FIFA World Cup top goalscorers

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

Over 2,300 goals have been scored at the 20 editions of the FIFA World Cup final tournaments, excluding penalties converted during shoot-outs.[1][2] Since the first goal scored by French player Lucien Laurent at the 1930 FIFA World Cup,[3] over 1,200 footballers have scored goals at the World Cup,[1] but only 90 of them have scored at least five goals.

Number of goalscorers[1][4][5]
Goals >10 10 9 8 7 6 5 4 3 2 1 Total
№ players 7 6 9 7 6 23 32 57 ≈100 >200 >700 >1,200
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 goals at all the games played at the World Cup as Stábile did throughout the 1930 tournament. The first was Hungary's Sándor Kocsis with eleven goals scored 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 goals 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 Brazil's Ronaldo scored 15 goals between 1998 and 2006. 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 also scored more than 10 goals at the World Cup: Pelé with 12 between 1958 and 1970, and Jürgen Klinsmann with 11 between 1990 and 1998.

Of the 90 players who have scored at least five goals, only 5 of them have scored, on average, at least two goals per game played: Kocsis, Fontaine, Stábile, Oleg Salenko, and Josef Hügi — while Ernst Wilimowski scored four goals in his single World Cup game in 1938.[6] These top 90 goalscorers represented 30 different nations, with 13 players scoring for Brazil, and another 14 for Germany or West Germany. In total, 60 footballers are from UEFA (Europe), 26 from CONMEBOL (South America), and only 4 players 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 goals, respectively. The lowest scoring tournament's top goalscorer was in 1962, when six players scored only four goals each. A total of 29 different footballers have been credited with the most goals at a World Cup during the 20 editions, and no one has achieved this feat twice. Nine of them scored at least seven goals in a tournament, while Jairzinho became in 1970 the only footballer to score seven goals without being the top goalscorer that year. These 29 top goalscorers played for 19 different nations, the most (five) for Brazil. Of these 29, 19 came from Europe and 10 from South America. Except for three in 2010, all the top goalscorers won the Golden Boot.

Overall top goalscorers[edit]

Gerd Müller (right) scored 14 goals for West Germany.
Pelé (right) scored 12 goals for Brazil.
Thomas Müller has scored 10 goals for Germany.
Grzegorz Lato (left) scored 10 goals for Poland.
David Villa (left) is the top World Cup goalscorer for Spain, with nine goals.
Jairzinho (upper right) and Roberto Rivellino (center) have scored nine and six goals, respectively, for Brazil.
Landon Donovan is the first player from the United States to score five goals.
  • Tournaments in parentheses, e.g., (1982): played in the tournament, but did not score a goal
  • Tournaments in square brackets: e.g., [1994]: part of the squad for the tournament, but did not play
  • Players in bold: have continued playing for their national team after the 2014 tournament
Players with at least 5 goals at the FIFA World Cup tournaments[1][6]
Rank Player Team Goals
scored
Matches
played
Goals
per game
Tournaments Notes
1 Klose, MiroslavMiroslav Klose  Germany 16 24 0.67 2002, 2006, 2010, 2014 [7]
2 Ronaldo, Ronaldo  Brazil 15 19 0.79 [1994], 1998, 2002, 2006 [8]
3 Müller, GerdGerd Müller  West Germany 14 13 1.08 1970, 1974 [9]
4 Fontaine, JustJust Fontaine  France 13 6 2.17 1958 [10]
5 Pelé, Pelé  Brazil 12 14 0.86 1958, 1962, 1966, 1970 [11]
6 Kocsis, SándorSándor Kocsis  Hungary 11 5 2.20 1954 [12]
Klinsmann, JürgenJürgen Klinsmann  Germany 17 0.65 1990, 1994, 1998 [13]
8 Rahn, HelmutHelmut Rahn  West Germany 10 10 1.00 1954, 1958 [14]
Lineker, GaryGary Lineker  England 12 0.83 1986, 1990 [15]
Batistuta, GabrielGabriel Batistuta  Argentina 12 0.83 1994, 1998, 2002 [16]
Cubillas, TeófiloTeófilo Cubillas  Peru 13 0.77 1970, 1978, (1982) [17]
Müller, ThomasThomas Müller  Germany 13 0.77 2010, 2014 [18]
Lato, GrzegorzGrzegorz Lato  Poland 20 0.50 1974, 1978, 1982 [19]
14 Eusébio, Eusébio  Portugal 9 6 1.50 1966 [20]
Vieri, ChristianChristian Vieri  Italy 9 1.00 1998, 2002 [21]
Vavá, Vavá  Brazil 10 0.90 1958, 1962 [22]
Villa, DavidDavid Villa  Spain 12 0.75 2006, 2010, 2014 [23]
Rossi, PaoloPaolo Rossi  Italy 14 0.64 1978, 1982, [1986] [24]
Jairzinho, Jairzinho  Brazil 16 0.56 (1966), 1970, 1974 [25]
Baggio, RobertoRoberto Baggio  Italy 16 0.56 1990, 1994, 1998 [26]
Rummenigge, Karl-HeinzKarl-Heinz Rummenigge  West Germany 19 0.47 1978, 1982, 1986 [27]
Seeler, UweUwe Seeler  West Germany 21 0.43 1958, 1962, 1966, 1970 [28]
23 Stábile, GuillermoGuillermo Stábile  Argentina 8 4 2.00 1930 [29]
Leônidas, Leônidas  Brazil 5 1.60 1934, 1938 [nb 1][31]
Ademir, Ademir  Brazil 6 1.33 1950 [nb 2][34]
Míguez, ÓscarÓscar Míguez  Uruguay 7 1.14 1950, 1954 [35]
Rivaldo, Rivaldo  Brazil 14 0.57 1998, 2002 [36]
Völler, RudiRudi Völler  Germany 15 0.53 1986, 1990, 1994 [37]
Maradona, DiegoDiego Maradona  Argentina 21 0.38 1982, 1986, (1990), 1994 [38]
30 Nejedlý, OldřichOldřich Nejedlý  Czechoslovakia 7 6 1.17 1934, 1938 [nb 3][39]
Tichy, LajosLajos Tichy  Hungary 8 0.88 1958, 1962, [1966] [40]
Careca, Careca  Brazil 9 0.78 1986, 1990 [41]
Szarmach, AndrzejAndrzej Szarmach  Poland 13 0.54 1974, 1978, 1982 [42]
Rep, JohnnyJohnny Rep  Netherlands 13 0.54 1974, 1978 [43]
Schäfer, HansHans Schäfer  West Germany 15 0.47 1954, 1958, (1962) [44]
36 Hugi, JosefJosef Hügi   Switzerland 6 3 2.00 1954 [45]
Salenko, OlegOleg Salenko  Russia 3 2.00 1994 [46]
Morlock, MaxMax Morlock  West Germany 5 1.20 1954 [47]
Probst, ErichErich Probst  Austria 5 1.20 1954 [48]
Sarosi, GyorgyGyörgy Sárosi  Hungary 5 1.20 1934, 1938 [49]
Rodríguez, JamesJames Rodríguez  Colombia 5 1.20 2014 [50]
Schillaci, SalvatoreSalvatore Schillaci  Italy 7 0.86 1990 [51]
Šuker, DavorDavor Šuker  Croatia 8 0.75 [1990], 1998, (2002) [nb 4][52]
Haller, HelmutHelmut Haller  West Germany 9 0.67 (1962), 1966, (1970) [53]
Stoichkov, HristoHristo Stoichkov  Bulgaria 10 0.60 1994, (1998) [54]
Forlan, DiegoDiego Forlán  Uruguay 10 0.60 2002, 2010, (2014) [55]
Gyan, AsamoahAsamoah Gyan  Ghana 11 0.55 2006, 2010, 2014 [56]
Bergkamp, DennisDennis Bergkamp  Netherlands 12 0.50 1994, 1998 [57]
Rensenbrink, RobRob Rensenbrink  Netherlands 13 0.46 1974, 1978 [58]
Rivellino, Rivellino  Brazil 15 0.40 1970, 1974, (1978) [59]
Bebeto, Bebeto  Brazil 15 0.40 (1990), 1994, 1998 [60]
Robben, ArjenArjen Robben  Netherlands 15 0.40 2006, 2010, 2014 [61]
Boniek, ZbigniewZbigniew Boniek  Poland 16 0.37 1978, 1982, (1986) [62]
Henry, ThierryThierry Henry  France 17 0.35 1998, (2002), 2006, (2010) [63]
Sneijder, WesleyWesley Sneijder  Netherlands 17 0.35 (2006), 2010, 2014 [64]
van Persie, RobinRobin van Persie  Netherlands 17 0.35 2006, 2010, 2014 [65]
Kempes, MarioMario Kempes  Argentina 18 0.33 (1974), 1978, (1982) [66]
Matthäus, LotharLothar Matthäus  Germany 25 0.24 (1982), 1986, 1990, 1994, (1998) [67]
59 Cea, PedroPedro Cea  Uruguay 5 4 1.25 1930 [68]
Piola, SilvioSilvio Piola  Italy 4 1.25 1938 [69]
Zsengellér, GyulaGyula Zsengellér  Hungary 4 1.25 1938 [70]
McParland, PeterPeter McParland  Northern Ireland 5 1.00 1958 [71]
Skuhravý, TomášTomáš Skuhravý  Czechoslovakia 5 1.00 1990 [72]
Schiaffino, Juan AlbertoJuan Alberto Schiaffino  Uruguay 6 0.83 1950, 1954 [73]
Hurst, GeoffGeoff Hurst  England 6 0.83 1966, 1970 [74]
Tomasson, Jon DahlJon Dahl Tomasson  Denmark 6 0.83 2002, 2010 [75]
Altobelli, AlessandroAlessandro Altobelli  Italy 7 0.71 1982, 1986 [76]
Andersson, KennetKennet Andersson  Sweden 7 0.71 1994 [77]
Morientes, FernandoFernando Morientes  Spain 7 0.71 1998, 2002 [78]
Romário, Romário  Brazil 8 0.62 (1990), 1994 [79]
Wilmots, MarcMarc Wilmots  Belgium 8 0.62 [1990], (1994), 1998, 2002 [80]
Cahill, TimTim Cahill  Australia 8 0.62 2006, 2010, 2014 [81]
Suárez, LuisLuis Suárez  Uruguay 8 0.62 2010, 2014 [82]
Ivanov, ValentinValentin Ivanov  Soviet Union 9 0.55 1958, 1962 [83]
Milla, RogerRoger Milla  Cameroon 9 0.55 (1982), 1990, 1994 [84]
Butragueño, EmilioEmilio Butragueño  Spain 9 0.55 1986, (1990) [85]
Krankl, HansHans Krankl  Austria 10 0.50 1978, 1982 [86]
Raúl, Raúl  Spain 11 0.45 1998, 2002, 2006 [87]
Higuaín, GonzaloGonzalo Higuaín  Argentina 11 0.45 2010, 2014 [88]
Garrincha, Garrincha  Brazil 12 0.42 (1958), 1962, 1966 [89]
Neeskens, JohanJohan Neeskens  Netherlands 12 0.42 1974, (1978) [90]
Hierro, FernandoFernando Hierro  Spain 12 0.42 [1990], 1994, 1998, 2002 [91]
Zidane, ZinedineZinedine Zidane  France 12 0.42 1998, (2002), 2006 [92]
Donovan, LandonLandon Donovan  United States 12 0.42 2002, (2006), 2010 [93]
Larsson, HenrikHenrik Larsson  Sweden 13 0.38 1994, 2002, 2006 [94]
Platini, MichelMichel Platini  France 14 0.36 1978, 1982, 1986 [95]
Zico, Zico  Brazil 14 0.36 1978, 1982, (1986) [96]
Messi, LionelLionel Messi  Argentina 14 0.36 2006, (2010), 2014 [97]
Podolski, LukasLukas Podolski  Germany 15 0.33 2006, 2010, (2014) [98]
Beckenbauer, FranzFranz Beckenbauer  West Germany 18 0.28 1966, 1970, (1974) [99]

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 5]
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
July 16, 1930 Carlos Vidal  Chile Uruguay 1930Group stage  Mexico 1930 vs Mexico [102]
July 17, 1930 Ivan Bek  Yugoslavia Uruguay 1930Group stage  Bolivia 1930 vs Brazil [103]
3
Bert Patenaude  United States Uruguay 1930Group stage  Paraguay 1930 vs Belgium, Paraguay [104]
4
July 22, 1930 Guillermo Stábile  Argentina Uruguay 1930Group stage  Chile 1930 vs Mexico (3) [105]
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)
[106]
July 13, 1950 Ademir  Brazil Brazil 1950Final round  Spain 1950 vs Mexico (2), Yugoslavia, Sweden (3), Spain [34]
June 27, 1954 Sándor Kocsis  Hungary Switzerland 1954Quarter-final  Brazil 1954 vs South Korea (3), Germany (4) [107]
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 [108]
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
[9]
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
[109]
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)
[110]
16 July 8, 2014 Brazil 2014Semi-final  Brazil

Top goalscorers for each tournament[edit]

Argentinian Guillermo Stábile was the top goalscorer of the 1930 World Cup, with eight goals.
Eusébio scored nine goals for Portugal at the 1966 World Cup.
James Rodríguez scored six goals for Colombia at the 2014 World Cup.
Top goalscorers at each FIFA World Cup final tournament[111]
World Cup Player Team Goals
scored
Matches
played
Golden
Boot
Other FIFA Awards
Uruguay 1930 Stabile, GuillermoGuillermo Stábile  Argentina 8 4 Yes
Italy 1934 Nejedly, OldrichOldřich Nejedlý  Czechoslovakia 5 4 Yes
France 1938 Leonidas Leônidas  Brazil 7 5 Yes
Brazil 1950 Ademir, Ademir  Brazil 8 6 Yes
Switzerland 1954 Kocsis, SandorSándor Kocsis  Hungary 11 5 Yes
Sweden 1958 Fontaine, JustJust Fontaine  France 13 6 Yes
Chile 1962 Garrincha, Garrincha  Brazil 4 6 Yes
Vava Vavá  Brazil 6 Yes
Sanchez, LeonelLeonel Sánchez  Chile 6 Yes
Albert, FlorianFlórián Albert  Hungary 4 Yes Best Young Player
Ivanov, ValentinValentin Ivanov  Soviet Union 4 Yes
Jerkovic, DrazanDražan Jerković  Yugoslavia 6 Yes
England 1966 Eusébio Eusébio  Portugal 9 6 Yes
Mexico 1970 Muller, GerdGerd Müller  West Germany 10 6 Yes Best Young Player
West Germany 1974 Lato, GrzegorzGrzegorz Lato  Poland 7 7 Yes
Argentina 1978 Kempes, MarioMario Kempes  Argentina 6 7 Yes Golden Ball
Spain 1982 Rossi, PaoloPaolo Rossi  Italy 6 7 Yes Golden Ball
Mexico 1986 Lineker, GaryGary Lineker  England 6 5 Yes
Italy 1990 Schillaci, SalvatoreSalvatore Schillaci  Italy 6 7 Yes Golden Ball
United States 1994 Stoichkov, HristoHristo Stoichkov  Bulgaria 6 7 Yes Bronze Ball
Salenko, OlegOleg Salenko  Russia 3 Yes
France 1998 Šuker, DavorDavor Šuker  Croatia 6 7 Yes Silver Ball
South KoreaJapan 2002 , RonaldoRonaldo  Brazil 8 7 Yes Silver Ball
Germany 2006 Klose, MiroslavMiroslav Klose  Germany 5 7 Yes
South Africa 2010 Muller, ThomasThomas Müller  Germany 5 6 Yes Best Young Player
Villa, DavidDavid Villa  Spain 7 No Silver Boot, Bronze Ball
Sneijder, WesleyWesley Sneijder  Netherlands 7 No Bronze Boot, Silver Ball
Forlan, DiegoDiego Forlán  Uruguay 7 No Golden Ball
Brazil 2014 Rodríguez, JamesJames Rodríguez  Colombia 6 5 Yes

See also[edit]

Notes[edit]

  1. ^ FIFA initially credited Leônidas with eight goals in the 1938 tournament, but in November 2006 however, FIFA revised it to seven (he scored one additional goal in 1934).[30]
  2. ^ 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,[32] but are now credited to Ademir.[33]
  3. ^ 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).[30]
  4. ^ Davor Šuker was part of Yugoslavia's squad in the 1990 World Cup but did not play any games. After Yugoslavia split, he joined the Croatian national team.
  5. ^ The two initial games of the 1930 World Cup ( France Mexico[100] and  United States Belgium[101]) were played at the same time. Seven different 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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  53. ^ "Helmut Haller". FIFA. 2014-07-25. Retrieved 2014-07-30. 
  54. ^ "Hristo Stoichkov". FIFA. 2014-07-25. Retrieved 2014-07-30. 
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  56. ^ "Asamoah Gyan". FIFA. 2014-07-25. Retrieved 2014-07-30. 
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  58. ^ "Rob Rensenbrink". FIFA. 2014-07-25. Retrieved 2014-07-30. 
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  60. ^ "Bebeto". FIFA. 2014-07-25. Retrieved 2014-07-30. 
  61. ^ "Arjen Robben". FIFA. 2014-07-25. Retrieved 2014-07-30. 
  62. ^ "Zbigniew Boniek". FIFA. 2014-07-25. Retrieved 2014-07-30. 
  63. ^ "Thierry Henry". FIFA. 2014-07-25. Retrieved 2014-07-30. 
  64. ^ "Wesley Sneijder". FIFA. 2014-07-25. Retrieved 2014-07-30. 
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  66. ^ "Mario Kempes". FIFA. 2014-07-25. Retrieved 2014-07-30. 
  67. ^ "Lothar Matthaeus". FIFA. 2014-07-25. Retrieved 2014-07-30. 
  68. ^ "Pedro Cea". FIFA. 2014-07-25. Retrieved 2014-07-30. 
  69. ^ "Silvio Piola". FIFA. 2014-07-25. Retrieved 2014-07-30. 
  70. ^ "Gyula Zsengeller". FIFA. 2014-07-25. Retrieved 2014-07-30. 
  71. ^ "Peter McParland". FIFA. 2014-07-25. Retrieved 2014-07-30. 
  72. ^ "Tomas Skuhravy". FIFA. 2014-07-25. Retrieved 2014-07-30. 
  73. ^ "Juan Schiaffino". FIFA. 2014-07-25. Retrieved 2014-07-30. 
  74. ^ "Geoff Hurst". FIFA. 2014-07-25. Retrieved 2014-07-30. 
  75. ^ "Jon Dahl Tomasson". FIFA. 2014-07-25. Retrieved 2014-07-30. 
  76. ^ "Alessandro Altobelli". FIFA. 2014-07-25. Retrieved 2014-07-30. 
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  85. ^ "Emilio Butragueno". FIFA. 2014-07-25. Retrieved 2014-07-30. 
  86. ^ "Hans Krankl". FIFA. 2014-07-25. Retrieved 2014-07-30. 
  87. ^ "Raul". FIFA. 2014-07-25. Retrieved 2014-07-30. 
  88. ^ "Gonzalo Higuain". FIFA. 2014-07-25. Retrieved 2014-07-30. 
  89. ^ "Garrincha". FIFA. 2014-07-25. Retrieved 2014-07-30. 
  90. ^ "Johan Neeskens". FIFA. 2014-07-25. Retrieved 2014-07-30. 
  91. ^ "Fernando Hierro". FIFA. 2014-07-25. Retrieved 2014-07-30. 
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