FIFA World Cup top goalscorers

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refer to caption
Miroslav Klose celebrating his record-breaking 16th World Cup goal

More than 2,500 goals have been scored at the 21 editions of the FIFA World Cup final tournaments, not counting penalties scored during shoot-outs.[1] Since the first goal scored by French player Lucien Laurent at the 1930 FIFA World Cup,[2] more than 1,250 footballers have scored goals at the World Cup,[3] of which just 97 have scored at least five.

Number of goalscorers[3][4][5]
Goals ≥11 10 9 8 7 6 5 4 3 2 1 Total
№ players 7 6 9 7 8 26 34 >50 >90 >200 >750 >1,250
Ronaldo in black suit
Ronaldo is the player with the second most goals, scoring 15.

The top goalscorer of the inaugural competition was Argentina's Guillermo Stábile with eight goals. Since then, only 22 players have scored more at all the games played at the World Cup than Stábile did throughout the 1930 tournament. The first was Hungary's Sándor Kocsis with eleven in 1954. At the next tournament, France's Just Fontaine improved on this record with 13 goals in only six games. Gerd Müller scored 10 for West Germany in 1970 and broke the overall record when he scored his 14th goal at the World Cup during West Germany's win at the 1974 final. His record stood for more than three decades until Ronaldo's 15 goals between 1998 and 2006 for Brazil. Germany's Miroslav Klose went on to score a record 16 goals across four consecutive tournaments between 2002 and 2014. Only two other players have surpassed 10 goals at the World Cup: Pelé with 12 between 1958 and 1970 for Brazil, and Jürgen Klinsmann with 11 between 1990 and 1998 for Germany.

Of all the players who have played at the World Cup, only six have scored, on average, at least two goals per game played: Kocsis, Fontaine, Stábile, Russia's Oleg Salenko, Switzerland's Josef Hügi, and Poland's Ernst Wilimowski — the latter scored four in his single World Cup game in 1938.[6] The top 97 goalscorers have represented 28 nations, with 14 players scoring for Brazil, and another 14 for Germany or West Germany. In total, 64 footballers came from UEFA (Europe), 29 from CONMEBOL (South America), and only four from elsewhere: Cameroon, Ghana, Australia, and the United States.

Fontaine holds the record for the most goals scored at a single tournament, with 13 goals in 1958. The players that came closest to this record were Kocsis in 1954, Müller in 1970 and Portugal's Eusébio in 1966, with 11, 10 and 9, respectively. The lowest scoring tournament's top scorer was in 1962, when six players tied at only four goals each. Across the 21 editions of the World Cup, 30 footballers have been credited with the most tournament goals, and no one has achieved this feat twice. Nine of them scored at least seven goals in a tournament, while Brazil's Jairzinho became the only footballer to score at least seven goals without being the top goalscorer of that tournament in 1970. These 30 top goalscorers played for 19 nations, the most (five) for Brazil. Another five came from other South American countries, with the remaining 20 coming from Europe. Excluding the 2010 edition, all the top tournament scorers won the Golden Boot.

Overall top goalscorers[edit]

Table key
Denotes national top scorers at the World Cup
# Denotes players who played for their national teams at the most recent tournament in 2018
[ ] Denotes tournaments where the player was part of the squad, but did not play in a match
( ) Denotes tournaments where the player played in a match, but did not score a goal
Gerd Müller with a World Cup in his hand
Gerd Müller (right) scored 14 goals for West Germany.
Pele jumping for the ball
Pelé (right) scored 12 goals for Brazil.
Thomas Müller standing on a field
Thomas Müller has scored 10 goals for Germany.
Grzegorz Lato is in the air
Grzegorz Lato (left) scored 10 goals for Poland.
David Villa walking on the field
David Villa (left) is the top World Cup goalscorer for Spain, with nine goals.
Four players talking to each other
Jairzinho (upper right) and Roberto Rivellino (center) have scored nine and six goals, respectively, for Brazil.
Landon Donovan taking a corner kick
Landon Donovan is the first player from the United States to score five goals.
Players with at least 5 goals at the FIFA World Cup tournaments[6][7]
Rank Player Team Goals
scored
Matches
played
Goals
per game
[nb 1]
Tournaments Notes
1 Miroslav Klose  Germany 16 24 0.67 2002, 2006, 2010, 2014 list[9]
2 Ronaldo  Brazil 15 19 0.79 [1994], 1998, 2002, 2006 list[10]
3 Gerd Müller  West Germany 14 13 1.08 1970, 1974 list[11]
4 Just Fontaine  France 13 6 2.17 1958 list[12]
5 Pelé  Brazil 12 14 0.86 1958, 1962, 1966, 1970 list[13]
6 Sándor Kocsis  Hungary 11 5 2.20 1954 list[14]
Jürgen Klinsmann  West Germany
 Germany
17 0.65 1990,
1994, 1998
list[15]
8 Helmut Rahn  West Germany 10 10 1.00 1954, 1958 list[16]
Gary Lineker  England 12 0.83 1986, 1990 list[17]
Gabriel Batistuta  Argentina 12 0.83 1994, 1998, 2002 list[18]
Teófilo Cubillas  Peru 13 0.77 1970, 1978, (1982) list[19]
Thomas Müller#  Germany 16 0.63 2010, 2014, (2018) list[20][21]
Grzegorz Lato  Poland 20 0.50 1974, 1978, 1982 list[22]
14 Eusébio  Portugal 9 6 1.50 1966 list[23]
Christian Vieri  Italy 9 1.00 1998, 2002 list[24]
Vavá  Brazil 10 0.90 1958, 1962 [25]
David Villa  Spain 12 0.75 2006, 2010, 2014 list[26]
Paolo Rossi  Italy 14 0.64 1978, 1982, [1986] list[27]
Jairzinho  Brazil 16 0.56 (1966), 1970, 1974 list[28]
Roberto Baggio  Italy 16 0.56 1990, 1994, 1998 list[29]
Karl-Heinz Rummenigge  West Germany 19 0.47 1978, 1982, 1986 list[30]
Uwe Seeler  West Germany 21 0.43 1958, 1962, 1966, 1970 [31]
23 Guillermo Stábile  Argentina 8 4 2.00 1930 list[32]
Leônidas  Brazil 5 1.60 1934, 1938 list[nb 2][34]
Ademir  Brazil 6 1.33 1950 list[nb 3][37]
Óscar Míguez  Uruguay 7 1.14 1950, 1954 [38]
Rivaldo  Brazil 14 0.57 1998, 2002 list[39]
Rudi Völler  West Germany
 Germany
15 0.53 1986, 1990,
1994
list[40]
Diego Maradona  Argentina 21 0.38 1982, 1986, (1990), 1994 list[41]
30 Oldřich Nejedlý  Czechoslovakia 7 6 1.17 1934, 1938 [nb 4][42]
Lajos Tichy  Hungary 8 0.88 1958, 1962, [1966] list[43]
Careca  Brazil 9 0.78 1986, 1990 [44]
Johnny Rep  Netherlands 13 0.54 1974, 1978 [45]
Andrzej Szarmach  Poland 13 0.54 1974, 1978, 1982 [46]
Luis Suárez#  Uruguay 13 0.54 2010, 2014, 2018 list[47][48]
Hans Schäfer  West Germany 15 0.47 1954, 1958, (1962) [49]
Cristiano Ronaldo#  Portugal 17 0.41 2006, 2010, 2014, 2018 list[48][50]
38 Josef Hügi   Switzerland 6 3 2.00 1954 [51]
Oleg Salenko  Russia 3 2.00 1994 list[52]
György Sárosi  Hungary 5 1.20 1934, 1938 [53]
Max Morlock  West Germany 5 1.20 1954 [54]
Erich Probst  Austria 5 1.20 1954 [55]
Harry Kane#  England 6 1.00 2018 list[56]
Salvatore Schillaci  Italy 7 0.86 1990 list[57]
Davor Šuker  Yugoslavia
 Croatia
8 0.75 [1990],
1998, (2002)
list[nb 5][58]
James Rodríguez#  Colombia 8 0.75 2014, (2018) list[59][60]
Helmut Haller  West Germany 9 0.67 (1962), 1966, (1970) [61]
Hristo Stoichkov  Bulgaria 10 0.60 1994, (1998) list[62]
Diego Forlán  Uruguay 10 0.60 2002, 2010, (2014) list[63]
Neymar#  Brazil 10 0.60 2014, 2018 list[48][64]
Asamoah Gyan  Ghana 11 0.55 2006, 2010, 2014 list[65]
Dennis Bergkamp  Netherlands 12 0.50 1994, 1998 list[66]
Rob Rensenbrink  Netherlands 13 0.46 1974, 1978 [67]
Rivellino  Brazil 15 0.40 1970, 1974, (1978) [68]
Bebeto  Brazil 15 0.40 (1990), 1994, 1998 list[69]
Arjen Robben  Netherlands 15 0.40 2006, 2010, 2014 list[70]
Zbigniew Boniek  Poland 16 0.38 1978, 1982, (1986) list[71]
Thierry Henry  France 17 0.35 1998, (2002), 2006, (2010) list[72]
Wesley Sneijder  Netherlands 17 0.35 (2006), 2010, 2014 list[73]
Robin van Persie  Netherlands 17 0.35 2006, 2010, 2014 list[74]
Mario Kempes  Argentina 18 0.33 (1974), 1978, (1982) list[75]
Lionel Messi#  Argentina 19 0.32 2006, (2010), 2014, 2018 list[48][76]
Lothar Matthäus  West Germany
 Germany
25 0.24 (1982), 1986, 1990,
1994, (1998)
[77]
64 Pedro Cea  Uruguay 5 4 1.25 1930 list[78]
Silvio Piola  Italy 4 1.25 1938 [79]
Gyula Zsengellér  Hungary 4 1.25 1938 [80]
Peter McParland  Northern Ireland 5 1.00 1958 list[81]
Tomáš Skuhravý  Czechoslovakia 5 1.00 1990 [82]
Juan Alberto Schiaffino  Uruguay 6 0.83 1950, 1954 [83]
Geoff Hurst  England 6 0.83 1966, 1970 list[84]
Jon Dahl Tomasson  Denmark 6 0.83 2002, 2010 list[85]
Alessandro Altobelli  Italy 7 0.71 1982, 1986 [86]
Kennet Andersson  Sweden 7 0.71 1994 list[87]
Fernando Morientes  Spain 7 0.71 1998, 2002 list[88]
Romário  Brazil 8 0.63 (1990), 1994 list[89]
Marc Wilmots  Belgium 8 0.63 [1990], (1994), 1998, 2002 list[90]
Mario Mandžukić#  Croatia 8 0.63 2014, 2018 list[48][91]
Valentin Ivanov  Soviet Union 9 0.56 1958, 1962 list[92]
Emilio Butragueño  Spain 9 0.56 1986, (1990) list[93]
Roger Milla  Cameroon 9 0.56 (1982), 1990, 1994 [94]
Tim Cahill#  Australia 9 0.56 2006, 2010, 2014, (2018) list[95][96]
Hans Krankl  Austria 10 0.50 1978, 1982 list[97]
Romelu Lukaku#  Belgium 10 0.50 2014, 2018 list[98]
Ivan Perišić#  Croatia 10 0.50 2014, 2018 list[48][99]
Raúl  Spain 11 0.45 1998, 2002, 2006 list[100]
Garrincha  Brazil 12 0.42 (1958), 1962, 1966 [101]
Johan Neeskens  Netherlands 12 0.42 1974, (1978) [102]
Fernando Hierro  Spain 12 0.42 [1990], 1994, 1998, 2002 list[103]
Zinedine Zidane  France 12 0.42 1998, (2002), 2006 [104]
Landon Donovan  United States 12 0.42 2002, (2006), 2010 list[105]
Henrik Larsson  Sweden 13 0.38 1994, 2002, 2006 list[106]
Michel Platini  France 14 0.36 1978, 1982, 1986 [107]
Zico  Brazil 14 0.36 1978, 1982, (1986) [108]
Gonzalo Higuaín#  Argentina 14 0.36 2010, 2014, (2018) list[109][110]
Edinson Cavani#  Uruguay 14 0.36 2010, 2014, 2018 list[48][111]
Lukas Podolski  Germany 15 0.33 2006, 2010, (2014) list[112]
Franz Beckenbauer  West Germany 18 0.28 1966, 1970, (1974) list[113]

Timeline[edit]

Progressive list of footballers that have held the record for most goals scored at the FIFA World Cup final tournaments
Goals Date Player Team Match Opponent Previous goals Ref
1 July 13, 1930 Lucien Laurent  France Uruguay 1930Group stage  Mexico N/A [nb 6]
Bart McGhee  United States Uruguay 1930Group stage  Belgium
Marcel Langiller  France Uruguay 1930Group stage  Mexico
André Maschinot  France  Mexico
Tom Florie  United States Uruguay 1930Group stage  Belgium
Bert Patenaude  United States  Belgium
Juan Carreño  Mexico Uruguay 1930Group stage  France
2 André Maschinot  France  Mexico 1930 vs Mexico
July 16, 1930 Carlos Vidal  Chile Uruguay 1930Group stage  Mexico 1930 vs Mexico [116]
July 17, 1930 Ivan Bek  Yugoslavia Uruguay 1930Group stage  Bolivia 1930 vs Brazil [117]
3
Bert Patenaude  United States Uruguay 1930Group stage  Paraguay 1930 vs Belgium, Paraguay [118]
4
July 22, 1930 Guillermo Stábile  Argentina Uruguay 1930Group stage  Chile 1930 vs Mexico (3) [119]
5
6 July 26, 1930 Uruguay 1930Semi-final  United States
7
8 July 30, 1930 Uruguay 1930Final  Uruguay
June 19, 1938 Leônidas  Brazil France 19383rd place  Sweden 1934 vs Spain
1938 vs Poland (3), Czechoslovakia, Czechoslovakia, Sweden (2)
[120]
July 13, 1950 Ademir  Brazil Brazil 1950Final round  Spain 1950 vs Mexico (2), Yugoslavia, Sweden (3), Spain [37]
June 27, 1954 Sándor Kocsis  Hungary Switzerland 1954Quarter-final  Brazil 1954 vs South Korea (3), West Germany (4) [121]
9
10 June 30, 1954 Switzerland 1954Semi-final  Uruguay
11
June 28, 1958 Just Fontaine  France Sweden 19583rd place  West Germany 1958 vs Paraguay (3), Yugoslavia (2), Scotland, Northern Ireland (2), Brazil, West Germany [122]
12
13
July 3, 1974 Gerd Müller  West Germany West Germany 1974Second round  Poland 1970 vs Morocco, Bulgaria (3), Peru (3), England, Italy (2)
1974 vs Australia, Yugoslavia
[11]
14 July 7, 1974 West Germany 1974Final  Netherlands
June 22, 2006 Ronaldo  Brazil Germany 2006Group stage  Japan 1998 vs Morocco, Chile (2), Netherlands
2002 vs Turkey, China, Costa Rica (2), Belgium, Turkey, Germany (2)
2006 vs Japan
[123]
15 June 27, 2006 Germany 2006Round of 16  Ghana
June 21, 2014 Miroslav Klose  Germany Brazil 2014Group stage  Ghana 2002 vs Saudi Arabia (3), Ireland, Cameroon
2006 vs Costa Rica (2), Ecuador (2), Argentina
2010 vs Australia, England, Argentina (2)
[124]
16 July 8, 2014 Brazil 2014Semi-final  Brazil

Top goalscorers for each tournament[edit]

Just Fontaine with the ball during a game
Just Fontaine scored a record 13 goals at the 1958 FIFA World Cup.
A portrait of Eusébio
Eusébio scored nine goals for Portugal at the 1966 World Cup.
James Rodríguez with his arms high
James Rodríguez scored six goals for Colombia at the 2014 World Cup.
Top goalscorers at each FIFA World Cup final tournament[125][126][127]
World Cup Player Team Goals
scored
Matches
played
Golden
Boot
Other FIFA Awards
 Uruguay 1930 Guillermo Stábile  Argentina 8 4 Yes Silver Ball
 Italy 1934 Oldřich Nejedlý  Czechoslovakia 5 4 Yes Bronze Ball
 France 1938 Leônidas  Brazil 7 5 Yes Golden Ball
 Brazil 1950 Ademir  Brazil 8 6 Yes Bronze Ball
  Switzerland 1954 Sándor Kocsis  Hungary 11 5 Yes Silver Ball
 Sweden 1958 Just Fontaine  France 13 6 Yes Bronze Ball
 Chile 1962 Garrincha  Brazil 4 6 Yes Golden Ball
Vavá  Brazil 6 Yes
Leonel Sánchez  Chile 6 Yes Bronze Ball
Flórián Albert  Hungary 4 Yes Best Young Player
Valentin Ivanov  Soviet Union 4 Yes
Dražan Jerković  Yugoslavia 6 Yes
 England 1966 Eusébio  Portugal 9 6 Yes Bronze Ball
 Mexico 1970 Gerd Müller  West Germany 10 6 Yes Best Young Player, Bronze Ball
 West Germany 1974 Grzegorz Lato  Poland 7 7 Yes
 Argentina 1978 Mario Kempes  Argentina 6 7 Yes Golden Ball
 Spain 1982 Paolo Rossi  Italy 6 7 Yes Golden Ball
 Mexico 1986 Gary Lineker  England 6 5 Yes
 Italy 1990 Salvatore Schillaci  Italy 6 7 Yes Golden Ball
 USA 1994 Hristo Stoichkov  Bulgaria 6 7 Yes Bronze Ball
Oleg Salenko  Russia 3 Yes
 France 1998 Davor Šuker  Croatia 6 7 Yes Silver Ball
 South Korea and
 Japan 2002
Ronaldo  Brazil 8 7 Yes Silver Ball
 Germany 2006 Miroslav Klose  Germany 5 7 Yes
 South Africa 2010 Thomas Müller  Germany 5 6 Yes Best Young Player
David Villa  Spain 7 No Silver Boot, Bronze Ball
Wesley Sneijder  Netherlands 7 No Bronze Boot, Silver Ball
Diego Forlán  Uruguay 7 No Golden Ball
 Brazil 2014 James Rodríguez  Colombia 6 5 Yes
 Russia 2018 Harry Kane  England 6 6 Yes

See also[edit]

Notes[edit]

  1. ^ Outside this list is Ernst Wilimowski of Poland, the player with the highest goals-to-games ratio in the World Cup. His ratio is 4.00 as he scored four goals in his only World Cup appearance, in 1938.[8]
  2. ^ FIFA initially credited Leônidas with eight goals in the 1938 tournament, but in November 2006, FIFA revised it to seven (he scored one additional goal in the 1934 tournament).[33]
  3. ^ There was a controversy regarding the number of goals scored by Ademir in 1950 because of incomplete data from the final group round game against Spain, that ended in a 6–1 victory for Brazil. The fifth Brazilian goal was credited to Jair,[35] but is now credited to Ademir.[36]
  4. ^ FIFA initially credited Nejedlý with only four goals in 1934. However, FIFA changed it to five goals in November 2006, meaning he scored a total of seven goals overall (he scored two goals in 1938).[33]
  5. ^ Davor Šuker was part of Yugoslavia's squad in the 1990 FIFA World Cup but did not play any games. After the breakup of Yugoslavia, he joined the Croatian national team.
  6. ^ The two initial games of the 1930 FIFA World Cup ( France Mexico[114] and  United States Belgium[115]) were played at the same time, as seven players scored, with André Maschinot scoring two goals. The order in which these players are listed reflects the actual elapsed time in the games when their goals were scored.

References[edit]

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  70. ^ "Arjen Robben". FIFA. 2014-07-25. Retrieved 2014-07-30.
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External links[edit]