Olivier Giroud this week reached a century of caps for France in a landmark career moment, with the Chelsea forward celebrating his 100th appearance with a brace in the nation’s impressive 7-1 friendly thrashing of Ukraine.
Giroud’s double saw him overhaul Michel Platini to become France’s second-highest scorer of all-time on 42 goals, an incredible achievement for a player who perhaps remains underrated despite his exploits for both club and country.
Following Giroud’s milestone moment we’ve decided to look back at some of the greatest goalscorers to reach a century of caps for their nation in modern times, here are the five current players with the most international goals after reaching 100 caps:
Lionel Messi – 46 goals
Messi made his debut for Argentina as a teenager and endured an evening to forget after being controversially sent off, dismissed by the referee against Hungary just two minutes after coming on as a substitute.
Since then things have largely picked up for a player often regarded as the greatest ever, becoming his nation’s all-time record goalscorer despite silverware proving agonisingly elusive.
Messi has formed part of an Argentine side beaten in the World Cup final and three Copa America showpieces, with time perhaps running out for the forward to captain La Albiceleste to major tournament success.
The 33-year-old had scored 46 goals by the time of his 100th cap against Jamaica five years ago, his current record standing at 71 goals in 139 appearances for the South American superpower.
Zlatan Ibrahimovic – 50 goals
Arguably Sweden’s finest footballing export, Zlatan Ibrahimovic has proven box-office viewing during a career of great success for both club and country since the turn of the millennium.
Ibrahimovic has represented a host of world football’s biggest clubs and has won league titles at the likes of Inter Milan, Barcelona, AC Milan and Paris Saint-Germain, scoring prolifically and taking that form onto the international stage during a 15-year career as Sweden’s talisman.
No player has ever scored more goals for the Scandinavian nation than Ibrahimovic, who won his 100th cap for his country during a Euro 2016 qualifier against Austria in a largely forgettable 1-1 draw.
His record at that point stood at a hugely impressive 0.5 goals-per-game having scored 50 in 100 caps, the forward retiring from international football with 62 goals for Sweden, ahead of the likes of Sven Rydell, Gunnar Nordahl and Henrik Larsson.
Luis Suarez – 52 goals
One of the finest forwards in European football over the past decade, Luis Suarez ranks amongst the highest scoring current internationals in the world game.
The Uruguayan has been the spearhead of his nation alongside strike partner Edinson Cavani since making his debut for La Celeste in 2007, the duo racking up over a century of international goals between them.
Suarez helped Uruguay to Copa America success in 2011 and won his 100th cap at the World Cup seven years later, becoming just his nation’s sixth centurion after featuring against Saudi Arabia in the group stages, marking the occasion with the only goal of the game.
The Atletico Madrid forward remains a key component of the side and has now scored 60 goals in 114 appearances, including one from the penalty spot in Thursday’s 2-1 victory over Chile in the opening round of South America’s World Cup qualifiers.
Robert Lewandowski – 55 goals
The prolific Pole has been his nation’s leader for much of his international career and scored on his debut against San Marino, coming on as a substitute to find the net in a 2-0 victory for Poland.
Since then the goals have continued to flow for Lewandowski for both club and country, becoming the nation’s all-time record goalscorer and the highest scoring non-German player in Bundesliga history during spells at Borussia Dortmund and Bayern Munich.
The forward’s 13 goals during qualifying for Euro 2016 was a joint-record alongside Northern Ireland’s David Healy and he later became Poland’s greatest ever goalscorer after netting a hat-trick against Armenia in 2017.
Lewandowski won his 100th cap against Portugal with a record of 55 goals and 18 assists in that time, whilst he has since moved ahead of Jakub Błaszczykowski as Poland’s most capped player.
Neymar – 61 goals
No current player has scored more international goals upon reaching their 100th cap than Neymar, who celebrated a century of appearances during a friendly draw with Senegal in October 2019.
Neymar has been prolific ever since making the step up into the senior Seleção side, swiftly climbing the all-time scorers list for the five-time world champions and overtaking illustrious names including Rivaldo, Zico and Romario.
The forward’s record has been questioned with only 19 of his strikes having come in competitive fixtures, Neymar yet to influence a major tournament like many of his predecessors as Brazil’s leading light, despite helping the nation to a maiden Olympic gold four years ago.
He is now just one goal short of the legendary Ronaldo with only Pele further ahead, the Paris Saint-Germain star’s record standing firmly against some of the all-time greats of the game.
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