Cristiano Ronaldo equalled Real Madrid’s all-time scoring record with his latest Champions League goals, while Bayern Munich’s Robert Lewandowski is enjoying a purple patch that most strikers only dream of.
Ronaldo’s double against Malmo on Wednesday were goals 500 and 501 of his career, and he joins Raul as the club’s joint-leading scorer on 323 for Real – having played 419 games fewer.
It came a day after Poland striker Lewandowski scored a hat-trick against Dinamo Zagreb in the Champions League, making it 10 in three games for him. He scored twice in Saturday’s 3-0 win at Mainz and five times in eight minutes 59 seconds as a second-half substitute in the 5-1 victory over Wolfsburg last week. That quintet included the fastest hat-trick in Bundesliga history – three minutes 22 seconds.
The 27-year-old has also become the fastest foreign player to 100 goals in the Bundesliga.
But while the pair are setting new standards for forwards, they need to go some way to match the achievements of some of these goal machines.
Brazilian legend Pele
Edson Arantes do Nascimento, better known as Pele, won three World Cups with Brazil and is widely considered the best player of all time.
He also holds the record for the most career goals scored with 1,279 in 1,363 games, from 7 September 1956 to 1 October 1977.
Pele’s most prolific year was 1959, when he scored 126 goals.
A special mention goes to fellow Brazilian Romario, who in 2007 in a Brazilian league match, celebrated what he said was his 1,000th goal, according to his “personal count”.
Romario’s total included 77 goals he scored at youth level and a further 21 in friendly and testimonial matches.
Then there is Brazilian Arthur Friedenreich, who according to the Guinness Book of World Records scored an undocumented 1,329 goals in 26 years between 1909 and 1935, a feat not recognised by Fifa.
Most goals in a match
Oceania it seems is a playground for prolific strikers.
In July, Jean Kaltack scored 16 goals for South Pacific country Vanuatu in a 46-0 win over Micronesia in an Olympic qualifying tournament. Unfortunately for Kaltack, his feat does not stand up as a bona fide world record because it came in an under-23 tournament.
As far as full internationals go, Archie Thompson holds the world record for a match with 13 strikes, including eight before half-time, as Australia beat American Samoa 31-0 in a World Cup qualifier in 2001.
Australia’s Thompson scored 13 goals in a 31-0 rout of American Samoa
On the domestic front, Cypriot striker Panagiotis Pontikos scored a record 16 goals for SEK Ayios Athanasios FC in the Greek third division in 2007.
But his tally only equalled the feat first achieved by Stephan Stanis, who managed the same number for Racing Club in a French Cup match against Aubry Asturies in 1942.
Former England centre forward Joe Payne still holds the record for most goals in a Football League match with 10 in Luton Town’s 12-0 victory against Bristol Rovers in 1936.