Best Long Range Shooters in Football

Josip Brajkovic
Josip Brajkovic
Published: 9.11.2023.

In the modern, manager's philosophy first era of football, system is one of the most overused buzzwords. The team not only needs to have a trademark style of playing, but a dissertation behind it. Even though often it comes down to trying to walk the ball into the box. Yet when all the innovation fails, even the biggest thinkers on the sidelines are glad when they have a cannon on the field. The best long range shooters in football are a rare commodity that all the world-class managers want to have in their sleeve.

But the fans always loved them. The collective shout edging on the shooters when they have a bit of space in front of them at the centre of the pitch is one of the favourite stadium activities for a reason.

Players With Best Long Shots in Football

So here are the best players who make the goalkeepers alert from well into the distance.

While tracking distances for goals hasn't been around for long, from around 2017 or so, we included the longest distance goals scored by these players since.

Ruslan Malinovskiy (Atalanta) AMC, longest goal range: 33 metres

Ruslan Malinovskiy

In the current and the last four seasons alone, Ruslan Malinovskiy scored 15 goals outside of the box in the league competition. For many, the Ukrainian attacking midfielder is the best long-range shooter in the game. Considering that in his Genk, Marseille, and Atalanta days he has overall 34 goals scored at the range of 16 metres or higher, it's hard to argue against it. Oh, and only one of those was scored by his weaker, right foot.

The 30-year-old Malinovskiy scored his longest effort from 33 metres, against Brescia in 2020.

Ruben Neves (Wolverhampton Wanderers) MC; longest goal range: 28 metres

Ruben Neves

While Ruben Neves isn't the most prolific goal scorers (whilst also being quite young), if he didn't line up for a penalty, he almost exclusively scores from outside the box. In the Premier League, the midfielder has 21 goals, eight from penalties, four from inside the box, and nine from outside! The Portuguese has scored three goals from a distance of 28 metres, the most dramatic one against Aston Villa in the 95th minute for a draw.

Ruben is certainly one of the best long range shooters in football and his ballistic right foot has become a trademark for him, even though he is a well-rounded player.

Marco Asensio (Paris Saint-Germain) AMC; longest goal range: 31 metres

Marco Asensio

Marco Asensio is a prime example player who seemingly only scores bangers, eurogoals, screamers… Whatever you want to call them. The left-footed Spaniard's reputation could've been much higher if he hadn't been at Real Madrid for so long, where he was usually behind in the pecking order. Asensio did play in 286 games for Real, but he spent only 49 minutes on the pitch when the average is calculated. Scoring 43 goals in La Liga, 10 of which came from outside the box! But Marco was lethal in the Champions League as well, where he bagged 12 goals.

Now, he is set to be heavily utilised by Paris Saint-Germain as a way of breaking down the tight defensive blocks underdogs place against the star-studded side. As he is 27 years old, we’ll see the Spaniard The longest goal he scored was from a 31-metre distance, in the Real Madrid match against Las Palmas in 2017.

Kevin De Bruyne (Manchester City), AMC, longest goal range: 34 metres

Kevin De Bruyne

KDB is the assist leader of modern football and with the ball at his feet the defenders are preoccupied backtracking the attackers, hence leaving space for the City star to punish them with a cannonade. De Bruyne has scored 24 goals from open play and outside the box in the league, of his total 75 goals. One of the other main issues for defenders is that Kevin is known to hit a ball from far with both his stronger right, but also with his weaker left foot. Four out of his top 20 furthest goals in all competitions came with a left-footed strike.

The longest goal the Belgian scored was in 2018 against Crystal Palace, measured at 34 metres, from a tighter angle than usual.

Cristiano Ronaldo (Al-Nassr), CF; longest goal range: 32 metres

Cristiano Ronaldo

Even though he can be dismissed by the unknowing ones as a tap-in merchant, or called pejoratively Penaldo for his penalty record, Cristiano cannot be excluded from this list of best long shots in football. He left a trail of sore goalkeeper's hands too much for that to happen. Before he joined Al-Nassr, Cristiano had 15 goals from open play in the league he performed in. Overall, he has 25 in his career since 2017!

While he was known for punishing the gloves in his early Real Madrid days, even old man Ronaldo managed to score some long-range efforts, with 32-metre distance goal against Norwich in 2022.

Paulo Dybala (Roma) AMC, longest goal range: 30 metres

Paulo Dybala

Even though he is primarily recognized for his outstanding technical skills, Paulo Dybala can absolutely fire off a long range cracker. Although not focusing primarily on power, as much as finesse and placement, with 18 goals scored from outside the box in league open-play situations, Dybala is absolutely one of the best long range shooters in football.

Overall, the Argentinian put on his mask 34 times after a strike from 16 metres or further, with the longest success coming from 30 metres in 2018 against Milan.

Lionel Messi (Inter Miami), AMC, longest goal range: 30 metres

Lionel Messi

No surprise here, Lionel Messi will appear in most attacking best of lists as long as he is still an active player. In league games alone, he has the most, 28, long range goals from open play! When looking at all competitions, Messi scored a staggering number of 72 goals scored from a distance of 16 metres or higher for club and country. The furthest the Argentinian went since tracking began is 32 metres from open play!

Regardless of whether it's a grass-cutting shot, or one that requires an aerial effort for the goalkeeper's attempt of saving, it's the placement that makes Messi so dangerous from long-range.

Aleksandr Golovin (Monaco), AMC; longest goal range: 30 metres

Aleksandr Golovin

Perhaps the most underrated of all these best long range shooters in football we've included, but Aleksandr Golovin has nine league goals scored from a distance. Golovin has scored 14 goals from outside the box overall, but his longest long-range goal from open play came in 2023, against Metz, when he banged one in from 31 metres. The currently best Russian player gives his club a lot of tactical advantages with the threat of his strong right foot as he breaks the tenuous Ligue 1 defences without penetrating into the box.

Hakan Calhanoglu (Inter), AMC, longest goal range: 33 metres

Hakan Calhanoglu

One of the dead-ball specialists who can also crack on from open play. Hakan Calhanoglu scored 11 league goals from open play in his league efforts. In his performances across the board, the Turkish player has 24 goals via shots from 16 metres out or more! The attacking midfielder has been perhaps overlooked outside of Italy, but with his furthest open-play goal coming from 33 metres, Hakan can't be regarded as just a set-piece performer. All bar one of his long-range goals have come by his stronger, right foot.

Christian Eriksen (Manchester United), AMC, longest goal range: 30 metres

Christian Eriksen

Another player who is primarily known for his soft technical skills, but also as a set-piece specialist. But Eriksen certainly deserves his place on the list of best long range shooters in football with 15 goals scored in league games alone. Especially impressive as he had to kick-start his career in his prime after a heart medical scare.

Mostly firing of from the left side of the pitch, with his stronger right foot, interestingly, Eriksen's longest range goal came with his nominally weaker, left foot. Actually, of the 20 goals scored from beyond 16 metres, Eriksen actually has seven goals with his left foot.

Perhaps a bit surprising is the fact that the list has been dominated by attacking midfielder players, while in the past, many of the best long range shooters in football were primarily central midfielders, like Dejan Stankovic, Clarence Seedorf, Steven Gerrard, Frank Lampard.


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