Since its founding in 1963, the Bundesliga has been home to some of football’s greatest goalscorers. Gerd Müller is the league’s most successful ever in that regard with a seemingly unassailable 365 goals, but Robert Lewandowski is now into the top four and is by no means done yet.
Here are the Bundesliga’s all-time top 10 goalscorers:
1) Gerd Müller
Club: Bayern Munich
Minutes per goal: 105
Gerd 'Der Bomber' Müller broke record after record in the Bundesliga with Bayern. Chances are his total of 365 goals will forever remain unbeaten, but even more impressive was the rate at which he continued to score over such a long period. During the course of 14 seasons, the four-time Bundesliga champion netted a goal on average every 105 minutes and claimed the coveted Torjägerkanone an unprecedented five times. In 1971/72, he set the record for goals in a single season by netting 40 times – despite missing three penalties!
Watch: The Bundesliga’s greatest goalscorer
2) Klaus Fischer
Klaus Fischer’s longevity in the Bundesliga saw him end his 19-year career as one of just 11 players to feature over 500 times in the league. Of the esteemed members of that group, he scored by far the most goals but was the league’s top scorer just once (1975/76). He scored at least 20 times in six seasons, and while he became famous for his overhead kicks, perhaps his greatest hour was when he scored four in a famous 7-0 win for Schalke over Bayern.
Club: Borussia Mönchengladbach, Hannover
Minutes per goal: 147
Known now as one of German football’s greatest ever coaches after leading Bayern to the treble in 2013, Jupp Heynckes originally began life in the Bundesliga as a goal machine on the pitch. A Mönchengladbach boy through and through, he spent his entire successful playing career with the Foals, bar a two-year sojourn at Hannover. Heynckes was a key element in Gladbach’s golden age, winning four Bundesliga titles during the 1970s. He won the Torjägerkanone twice, as well as lifting the DFB Cup (1973) and the UEFA Cup (1975). During that decade he also claimed FIFA World Cup (1974) and UEFA European Championship (1972) winner’s medals with Germany.
Watch: Jupp Heynckes' top 5 moments
Club: Borussia Dortmund, Bayern Munich
Minutes per goal: 110
Lewandowski’s Bundesliga story is far from over, so expect plenty more records to tumble in the years to come. Now fourth in the standings with Heynckes and Fischer very much in his sights, the current Bayern striker is averaging a goal at only slightly more minutes than the great Gerd. Almost never injured, the Poland international already has more goals than any other non-German player in Bundesliga history and is looking to add to his four top scorer crowns.
Watch: All of Lewy’s first 200 Bundesliga goals
4) Manfred Burgsmüller
Club: Rot-Weiß Essen, Borussia Dortmund, Nuremberg, Werder Bremen
Minutes per goal: 168
Manni Burgsmüller perhaps goes down as the most underrated goalscorer in Bundesliga history. For over 30 years he sat fourth on the all-time scoring chart before Lewandowski drew level just months after his passing at the age of 69. He remains to this date Dortmund’s all-time top scorer in the Bundesliga (135 goals) but it wasn’t until 1988 – 19 years after his league debut – that he finally won the Bundesliga, with Werder Bremen.
Club: Werder Bremen, Bayern Munich, Cologne
Minutes per goal: 155
Claudio Pizarro has proven himself a true fan favourite over the course of a Bundesliga career that has spanned more than 20 years. The Peruvian has found the back of the net in the German top flight in every calendar year since 1999 when he was first signed by Bremen (he would re-sign three further times) from Alianza Lima in his homeland. Still going at 41, the 200-goal mark is within reach before he finally hangs up his boots – if the bionic man ever does so!
Watch: Claudio Pizarro's Bundesliga mixtape
7) Ulf Kirsten
Club: Bayer Leverkusen
Minutes per goal: 152
After Müller, Ulf Kirsten is the only other player in the Bundesliga’s top 10 to score all his goals for one club. Born in East Germany, he began his career with Dynamo Dresden and twice won the league before reunification, after which he joined Bayer Leverkusen. He finished as top scorer in the Bundesliga three times (1992/93, 1996/97, 1997/98) and was a key member of the Bayer team that famously became known as the Eternal Bridesmaids after four runners-up finishes, as well as defeats in the 2001/02 UEFA Champions League and DFB Cup finals.
8) Stefan Kuntz
Club: Bochum, Uerdingen, Kaiserslautern, Arminia Bielefeld
Minutes per goal: 213
Stefan Kuntz set the tone for his Bundesliga career by scoring a goal in each of his first four games in the league with Bochum in 1983/84. He went on to reach double figures in all but four of his 15 top-flight campaigns. The current Germany U21 coach finished as top scorer in 1985/86 and 1993/94, between which he sensationally won the league with Kaiserslautern in 1990/91.
9) Dieter Müller
Club: Kickers Offenbach, Cologne, VfB Stuttgart, Saarbrücken
Minutes per goal: 147
Dieter Müller’s Bundesliga career began as Dieter Kaster when he made two brief appearances for Offenbach in 1972/73. That summer he joined Cologne and took the surname of his adoptive father. In six of his eight seasons with the Billy Goats, he scored at least 17 goals. He was the league’s top scorer in 1976/77, netting 34 times, and then won the title the year after. That season he became the first and so far only player to score six goals in a single Bundesliga game as Cologne hammered Bremen 7-2.
10) Klaus Allofs
Club: Fortuna Düsseldorf, Cologne, Werder Bremen
Minutes per goal: 195
After a steady start to Bundesliga life with Fortuna Düsseldorf, Klaus Allofs burst into life in 1978/79 with 22 league goals. The total saw him claim the Torjägerkanone as Düsseldorf also reached the final of the European Cup Winners’ Cup, where they faced Barcelona. A couple of years later, he was continuing his goalscoring for local rivals Cologne and in 1982/83 became the first person to finish as top scorer for two different clubs. He ended his career with a three-years stint at Bremen, where he finally got his hands on the Bundesliga Meisterschale in 1992/93.