More than 2,000 goals have been scored in the previous 21 editions of the FIFA World Cup tournaments, with the exclusion of penalties scored during shoot-outs.
The first-ever goal scored at the FIFA World Cup was scored by French player *Lucien Laurent* at the first edition in 1930. Since then, more than 1,250 footballers have scored goals at the global Mundial — 97 players have scored five or more goals.
The top 97 goalscorers have represented 28 nations, with 14 players from Brazil and another 14 from Germany/West Germany.
France’s Just Fontaine holds the record for the most goals scored at a single tournament — with 13 goals in 1958.
TOP SOCCER BLOG brings you the top 10 highest goalscorers in FIFA World Cup history.
1. Miroslav Klose
Tournaments: 4 (2002, 2006, 2010, 2014).
Klose is the all-time top scorer for the German national team, and Germany never lost a game in which Klose scored. He is also one of very few players to have won gold, silver, and bronze medals at the FIFA World Cup.
He holds the record for the most goals scored in FIFA World Cup tournaments with 16 goals.
He scored 5 goals in his debut World Cup in 2002 and won the Golden Boot at the 2006 World Cup by again scoring 5 times.
He also scored 4 times at the 2010 World Cup and twice at the 2014 World Cup — where he overtook Brazilian Ronaldo’s then-record of 15 goals to top the all-time list.
Klose was part of the German squad that won the 2014 World Cup in Brazil.
Tournaments: 4 (1994, 1998, 2002, 2006)
Ronaldo Luís Nazário de Lima is the 3rd-highest goalscorer for Brazil. At the age of 17, he was the youngest member of the Brazilian squad that won the 1994 FIFA World Cup.
At the 1998 World Cup, Ronaldo received the Golden Ball as the player of the tournament after he helped Brazil reach the final.
He helped Brazil win the 2002 FIFA World Cup, starring in a front three with Ronaldinho and Rivaldo. He scored twice in the final and received the Golden Boot as the tournament’s top goalscorer.
At the 2006 World Cup, Ronaldo scored his 15th World Cup goal, a tournament record that was later broken by Miroslav Klose in 2014.
3. Gerd Müller
Country: West Germany
Tournaments: 1 (1970, 1974)
Gerd Müller scored 10 goals at the 1970 FIFA World Cup for West Germany and won the Golden Boot as the top goalscorer.
He scored 4 goals at the 1974 World Cup, including the winning goal in the final.
Müller held the all-time goal-scoring record at the World Cup with 14 goals for 32 years until it was broken by Brazil’s Ronaldo in 2006.
4. Just Fontaine
Tournaments: 1 (1958)
Just Fontaine scored the most goals in a single edition of the FIFA World Cup, with 13 in just 6 matches in 1958 – including 4 against defending champions West Germany.
The record stands still today.
Tournaments: 4 (1958, 1962, 1966, 1970)
Edson Arantes do Nascimento, popularly known as Pelé, won 3 FIFA World Cups: 1958, 1962, and 1970 — the only player ever to do so.
Pelé is the all-time leading goalscorer for Brazil, with 77 goals in 92 games. He is considered one of the greatest footballers of all time.
6. Sándor Kocsis
Tournaments: 1 (1954)
Kocsis was the top goalscorer at the 1954 FIFA World Cup with 11 goals, a record at that time for most goals in a single World Cup. He was also the first player to score two hat tricks in a single World Cup tournament.
Only Just Fontaine ( 13 goals in 1958) has scored more goals than Kocsis in a single FIFA World Cup.
7. Jürgen Klinsmann
Country: West Germany/Germany
Tournaments: 3 (1990,
Jürgen Klinsmann was part of the West German team that won the 1990 FIFA World Cup.
Considered one of Germany’s greatest strikers during the 1990s, he scored in all 6 major international tournaments he participated in, from Euro 1988 to the 1998 World Cup.
8. Helmut Rahn
Country: West Germany
Tournaments: 2 (1954, 1958)
Helmut Rahn forever became a German football legend when he scored the winning goal in the final of the 1954 FIFA World Cup.
He was also part of the German team that reached the semifinals at the 1958 World Cup — where he became the first-ever player to score at least 4 goals at two different World Cups.
9. Gary Lineker
Tournaments: 2 (1986, 1990)
Gary Lineker is England’s 4th-highest scorer of all time and is regarded as one of the greatest English strikers.
He scored 6 goals at the 1986 FIFA World Cup to become the tournament’s top scorer, receiving the Golden Boot.
Lineker was again integral to England’s progress to the semifinals of the 1990 World Cup, scoring another 4 goals. He still holds England’s record for most goals scored at the FIFA World Cup.
Incredibly, Gary Lineker never received a single yellow card or red card during his 16-year career both at club and international level!
10. Gabriel Batistuta
Tournaments: 3 (1994, 1998, 2002)
Batistuta was Argentina’s all-time leading goalscorer with 54 goals in 77 official matches and held the record until 2016, when he was surpassed by Lionel Messi.
He participated in 3 FIFA World Cups, scoring 10 goals — making him Argentina’s all-time top scorer in the competition.
Batistuta is the only player in football history to score two hat-tricks at different World Cup tournaments.