout just one and three goals behind Al-Talyani respectively.
49. Jon Dahl Tomasson - 52 goals
Jon Dahl Tomasson ranks above Al-Talyani despite having scored the same amount of goals, due to the fact that he played fewer games for Denmark.
Tomasson scored 52 goals in his 13-year career for the Danes, finishing his career at the 2010 World Cup before announcing his retirement a month after the tournament's conclusion.
48. Phil Younghusband - 52 goals
Philippines forward Younghusband also sits on 52 goals, though he could move ahead of Al-Talyani and Tomasson as he continues to play for his national team.
After spending 11 years at Chelsea, Younghusband returned to the Philippines to ply his trade in the country he represents, having made 108 caps since his debut in 2006.
47. Ali Ashfaq - 52 goals
Ashfaq is one of the biggest personalities in his native Maldives, having scored 52 goals in 78 appearances for his country. After making his debut in 2003 the Maldivian endured a successful career for his country, recently retiring in 2017.
46. Poul Nielsen - 52 goals
Se cumplen 99 años de uno de los POKERS mas rápidos en la historia del fútbol convertido por Poul Nielsen en 10 minutos ante Noruega pic.twitter.com/DkDFUjZ4JO— Shalom Sports (@Shalom_Sports) October 7, 2016
Denmark's joint all-time leading goalscorer, Nielsen is the most clinical player to feature on this list. Playing for Denmark from 1910 to 1925, he netted 52 goals in just 38 caps, giving him a record of 1.37 goals per game - higher than anyone else on this list.
45. Wayne Rooney - 53 goals
England's greatest goalscorer earns a place on this list, with Rooney scoring 53 goals for the Three Lions. He overtook Sir Bobby Charlton as the all-time leading goalscorer in September 2015, scoring a penalty against Switzerland in a European qualifier to take his tally to 50 goals.
44. Joachim Streich - 53 goals
Tallying just short of a century of international caps, Streich scored over a goal every two games for East Germany with 53.
Streich got the most goals and most caps for his country before the East German national team unified with the West German team six years after Streich's retirement.
43. Gabriel Batistuta - 54 goals
Batistuta had a reputation for being a prolific striker, and that was evident during his international career as he managed 54 goals for Argentina.
The Fiorentina legend managed an average of 0.7 goals per game for the Albiceleste, before retiring from international duty in 2002 after the World Cup.
42. Bader Al-Mutawa - 55 goals
Since making his national team debut in 2003, Al-Mutawa has scored an impressive 55 goals for Kuwait. His 168 caps also make him the most capped player in Kuwaiti football history, as he also sits third in the goalscoring charts for his country.
41. Fandi Ahmad - 55 goals
Here's wishing a very happy birthday to Singapore football legend Fandi Ahmad, who turns 55 today! pic.twitter.com/bJH2agm2PF— TODAY Sports (@tdysports) May 29, 2017
Ahmad scored 55 goals for Singapore, in a successful international career spanning three decades. He made his debut in 1979, going on to make a century of caps and reaching 50 goals in 1995 before retiring from international football two years later.
40. Jan Koller - 55 goals
Koller is the Czech Republic's finest goalscorer, scoring 55 goals in his decade-long career with the national team.
The Czech striker, who played for Borussia Dortmund and Monaco among others, leads the goalscoring charts for his nation, with no other player scoring half a century of goals for the Czech Republic.
39. Kazuyoshi Miura - 55 goals
Miura spent ten years playing for Japan and became one of their most distinguished goalscorers of all time, netting 55 times. Despite having multiple years where he failed to earn more than eight caps, Miura was truly clinical, scoring 18 goals in 19 caps in 1997.
38. Romário - 55 goals
Romário was clinical throughout his career and especially in his 18 years playing for Brazil, scoring 55 goals in 70 appearances and helping the Seleção to victory in the 1994 World Cup.
Nowadays, the former Brazilian striker is involved in the small matter of politics, serving as the Federal Senator for his home state Rio de Janeiro since his appointment in February 2015.
37. Samuel Eto'o - 56 goals
Eto'o has the honour of being Cameroon's all-time leading goalscorer, with 56 goals in 118 appearances.
Eto'o was a key player for the Indomitable Lions, helping them win the Africa Cup of Nations in 2000 and 2002 as well as picking up an Olympic gold medal at the 2000 Sydney Games.
36. Edin Džeko - 56 goals
Džeko's goalscoring excellence for Bosnia and Herzegovina looks set to continue, as he sits on 56 goals in 103 caps.
The Roma talisman has represented his country since 2007, and despite already being top of the goalscoring charts he looks eager to build on his impressive tally.
35. Landon Donovan - 57 goals
Donovan is the USA's joint all-time leading goalscorer, having netted 57 times from 2000 to 2014. The American also sits second in the number of appearances for the USMNT, just seven caps short of Cobi Jones' record of 164 caps.
34. Younis Mahmoud - 57 goals
Although he is quite a way off Iraq's record goalscorer, Mahmoud is still one of his nation's finest. From 2002 to 2016, the Iraqi striker netted 57 times in 148 caps, holding the feat of being Iraq's most capped player of all time.
33. Clint Dempsey - 57 goals
Clint Dempsey shares the feat with Landon Donovan of being the USA's record goalscorer, having also scored 57 goals for the US.
Dempsey managed his goals in 141 caps during a 13-year career, before announcing his retirement from his illustrious international career in 2017.
32. Robert Lewandowski - 57 goals
Lewandowski has a strong scoring record for Poland, having managed 57 goals since making his senior debut in 2008.
At 30 years old, the Bayern Munich talisman is one of the most clinical strikers in the current game and looks set to keep on scoring for club and country for years to come.
31. Carlos Pavón - 57 goals
Tied with Poland and the USA's record goalscorers, Pavón is one of the most decorated players in Honduran football history.
While he played for 14 different clubs in his playing career, Pavón's goalscoring record was exceptional for his national team, scoring 57 goals from 1993 to 2010 for Los Catrachos.
30. Cha Bum-kun - 58 goals
Cha Bum-kun holds the record for being South Korea's leading goalscorer, netting 58 times in 135 appearances. He was the Bundesliga's first ever South Korean player when he joined Darmstadt in 1978, and continued to play for the Red Devils until retiring in 1986.
29. Luis Suárez - 58 goals
Although he is one of modern football's pantomime villains, Luis Suárez's ability as a goalscoring striker cannot be questioned.
The Barcelona striker is one of Uruguay's most decorated players and leads the goalscoring charts, having scored 58 goals, featuring at three World Cups for La Celeste.
28. David Villa - 59 goals
One of the key figures in Spain's golden generation which won the 2010 World Cup, Villa is La Roja's top goalscorer with 59 goals in just under a century of appearances.
Villa won the Silver Boot at the tournament in South Africa, where his wonderful performances lit up the competition as he scored five goals en route to Spain's World Cup triumph.
27. Imre Schlosser - 59 goals
Imre Schlosser es el jugador con más goles en la historia de la liga húngara, con 411 en 301 partidos. Su récord tiene 89 años de vigencia (se retiró en 1928) y fue campeón de goleo 7 veces. pic.twitter.com/TEIl51Rhr7— El Nueve y Medio (@el9ymedio) November 28, 2017
Making his international debut in 1906, Hungary's Imre Schlosser is the earliest player to feature on this list.
During his 21 years playing for Hungary, Schlosser scored a respectable 59 goals before retiring in 1927. This is even more impressive considering he only earned 68 caps during his international career, and he certainly would've scored more if he had more opportunities to play.
26. Neymar - 60 goals
When you consider the fact that Neymar only made his Brazil debut in 2010, his goal tally of 60 is even more outstanding.
The Paris Saint-Germain star has made 97 appearances for the Seleção so far, and at 27 the many years he has ahead of him suggest Neymar could become Brazil's greatest ever goalscorer.
25. Ahmed Radhi - 62 goals
Radhi scored 62 goals during a 15-year career with Iraq, in which he made 121 appearances. He is considered to be one of his country's greatest ever footballers, though he sits second in the goalscoring charts.
24. Zlatan Ibrahimović - 62 goals
Ibrahimović is surely Sweden's greatest player ever, something which is endorsed by his goalscoring record.
The Swedish striker, who currently plays for LA Galaxy, scored 62 goals after making his senior debut in 2001, averaging over a goal every two games for the Blågut.
23. Ronaldo - 62 goals
Ronaldo is currently Brazil's second highest goalscorer, though Neymar could soon overtake him.
The Brazilian icon scored 62 goals in 98 caps, and played a key role in Brazil's 2002 World Cup triumph, scoring both the goals in their 2-0 final win over Germany in Yokohama.
22. Didier Drogba - 65 goals
Ivory Coast's all-time leading goalscorer and one of the greatest African players ever, Drogba was prolific for his country. The Chelsea legend netted 65 goals for the Elephants, earning a century of caps before calling time on his international career in 2014.
21. Robbie Keane - 68 goals
Robbie Keane's place on this list is no surprise, with the Irishman maintaining a reputation of being a prolific striker throughout his career.
Keane scored 68 goals in 146 caps for the Republic of Ireland and leads the way in both goals and appearances for his nation.
20. Lionel Messi - 68 goals
While he is Barcelona's record goalscorer and leads the charts in numerous club competitions, Messi still has a way to go in the international goalscoring list, despite his impressive tally.
Argentina's captain currently has 68 international goals to his name since making his debut in 2005 and, while he leads the way for the Albiceleste in terms of goals, Messi will certainly want to keep raising his goal tally for his country.
19. Carlos Ruiz - 68 goals
Guatemala's Carlos Ruiz is currently on terms with Messi in the international game, with the same amount of goals and a slightly higher strike rate at 0.51 goals per game.
Ruiz represented his country for 18 years before retiring in 2016, scoring 68 goals in that time and making the most amount of appearances.
18. Gerd Müller - 68 goals
Müller was a goalscoring genius in the 1960s and 1970s, with a fine record for West Germany. Der Bomber scored 68 goals in 62 caps during his short but sweet eight-year career, at an average of 1.1 goals per game.
17. Hossam Hassan - 70 goals
Hossam Hassan is considered to be one of Egypt's best ever players, having scored 70 times for the Pharoahs.
In an international career spanning three decades and 169 games, Hassan helped his country to three Africa Cup of Nations titles before finally retiring after 21 years in 2006.
16. Stern John - 70 goals
Stern John is not only the record goalscorer for Trinidad and Tobago, but also for any CONCACAF nation.
The Trinidadian forward, who spent time at Coventry City and Crystal Palace, scored 70 goals in 115 appearances, making him one of the greatest international goalscorers around.
15. Piyapong Pue-on - 70 goals
Piyapong Pue-On dan Robby Darwis. Thailand v Indonesia, Sea Games XVII 1993 Singapura. pic.twitter.com/FTfDJUS3aH— Dani Suryaman (@dani_suryaman) March 7, 2016
One of three players tied on 70 international goals, Thailand's Piyapong Pue-on reached his tally in a perfectly round 100 caps. Pue-on represented the War Elephants for 16 years, before retiring after 70 goals and a century of caps in 1997.
14. Miroslav Klose - 71 goals
Miroslav Klose broke two huge records in 2014, firstly overtaking Gerd Müller to become Germany's all-time leading goalscorer.
His second came in the World Cup of that year, when Klose became the all-time men's leading World Cup goalscorer with 16 goals in the semi-final thrashing of Brazil. He retired following Die Mannschaft's victory, scoring 71 goals in 137 appearances over 13 years.
13. Kiatisuk Senamuang - 71 goals
Pue-on was just one goal short of becoming Thailand's record goalscorer, but instead that honour goes to Kiatisuk Senamuang.
Senamuang represented Thailand for 14 years after making his debut in 1993 and went on to score a record 71 goals, amassing a record 134 appearances.
12. Majed Abdullah - 71 goals
Saudi Arabia's record goalscorer represented his nation across three decades, helping them to two Asian Cups in 1984 and 1988.
Abdullah scored 71 times for the Green Falcons and helped them become one of the best teams in the Middle East, calling time on his international career after the 1994 World Cup.
11. Kinnah Phiri - 71 goals
Kinnah Phiri is Malawi's greatest player of all time, with his 71 goals making him their outright top scorer. Phiri played for his country during the 1970s and 1980s, managing a record 115 appearances in eight years representing Malawi.
10. Sunil Chhetri - 71 goals
Chhetri is undoubtedly India's greatest ever player, holding the record for both the most amount of goals and appearances for the country.
The India captain has scored 71 goals in 110 caps for the Blue Tigers, and Chhetri will hope to lead his nation to their first ever World Cup when qualifiers for the 2022 tournament begin.
9. Bashar Abdullah - 75 goals
Once ranked 24th in the world, Kuwait sat high in the rankings thanks to Bashar Abdullah's goalscoring record.
Abdullah grabbed 75 goals for Kuwait, helping them to a fourth place finish at the 1996 Asian Cup. He retired from international duty in 2007, and remains Kuwait's most distinguished goalscorer.
8. Sándor Kocsis - 75 goals
Despite netting an impressive 75 goals for Hungary, Kocsis is the highest international goalscorer on this list who is not his nation's all-time leading goalscorer.
Despite averaging a remarkable 1.1 goals per game, Kocsis ranks second for Hungary having played alongside the great Ferenc Puskás. Nevertheless he was an outstanding player, averaging 9.4 goals a year during his short but sweet eight-year international career.
7. Pelé - 77 goals
Regarded as one of the greatest players of all time, Pelé scored 77 times for Brazil during one of the national team's most successful eras.
Pelé began his international career and goal tally at 16, making him the youngest ever goalscorer for the Seleção. He also played a key part in three of Brazil's five World Cup wins, as he was a part of the winning squads of 1958, 1962 and 1970.
6. Hussein Saeed - 78 goals
Iraq's top goalscorer Saeed is sixth in the all-time list, registering 78 goals for his country. As well as being his nation's record goalscorer, Saeed also made the second-most caps for Iraq, with his 137 appearances placing him narrowly behind Younis Mahmoud.
5. Godfrey Chitalu - 79 goals
5-time Zambian Footballer of the Year, Godfrey Chitalu scored 107 goals in 1972. It's the Second Most Goals Ever Scored by a Footballer in a Single Calendar Year, behind Pele's 127 goals in 1959. He was on CAF's Best 200 African Footballers of the past 50 years in 2006 list. pic.twitter.com/d1PC73xUsL— Africa Facts Zone (@AfricaFactsZone) July 25, 2018
Zambia's Godfrey Chitalu is the highest scoring African international of all time, scoring 79 goals in 111 caps for the Chipolopolo.
After representing his country for 12 years, Chitalu became Zambia manager in 1993. However, his managerial career only lasted a matter of months, as he tragically lost his life later that year alongside the entire Zambian squad in the infamous plane crash.
4. Kunishige Kamamoto - 80 goals
Kamamoto had an excellent goalscoring record for Japan, with 0.95 goals per game in his international career. He averaged 5.7 goals a year during his a 13-year career with the Samurai Blue, scoring 15 goals in 1972 and eight hat-tricks before retiring in 1977.
3. Ferenc Puskás - 84 goals
Puskás was a natural born goalscorer, playing a huge role in Hungary's Mighty Magyars squad. He netted 84 goals in just 85 caps sitting just short of a goal per game, and was the highest international goalscorer of all time for over four decades before being overtaken in 2003.
2. Cristiano Ronaldo - 88 goals
Ronaldo is the highest ranked active player on the list, with the nine other active players featuring well below him. The Portuguese superstar has scored 88 goals for the Seleção das Quinas, and is their outright top scorer with the next best player Pauleta on 47 goals.
Ronaldo's goals have been pivotal in Portugal's recent success, captaining them to the 2016 European Championship and 2019 Nations League titles. The Juventus forward has been playing for Portugal for 16 years now, but looks like he has many more ahead of him.
1. Ali Daei - 109 goals
Ahead of the likes of Messi, Brazilian Ronaldo, Portuguese Ronaldo and Pelé, the honour of being the all-time leading international goalscorer falls to Iranian striker Ali Daei. In an international career spanning 13 years from 1993 to 2006, Daei scored an incredible 109 goals in 149 caps for Team Melli.
Daei scored the majority of his goals in the 21st century, with 54% of his goals coming in the final six years of his career. However, what's remarkable is that Daei only failed to score in one competition that he played in, never managing to net in the World Cup in five appearances.
Nevertheless, Daei remains the only player in the history of the game to have scored a century of international goals, and has been the top goalscorer since 2003. It might be a while before someone overtakes him, but Cristiano will definitely give it a go.