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Wednesday, January 22, 2014

Players with a century of goals in more than one country

In more than 120 years of league soccer there are lots of excellent forwards who have scored more than one hundred first level league goals in their career. Generally they did so in their own country, sometimes in a foreign country. Only in seventeen known cases a player scored one hundred league goals in more than one country. This story reveals who those seventeen soccer players are. I’ve divided them into different segments, in ascending order.

100 + 100

Mario Kempes
John Eriksen
First let’s take a look at nine players who scored one hundred league goals in two countries, but didn’t reach the one hundred fifty mark. Eight of these players scored a century of goals in their home country, Denmarks John Eriksen (Roda JC, Feyenoord, Servette, Luzern) is the only one to score 100+ league goals in two foreign countries, the Netherlands and Switserland. In his own country Denmark Eriksen scored another 44 league goals for Odense BK, and he also played one season in the French second division (Mulhouse), scoring 27 goals. 
A few of these mentioned players also managed to score league goals in yet another country:
Luc Nilis scored one league goal in England (Aston Villa);
Mario Kempes scored another 48 league goals in Austria, 5 in Chile’s second division and 10 first level goals in Indonesia (as player/coach, already 41 years old);
Hector Yazalde scored another 23 league goals for Olympique Marseille in France. 

*League 1 is the league in which the player has scored most goals, not necessarily the league in which he started his career. 


Player
Nat.
League 1
Goals
League 2
Goals
John Bosman
NETH
Netherlands
146
Belgium
104
Luc Nilis
BEL
Belgium
143
Netherlands
110
John Hansen
DEN
Italy
139
Denmark
113
Ove Kindvall
SWE
Netherlands
129
Sweden
103
Mario Kempes
ARG
Spain
126
Argentina
111
Hector Yazalde
ARG
Argentina
125
Portugal
104
Kenny Dalglish
SCO
England
118
Scotland
112
John Eriksen
DEN
Switserland
112
Netherlands
102
Vahid Halilhodzic
YUG
Yugoslavia
104
France
101

150 + 100

Only one player collected one hundred league goals in one country, and 150 (or more) in another. Stephane Chapuisat scored 40 league goals in Switserland, before moving to Gemany (Bayer Uerdingen 4 goals, Borussia Dortmund 102 goals). Then he returned home to Switserland and scored another 114 league goals for Grasshoppers Zürich, Young Boys and Lausanne Sports.


Player
Nat.
League 1
Goals
League 2
Goals
Stephane Chapuisat
SWI
Switserland
154
Germany
106

200 + 100

Hugo Sanchez
Four different players managed to score two hundred goals in one league, and one hundred in another. These are all well-known strikers with big reputations. Mexican Hugo Sanchez scored another 28 league goals in the United States, and six in Austria. Three of these players scored their two hundred league goals in a foreign country, Raymond Braine being the only one who was more successful at home (206) than abroad (Czechoslovakia, 120).






Player
Nat.
League 1
Goals
League 2
Goals
Hugo Sanchez
MEX
Spain
234
Mexico
114
Gunnar Nordahl
SWE
Italy
225
Sweden
149
Osvaldo Castro
CHIL
Mexico
210
Chile
136
Raymond Braine
BEL
Belgium
206
Czechoslovakia
120

200 + 150

Argentina is the only country with three players in this list. Kempes and Yazalde are already mentioned, Carlos Bianchi did even better. Bianchi was nearly unstoppable as a striker and he scored 205 league goals in Argentina, all of them for his club Velez Sarsfield. Inbetween he played seven years in France, collecting another 179 league goals. Bianchi ended his career in the French second division, scoring another 8 goals for Stade Reims. As we all,know, Bianchi is also one the most succesful coaches of all time.




Player
Nat.
League 1
Goals
League 2
Goals
Carlos Bianchi
ARG
Argentina
205
France
179

350 + 150

Ferenc Puskas is the number three goal scorer of all time, when it comes down to league goals. In this story, he is my number two. First Puskas banged in the goals in his native Hungary (more than 350!). After the Russian invasion in 1956 he and some team mates fled the country, at first to Switserland. He was banned by the Hungarian FA until October 1958. After that, he started played for Real Madrid. Thirty-one years old already, Puskas still managed to score 156 league goals until his retirement in 1966.





Player
Nat.
League 1
Goals
League 2
Goals
Ferenc Puskas
HUN
Hungary
357
Spain
156


100 + 100 + 100

My number one can’t keep up with the 513 league goals that Puskas scored. But Isidro Langara is the only soccer player ever (at least until now) who scored more than one hundred league goals in three different countries.  He started with 80 goals at top level with Real Oviedo (and another 61 in the second division), before the Spanish Civil War broke out. Langara then played with a Spanish team (Euskadi) in the Mexican league for one year (17 goals) and was picked up by Argentinians San Lorenzo. After little more than three seasons there (110 league goals), Langara got back to Mexico and scored 106 goals in the league with Espana. He returned  home to Spain and Oviedo score another 25 goals in the Spanish competition. That makes Langara king of this story.

Player
Nat.
League 1
Goals
League 2
Goals
League 3
Goals
Isidro Langara
ESP
Mexico
123
Argentina
110
Spain
106



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