Robert Lewandowski, Claudio Pizarro and the Bundesliga's best-ever foreign scorers


Robert Lewandowski overhauled Claudio Pizarro as the Bundesliga's all-time top foreign scorer on 197 goals on Matchday 25.

Lewandowski’s efforts have come across spells with Borussia Dortmund and current club Bayern, and he has usurped the record held by the evergreen Pizarro who, at over 40 years old, is still plundering Bundesliga goals for Werder Bremen.

But which other non-German strikers do Pizarro and Lewandowski lead? bundesliga.com takes a look at the league’s top five goal-grabbing imports...

Robert Lewandowski (197 goals, Bayern Munich, Borussia Dortmund)

Currently sitting fifth in the league’s overall list of record goal scorers, Lewandowski has plundered relentlessly since moving to Germany from Lech Poznan in 2010. He hit the ground running at Dortmund, scoring 74 goals in 131 games before moving to Bayern in 2014. Lewandowski hasn’t eased up since, notching a further 123 goals in 150 games in Munich to outstrip Pizarro.

Watch: Lewandowski's rise to the top

Claudio Pizarro (195 goals, Werder Bremen, Bayern Munich, Cologne)

Currently in his 19th Bundesliga season, the Peruvian has held top spot as the league’s most prolific foreigner since 2010. Pizarro may eventually lose top spot outright to Lewandowski, but he has already made Bundesliga history by becoming the league’s oldest-ever goalscorer with his 96th-minute equaliser at Hertha Berlin. At the age of 40 years and 136 days, he surpassed another former Bremen man, Mirko Votava, who had scored aged 40 years and 121 days.

Watch: Claudio Pizarro: 20 years, 20 goals

Giovane Elber (133 goals, VfB Stuttgart, Bayern Munich, Borussia Mönchengladbach)

The Brazilian striker made Germany his home over the course of 11 seasons with spells at VfB Stuttgart, Bayern and Borussia Mönchengladbach. Elber may not have scored during a brief stint at Gladbach but his 41 goals at Stuttgart took him to Bayern where Elber struck 92 times. He was Bayern’s record foreign goalscorer for the best part of two decades before Arjen Robben overtook him in 2017, who himself was surpassed by Lewandowski just a few weeks later.

Giovane Elber was Bayern Munich's and the Bundesliga's top foreign goalscorer up until 2010. - Bongarts

Vedad Ibisevic (119 goals, Hertha Berlin, VfB Stuttgart, Hoffenheim, Alemannia Aachen)

The Bosnia-Herzegovina striker’s consistency is remarkable and although some will be surprised by his place on this list, that consistency has spread over 12 years in the German top-flight. A first Bundesliga campaign came in 2006/07 with Alemannia Aachen where, then 21, Ibisevic scored six. Aachen may not have survived that season but Ibisevic did, scoring 43 times for next club Hoffenheim, a further 33 at Stuttgart and 37 and counting at Hertha.

Vedad Ibisevic is fourth on the list, and still going strong at Hertha Berlin. - © Thomas Starke/Bongarts/Getty Images

Ailton (106 goals, Werder Bremen, Schalke, Hamburg, Duisburg)

The Brazilian scored 88 of his 106 Bundesliga goals in the green and white of Werder where he produced the best football of his career, picking up a Bundesliga title in 2003/04 and two DFB Cup triumphs in 1998/99 and 03/04. His remaining 18 goals in the top-tier of German football came in fleeting times at Schalke, Hamburg and Duisburg. Ailton also became the first foreign player to be named Germany's Footballer of the Year in 2004 after finishing the year as the league’s top-scorer with 28 goals.

Ailton (r.) was a team-mate of Pizarro's (l.) at Bremen, where he won a Bundesliga and DFB Cup double in 2004, the year in which he was also named the Bundesliga's footballer of the year. - Imago