Players usually do not start playing for their national teams until they have established themselves as top club stars.
This can require a lot of years of exceptional accomplishment.
When Ronaldo and Messi were teenagers, they began to play regularly for their respective countries.
To put things in perspective, AC Milan striker Olivier Giroud has come within four goals of Thierry Henry’s all-time goalscoring record for France.
The former Arsenal and Chelsea striker was a late bloomer, making his France debut at the age of 25 and scoring his first goal the following year.
This is an illustration of how many players do not become regulars for their country until later in their careers.
However, a few of players were able to acquire early starts with their national teams, allowing them to amass impressive international records.
Without further ado, here is a list of five active players under the age of 30 who have been involved in the most international goals.
5. Luis Suarez (71 goal contributions)
Luis Suarez of Atletico Madrid made his international debut for Uruguay in February 2007, a month after turning 20.
Since then, the two-time European Golden Boot winner has been a regular for Uruguay, now in his 15th year as a full international.
Suarez had 71 goals for Uruguay by the time he was 30 years old.
At the age of 30, he had scored 49 goals and 22 assists for his team, and he had appeared in two World Cups and a Copa America.
Uruguay won the 2011 Copa America in Argentina, and he was voted MVP.
Suarez is one of the most well-known strikers to emerge from Argentina in recent years.
Uruguay’s all-time leading scorer is the former FC Barcelona and Liverpool striker.
The 35-year-old recently led Uruguay to their fourth FIFA World Cup final in a row.
4. Cristiano Ronaldo (74 goal contributions)
Cristiano Ronaldo is the all-time leading goalscorer in world football.
He is also the all-time leading goalscorer in football.
After moving to Manchester United from Sporting Lisbon, he made his Portugal debut in 2003. Since he was a youth, Ronaldo has been a fixture for his country.
After 12 years as a professional, Ronaldo had directly contributed to 74 goals for Portugal at the age of 30.
He scored 55 goals and added 19 assists in six big tournaments for his country.
When he was only 19, Ronaldo scored his first international goal against Greece in the Euro 2004 group stage.
In his home Portugal, Ronaldo has become a modern-day icon.
He led his team to their first and second ever European Championships in 2016 and the UEFA Nations League in 2019.
Ronaldo has been identified with high-level football success as a result of his efforts throughout the years.
3. Romelu Lukaku (81 goal contributions)
Romelu Lukaku, a Belgian striker, turned professional at the age of 16.
He had won the Golden Boot in the Belgian League while playing for Anderlecht before he was 17 years old.
He debuted for the senior team before his 17th birthday in 2010 and has been a regular ever since.
The striker, who is still 28 years old, has helped the Red Devils score 81 goals.
Since making his international debut, he has 68 goals and 13 assists for Belgium.
In his career, he has played for Belgium in four major competitions.
Lukaku is Belgium’s all-time best goalscorer, with 20 goals in his past 20 international games.
He scored the third-most goals at the 2018 World Cup, helping Belgium to a third-place finish.
2. Lionel Messi (95 goal contributions)
Lionel Messi began attracting attention while he was a teenager, and he made his professional debut in 2004.
After guiding the U-20 squad to World Cup victory months earlier, he became a full Argentine international in 2005.
Messi made his Argentina debut when he was only 18 years old.
By the time he was 30, Messi had scored 95 goals for Argentina.
After 12 years as a full international, he has 61 goals and 34 assists for his country.
By the age of 30, Messi had participated in six major tournaments for Argentina.
Messi is Argentina’s all-time leading striker and South America’s all-time leading goalscorer.
His 81 goals for Argentina are the most by any player in the history of the South American continent.
Argentina won the Copa America in 2021, their first major victory since 1993, thanks to Messi’s leadership.
1. Neymar (120 goal contributions)
Neymar is one of Brazil’s most underappreciated players in international football history.
The PSG attacker, like Messi and Ronaldo, has been a star for his country since he was 18 years old.
After establishing himself as a celebrity in Brazil, Neymar became a full international in 2010. In August 2010, the forward scored his first goal for Brazil.
Since his debut as a youth, the 30-year-old attacker has assisted on 120 goals for Brazil.
Since 2010, he has scored 71 goals and assisted 49 times for the Seleçao.
So far in his career, Neymar has been in six major tournaments for Brazil.
Neymar has the second-highest amount of goals in Brazil’s history, with only six goals separating him from Pele’s 77-goal haul.
With an undefeated record, he has helped Brazil qualify for the 2022 World Cup in Qatar.