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Top goalscorers of 2023 – ranked

2023 may have been a year in which defensive midfielders began to command £100m+ fees, but strikers were still the most valuable players in football.

Strikers from around the world were ultimately the players who decided the biggest games of football throughout the calendar year, with Erling Haaland firing Man City to a treble and German Cano inspiring Fluminense to their first ever Copa Libertadores.

Using stats collated by IFFHS, here are the top ten goalscorers of 2023.

Santiago Gimenez

Top class / BSR Agency/GettyImages

Club: Feyenoord
Nation: Mexico

Goals: 39

Basically every top European club has been linked with Gimenez in recent months, and looking at his stats, you can see why.

The Mexico international has been particularly impressive during the 2023/24 season so far, netting 18 goals in just 16 Eredivisie games.

Expect to see him at a top club very, very soon.

Barnabas Varga

Late bloomer / Laszlo Szirtesi/GettyImages

Clubs: Paks, Ferencvaros
Nation: Hungary

Goals: 39

Having broken into the Hungary national team set-up in his late-20s, it’s fair to say that Barnabas Varga has been a late bloomer, but he’s certainly made up for lost time in 2023.

Varga finished the 2022/23 season at the Nemzeti Bajnoksag I top goalscorer thanks to his exploits at Paks, and has continued to frequently hit the back of the net since moving to Hungarian giants Ferencvaros during the summer. Nice one.

German Cano

Star of the Copa Libertadores / Eurasia Sport Images/GettyImages

Club: Fluminense
Nation: Argentina

Goals: 40

German Cano cemented his place among Fluminense’s greatest ever players in 2023.

The 36-year-old was the star for Flu in their first ever Copa Libertadores triumph, scoring three goals in the sem-finals and one in the final itself at the Maracana.

Denis Bouanga

MLS star / Maddie Meyer/GettyImages

Club: LAFC
Nation: Gabon

Goals: 40

LAFC were unable to retain the MLS Cup this year, but that wasn’t because Denis Bouanga didn’t pull his weight up front.

The Gabon international enjoyed the best goalscoring season of his career by a considerable distance in 2023, scoring 38 goals for his club and a further two for his national team.

Romelu Lukaku

Now on loan at Roma / Danilo Di Giovanni/GettyImages

Clubs: Inter, Roma
Nation: Belgium

Goals: 40

A surprising name on this list when you consider the pelters he’s received on social media throughout 2023.

And while his 17 league goals is nothing to write home about, Lukaku has continued to score at an alarming rate for his national team. The forward bagged 15 goals for Belgium in just nine caps during 2023, including a record-breaking 14 in Euro 2024 qualifying games.

Club: Cashmere Technical
Nation: Republic of Ireland

Goals: 42

You read that name and said ‘who?’ didn’t you?

Don’t feel bad about it, Garbhan Coughlan isn’t exactly a well-known footballer. But, fair play to him, the Cashmere Technical striker scored goals for fun over in New Zealand in 2023, bagging a stunning 42 in all competitions.

His brother Ronan also has a keen eye for goal too, bagging 33 for Waterford in the League of Ireland First Division.

Erling Haaland

Difference maker / Shaun Botterill/GettyImages

Club: Manchester City
Nation: Norway

Goals: 50

The man who fired Manchester City to the treble in 2023, Erling Haaland was utterly exceptional throughout the calendar year.

He was so good in fact, that he earned 90min’s 2023 footballer of the year award.

VfL Wolfsburg v FC Bayern München - Bundesliga

World class / Sebastian El-Saqqa – firo sportphoto/GettyImages

Clubs: Tottenham Hotspur, Bayern Munich
Nation: England

Goals: 52

After years of speculation, Kane finally left Tottenham Hotspur in the summer of 2023, but not before breaking the club’s all-time goalscoring record.

Since his big money move to Bayern, the England captain has continued to score goals at a record-breaking rate, becoming the third player in Bundesliga history to score over 20 goals during the first half of the season.

Kylian Mbappe

Mbappe is a superstar / Jean Catuffe/GettyImages

Club: Paris Saint-Germain
Nation: France

Goals: 52

2023 was yet another year in which Kylian Mbappe staked his claim as the best footballer in the world.

The dynamic forward hit double figures for France and won another top goalscorer award with PSG, finishing third in the Ballon d’Or rankings thanks to his goalscoring exploits.

Cristiano Ronaldo

Still scoring goals for fun / Yasser Bakhsh/GettyImages

Club: Al Nassr
Nation: Portugal

Goals: 54

Yep, a 38-year-old Cristiano Ronaldo is still scoring a remarkable amount of goals.

Although he’s now plying his trade in Saudi Arabia, 54 goals in a calendar year is still a fantastic achievement and proof that, despite his age, Ronaldo hasn’t lost his goalscoring instincts.


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