Association football at the professional level is a low scoring sport (see article Association football for more detail). An athlete in association football, or soccer in short, can score 100 goals in international matches by playing a forward position, maintaining a high-level of success in scoring for a long period of usually more than 10 years. This page lists the highly accomplished top all-time female goal scorers in official international football matches for her country. The world governing body FIFA calls this elite group the Century Club.
Association football, more commonly known as football or soccer, is a team sport played with a spherical ball between two teams of eleven players. It is played by 250 million players in over 200 countries and dependencies, making it the world's most popular sport. The game is played on a rectangular field called a pitch with a goal at each end. The object of the game is to score by moving the ball beyond the goal line into the opposing goal.
Forwards are the players on an association football team who play nearest to the opposing team's goal, and are therefore most responsible for scoring goals.
The Fédération Internationale de Football Association is an organization which describes itself as an international governing body of association football, fútsal, beach soccer, and eFootball. FIFA is responsible for the organization of football's major international tournaments, notably the World Cup which commenced in 1930 and the Women's World Cup which commenced in 1991.
For every soccer player, especially a player not playing in a forward position, a measure of her accomplishment is the number of times she played for her national team, which shows her value to the team as a competitor on the field. See Most capped international women footballers. The world governing body FIFA calls that elite group the Century Club.
The first player to reach 100 international goals was Italian Elisabetta Vignotto. Abby Wambach scored 100 goals in 9 years, while Christine Sinclair reached the milestone in just under 10 years. Most played exclusively in the forward position, with Kristine Lilly and Michelle Akers having also played as midfielder. All players scored at a high average rate of more than one goal every three matches. International goals in this list should not include goals scored in penalty-shoot-out; see Penalty shootout (association football). Players who are currently active at international level are indicated in bold type.
Elisabetta Vignotto is an Italian former international footballer who played as a striker. She is nicknamed "Betty".
Mary Abigail Wambach is an American retired soccer player, coach, two-time Olympic gold medalist and FIFA Women's World Cup champion. A six-time winner of the U.S. Soccer Athlete of the Year award, Wambach was a regular on the U.S. women's national soccer team from 2003 to 2015, earning her first cap in 2001. As a forward, she currently stands as the highest all-time goal scorer for the national team and holds the world record for international goals for both female and male soccer players with 184 goals. Wambach was awarded the 2012 FIFA World Player of the Year, becoming the first American woman to win the award in ten years. She was included on the 2015 Time 100 list as one of the most influential people in the world.
Christine Margaret Sinclair, OC is a Canadian soccer player and captain of the Canadian national team. She plays professionally for the Portland Thorns FC in the National Women's Soccer League (NWSL) and previously played for FC Gold Pride and Western New York Flash in the Women's Professional Soccer (WPS). A CONCACAF champion, two-time Olympic bronze medalist and 14-time winner of the Canada Soccer Player of the Year award, Sinclair is Canada's all-time leading scorer and currently second in all-time international goals scored for males or females with 179, behind Abby Wambach at 184.
|Indicates the FIFA world top scorer.|
|Indicates the top scorer of the respective confederation.|
|Indicates the top scorer of the respective nation.|
|Date of 100th|
|2||Christine Sinclair||Forward/ Midfielder||179||268||0.66||2000–||2010-02-20|
|4||Kristine Lilly||Forward/ Midfielder||130||352||0.36||1987–2010||2004-10-03|
|9||Elisabetta Vignotto 1||Forward||107||110||0.97||1970–1989||unknown|
|13||Carolina Morace 2||Forward||105||153||0.68||1978–1997||unknown|
|14||Han Duan 3||Forward||101||188||0.53||2000–2011||unknown|
1 Vignotto reportedly scored 107, or 108 goals and her record was broken by Mia Hamm.FIFA indicates that she made 110 appearances. The Italian Football Federation (FIGC) website lists her record as 97 goals in 95 matchers.
The Italian Football Federation, also known as Federcalcio, is the governing body of football in Italy. It is based in Rome and the technical department is in Coverciano, Florence.
2 Morace reportedly scored 105 goals in 153 games.The FIGC website lists Morace's record as 94 goals in 136 games.
3Han Duan reportedly scored her one hundredth goalon August 6, 2008 in China's opening match against Sweden at Beijing 2008 Olympics. Another source reported that she scored her goal 101 that day. FIFA Match Report shows that she scored only one goal in that match.
4Some of Marta's 110 goals include goals scored against the USA u-20 women's national team in the 2007 Pan Am Gamesand in other unofficial matches like a friendly against a combined team of Finland & the Umea club from Sweden. Generally only goals scored in full international matches (senior int'l team v senior int'l team) count toward international goal totals.
Mariel Margaret Hamm-Garciaparra is an American retired professional soccer player, two-time Olympic gold medalist, and two-time FIFA Women's World Cup champion. Hailed as a soccer icon, she played as a forward for the United States women's national soccer team from 1987–2004. Hamm was the face of the Women's United Soccer Association (WUSA), the first professional women's soccer league in the United States, where she played for the Washington Freedom from 2001–2003. She played college soccer for the North Carolina Tar Heels women's soccer team and helped the team win four consecutive NCAA Division I Women's Soccer Championship titles.
Kristine Marie Lilly Heavey, née Kristine Marie Lilly, is a retired American soccer player who last played professionally for Boston Breakers in Women's Professional Football (WPS). She was a member of the United States women's national football team for 23 years and is the most capped football player in the history of the sport gaining her 354th and final cap against Mexico in a World Cup qualifier in November 2010. Lilly scored 130 goals for the United States women's national team, behind Mia Hamm's 158 goals, and Abby Wambach's 184.
Michelle Anne Akers is a former American soccer player, who starred in the historic 1991 and 1999 Women's World Cup victories by the United States. She won the Golden Boot as the top scorer in the 1991 tournament.
The United States Women's National Soccer Team (USWNT) represents the United States in international women's soccer. The team is the most successful in international women's soccer, winning three Women's World Cup titles, four Olympic women's gold medals, eight CONCACAF Gold Cups, and ten Algarve Cups. It medaled in every single World Cup and Olympic tournament in women's soccer history from 1991 to 2015, before being knocked out in the quarterfinal of the 2016 Summer Olympics. The team is governed by United States Soccer Federation and competes in CONCACAF.
Andréia Suntaque, often referred to as simply Andréia, is a female football (soccer) goalkeeper from Brazil, who currently plays for Brazilian club Sociedade Esportiva Tiradentes.
Carolina Morace is a former Italian football player who played as a striker. She played for the Italian national team and for various clubs in women's Serie A. She was the top scorer in Serie A in the 1984–85 season, and for 11 consecutive years from 1987–88 to 1997–98.
Shannon Boxx is an American retired soccer player and former member of the United States women's national soccer team, playing the defensive midfielder position. She last played club soccer for the Chicago Red Stars in the American National Women's Soccer League. She won gold medals with the United States at the 2004 Athens Olympics, 2008 Beijing Olympics, and 2012 London Olympics. She has also finished third place or better with the USA at the 2003, 2007, 2011 and 2015 FIFA Women's World Cups. She was a finalist for the 2005 FIFA World Player of the Year award, and won an NCAA Women's Soccer Championship with Notre Dame in 1995. Shannon Boxx announced her retirement from international and club soccer after winning the 2015 FIFA Women's World Cup. She played her last game on October 21, 2015 when the USWNT tied with Brazil as part of their victory tour.
Shannon Ann MacMillan is an American retired soccer player, coach, FIFA Women's World Cup champion, Olympic gold and silver medalist. Named U.S. Soccer Athlete of the Year for 2002, MacMillan played for the United States women's national soccer team from 1994–2006 and was part of the 1999 FIFA Women's World Cup-winning team. She won gold with the team at the 1996 Summer Olympics and silver at the 2000 Summer Olympics.
Lindsay Ann Tarpley Snow is an American professional soccer forward and midfielder. She is a two-time Olympic gold medalist, winning gold at the 2004 Athens and 2008 Beijing Summer Olympics, and was a member of the United States women's national team that finished third at the 2007 Women's World Cup in China.
Carli Anne Lloyd is an American soccer player. She is a two-time Olympic gold medalist, 2015 FIFA Women's World Cup champion, two-time FIFA Player of the Year, and a three-time Olympian. She currently plays for Sky Blue FC in the National Women's Soccer League and the United States women's national soccer team as a midfielder. Lloyd scored the gold medal-winning goals in the finals of the 2008 Summer Olympics and the 2012 Summer Olympics. She captained the United States to victory in the 2015 FIFA Women's World Cup as well as appeared in the 2007 and 2011 FIFA Women's World Cup.
Lauren Nicole Holiday, is an American retired professional soccer player who played as a midfielder and forward for the United States women's national soccer team from 2007 to 2015. She is a two-time Olympic gold medalist and FIFA Women's World Cup champion. Holiday played professionally for FC Kansas City in the National Women's Soccer League (NWSL) and the Boston Breakers in the Women's Professional Soccer (WPS). She played collegiate soccer for the UCLA Bruins.
Rachel Buehler Van Hollebeke, née Rachel Marie Buehler, is a former American soccer defender who last played for the Portland Thorns FC and the United States women's national soccer team. In 2015, Van Hollebeke revealed she was retiring from professional soccer in order to train as a doctor.
Alexandra Patricia Morgan Carrasco is an American soccer player, Olympic gold medalist, and FIFA Women's World Cup champion. She is a forward for Orlando Pride in the National Women's Soccer League (NWSL) and the United States national team. Since 2018, she co-captains her national team alongside Carli Lloyd and Megan Rapinoe.
The history of the United States women's national soccer team began in 1985 — the year when the United States women's national soccer team played its first match.
Savannah Jordan is an American soccer forward who plays for Houston Dash in the National Women's Soccer League (NWSL). She previously played for Glasgow City in the Scottish Women's Premier League (SWPL) and Portland Thorns FC in the NWSL. Jordan played collegiate soccer for the Florida Gators women's soccer team and was the first player in the history of the Southeastern Conference to be named SEC Offensive Player of the Year as a freshman. Jordan has a background in martial arts and is a three-time U.S. Junior Olympic gold medalist in sparring.