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Header maestros

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There’s something beautiful about a perfect headed goal. The tilt of the head to have the ball on a string, the power generated from just the neck movements, or those loopy ones that fool the keeper, headed goals break convention in a game of trickery with the foot. For some players, headers are their bread and butter. But, who are the players with the most headed goals in football history?

It is a record which has recently been usurped by a modern footballing legend.

Without further ado, here are the top three players with the most headed goals in football history-

3- Carlos Alonso Gonzalez “Santillana”- 125

Being a good header can often be regarded as a byproduct of being tall and rightly so. However, Carlos Alonso Gonzalez, affectionately known as “Santillana”, breaks the trend away with the first entry on the list.

The legendary striker was barely 5’9″, but his jumping ability and the power he generated from his headers was enormous.

The Spanish icon, who mainly played for Real Madrid, scored 186 goals for Los Blancos in a 17-year career.

Over the course of his career, Santillana scored 125 goals with his head, good for being third on the list. However, in terms of making the most of his physical gifts and limited height, Santillana is arguably number one.

2- Gerd Muller- 144

When any record of goalscoring is talked about, the prolific German Gerd Muller is rarely away from the thick of things.

Before Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo arrived and warped the metrics of what is considered a “good” goalscorer, Muller was the one doing otherworldly things.

Famous for his clinical ability to sniff out a chance and pounce on it, he ended his Bayern Munich career with a barely believable record of 398 goals in 453 appearances.

This was during the 1960s and 70s when the physical game made it difficult for strikers to express themselves. His goal-to-game ratio on the international team was even more absurd.

He scored 68 goals in 62 games for West Germany.

Of course, he could score all types of goals. You just don’t have that type of output without being able to do so.

Also read: 10 iconic Gerd Muller moments!

Still, Muller leveraged his limited height (5’9″) like Santillana to boss the opposition on headers. He was nicknamed “Der Bomber” for the power his shots generated and the header was no different.

The ball flew off his head like it was shot out of a cannon and the shots were so perfectly placed it beggared belief.

Der Bomber’s record of most goals in a calendar year was broken by one alien named Lionel Messi. His record of most headed goals in football history has now been taken by the other alien…

1- Cristiano Ronaldo- 145 and counting

With his 74th-minute headed goal against Monastir in the Arab Club Champions Cup, Cristiano Ronaldo rewrote the record book for the umpteenth time by becoming the footballer with the most headed goals in football history.

Unlike Muller and Santillana, Ronaldo was blessed with good height and built. However, the way he maximised his physical gifts to touch borderline superhuman feats of jumping and heading is remarkable.

At his peak, it looked like he floated in the air when the ball arrived in the box. He outjumped defenders taller than him and stayed in the air like he could do this all day, just waiting for the ball to come to him.

His right foot was always lethal, but his quest for self-improvement never finished, and he made his head another surefire weapon to achieve the one thing he craves the most- the dopamine hit from the feeling of scoring a goal.

Now, he has done it more than anybody else. A huge vindication of his training and efforts as Cristiano Ronaldo is now the player with the most headed goals in football history.

Don’t rule him out of extending it too!

Vatsal Gupta
A die-hard Red Devil, who has straight up not had a good time since 2012. Lives on Korean dramas and books and can often be heard talking about armchair psychological stuff.

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