Scotland is the oldest footballing nation along with England as the two nations met for the first time in 1871. For all their history, Scotland have never progressed beyond the first round in FIFA World Cup or EURO tournaments. Under Andy Robertson’s leadership, Scotland will be hoping to break the curse and qualify for the knockout stages in the UEFA Euro 2021 tournament. But the tiny nation has produced a rich vein of players and managers, many of whom have forged a legacy for themselves in England. In this article, we will look at the top goalscorers for Scotland.
#5 Ally McCoist
McCoist started his career with St.Johnstone and after making over fifty appearances he joined Sunderland in 1981. He played the best football of his career at Rangers and currently ranks third in the club’s appearances list. In the 1985-86 season, he was in top form and subsequently earned a call-up to the national team.
He has scored 19 goals in 61 matches for Scotland including a memorable long-range strike against Switzerland in EURO 1996. He became a manager after his retirement and subsequently helped Rangers progress to the second-tier from the fourth tier.
#4 Lawrie Reilly
Lawrie Reilly is regarded by many as one of the greatest strikers to ever grace Scottish league football. He was part of the “Famous five” forward line of the 1950’s Hibernian team and won back-to-back league titles in 1951 and 1952. Reilly did not represent Scotland in any major tournaments but did play in the British Home Championship, a contest between the British countries.
His first international goal came against England on April 9, 1949. Reilly scored 22 goals in 38 appearances for Scotland before retiring in 1957.
#3 Hughie Gallacher
Gallacher represented the Scottish national team from 1924-1935 and scored 24 goals in 20 games. He began his senior career by playing for Airdrieonians and moved to Newcastle United in 1925. His five seasons at St. James Park are fondly remembered by fans as he scored 133 goals in 160 appearances for the club.
He played for Chelsea from 1930-34 and represented several English Football League teams before retiring in 1939. He scored in Scotland’s famous 5-1 thrashing of England at Wembley in 1928.
#2 Kenny Dalglish
Kenny Dalglish made his debut for Scotland in EURO 1972 and retired in front of the home crowd at Hampden park in 1988. He made 102 appearances in an International career spanning 15 years and scored 30 goals in the process. Still, a fan favourite at Anfield, Dalglish won all the major trophies while playing for Liverpool and was a player-manager from 1985 to 1990.
He also enjoyed a tremendously successful career at Celtic as he scored 111 goals in 204 appearances. Dalglish has scored in two different World Cups and has scored two famous goals against arch-rivals England. After his retirement in 1990, Dalglish went on to manage Blackburn Rovers, Newcastle United and Celtic before returning to Anfield for the 2011-12 season.
#1 Denis Law
Denis Law remains the only Scottish player to have won the Ballon d’Or as he claimed the prestigious prize in 1964. Law is best remembered for his 11-year spell at Manchester United during which he became a club legend. He only played in one World Cup but was hugely prolific in qualifiers and friendlies.
1963 was a memorable year for Law as he scored 11 international goals in just 7 matches. Law has scored three hat-tricks in his international career and two of those came against Norway. Law’s last goal for Scotland came against Northern Ireland in 1972 at Hampden Park, Glasgow.