Across the history of the event there have been over 2548 goals scored by over 1300 players. While only a few have managed to touch double figures. Today we will look at the Highest Goal Scorers in FIFA World Cup History.
Scoring goals is one of the most important aspects of the sport. Even satisfying if it is scored on the international stage. The FIFA World Cup takes place every four years and professionals around the world dream of representing their nation. While most players are often capable of playing at a world class level their country might not qualify for the World Cup. Nonetheless, only a few fortunate get to go to the World Cup once, rarely twice or thrice. The Top 5 Highest Goal Scorers in FIFA World Cup History are:
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The Legendary forward is the youngest debutant at the world cup till date and holds the record for winning the most world cups as a player (3). However, the footballing great has scored a total of 12 goals across his World Cup career.
His first goal came during his debut campaign at the 1958 edition where he scored Wales in the quarter-finals. In the same tournament he also became the youngest to score a hattrick when he slotted past 3 goals against France. Later against Sweden he became the youngest to score in a World Cup final, scoring a brace to help Brazil lift the title.
Pele Chipped in with 6 more goals taking his tally up to 12 in four editions of the World Cups.
4. Just Fontaine
The French-man’s case is a unique one as he is the only one featuring on the list who scored all 13 of his goals in just one World Cup tournament- 1958 in Sweden. Fontaine scored in every match France played during their campaign. This included a hat-trick against Paraguay on his World Cup debut and 4 goals against Germany in the 3rd place match.
Since that tournament, Fontaine’s career was injury laden and he was forced to retire at the age of 28 due to which he never played on the global stage again.
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3. Gerd Muller
Gerd Muller represented Germany at the World Cup in 1970 and 1974 editions of the World Cup. With 14 goals to his name in just 13 matches places Muller in 3rd place on the list.
During the 1970 World Cup, although Germany didn’t make it past the Semi’s, Muller ended up as the Golden Boot winner with 10 goals. This included hat-tricks against Peru and Hungary in the group stages. Even in the Semi’s where the forward scored a brace, Italy got the better of the Germans in a 4-3 score line.
In the subsequent campaign however, Germany was successful in winning the 1974 World Cup. Muller didn’t win the Golden boot this time around, but four goals including a winner against Netherlands in the finals was all it was needed for the history books.
2. Ronaldo Nazario
The Brazilian better known as the Phenomenon takes up the second spot on the list with 15 goals in 19 appearances in the FIFA World Cup.
In his debut campaign in 1994, being just 17-year-old at the time, he did not get any game time. However, by the time of the 1998 France edition of the World Cup, Ronaldo had already proved his worth and was leading the frontline for Brazil. His four goals proved crucial as Brazil reached the final, but eventually lost to hosts France with Ronaldo missing the final having fallen ill just before the epic clash.
In 2002 World Cup held in Japan and South Korea, Ronaldo fired 8 goals to not only win the Golden Boot but also the World Cup title for Brazil. By 2006, even though Ronaldo had been a victim of injuries and struggled with fitness, he still managed to score 3 goals. This ended the glorious world cup career of the Brazilian striker with 14 goals across 4 campaigns.
1. Miroslav Klose
The record holder for the most FIFA World cup goals is Miroslav Klose of Germany. He had quite some longevity as he participated in 4 World Cups (2002, 2006, 2010 and 2014).
Although Klose wasn’t the most popular or the most clinical strikers during the time. However, his consistency throughout the years is what makes him special.
On his World Cup debut during 2002, Klose scored a hattrick in the opening game against Saudi Arabia. This was followed by two more during the campaign as Germany finished as runners up. Later in 2006, Klose bagged in five more goals and managed to win the Golden Boot even though Germany as hosts finished the campaign as third.
In 2010 South Africa, Klose racked up four more goals as Germany once again failed to make the finals. In his final World Cup campaign in 2014, at the age of 36, Klose contributed with just two goals. Nevertheless, it was enough to provide himself a fairy tale ending as the Germans won the illustrious trophy by defeating Argentina.
Miroslav Klose set the record for most goals scored at the FIFA World Cups with 16 goals in 24 matches. He retired shortly after 2014 but his record is not likely to be broken for at least a few decades.