05130da4fd71c44f32ff2db5516f1f6c

Who Has Scored the Most Goals in World Cup History?

My Football FactsArticles

By Martin Graham | 20th Feb 2022

The FIFA World Cup has been played 21 times in the past 92 years and more than 2,000 goals have been scored in the tournament.

The first goal was scored by French player Lucien Laurent at the 1930 FIFA World Cup held in Uruguay and since then 1250 players have scored goals in all of the tournaments held.

However, there have been only 97 players in World Cup history who have scored five goals or more.

Here, we bring you all the goal scoring records from the 21 editions of the global showpiece as we count down to the 2022 edition in Qatar.

Golden boots in all editions

The nature of the World Cup tournaments has made it harder for players to win multiple golden boots. The World Cup is held once every four years and in that time, new and more exciting players may have emerged for different nations.

As a result, the best players from previous tournaments may be outshone by the new and exciting players who will be on display for their nations in the latest iteration of the tournament.

The first-ever Golden boot winner of the World Cup was Argentina’s Guillermo Stábile who scored eight goals in the 1930 edition held in Uruguay. Only 22 players since then have scored more than eight goals in any World Cup tournament.

The record for the most goals at a World Cup tournament was set by France international Just Fontaine who scored 13 goals in only six games in the 1958 FIFA World Cup.

Fontaine played no other World Cup tournament after that but his record-breaking 1958 tournament has seen him maintain his spot in the World Cup hall of fame.

Here are all the Golden boot winners from the 21 edition of the FIFA World Cup.

  1. 1930 | Guillermo Stabile | Argentina | 8 goals scored | 4 matches played
  2. 1934 | Angelo Schiavio | Italy | 4 goals scored | 4 matches played
  3. 1934 | Oldrich Nejedly | Czechoslovakia | 4 goals scored | 4 matches played
  4. 1934 | Edmund Conen | West Germany | 4 goals scored | 4 matches played
  5. 1938 | Leonidas da Silva | Brazil | 8 goals scored | 4 matches played
  6. 1950 | Marques Ademir | Brazil | 7 goals scored | 6 matches played
  7. 1954 | Sandor Kocsis | Hungary | 11 goals scored | 5 matches played
  8. 1958 | Just Fontaine | France | 13 goals scored | 6 matches played
  9. 1962 | Drazen Jerkovic | Yugoslavia | 5 goals scored | 6 matches played
  10. 1966 | Ferreira Eusebio | Portugal | 9 goals scored | 6 matches played
  11. 1970 | Gerd Muller | West Germany | 10 goals scored | 6 matches played
  12. 1974 | Grzegorz Lato | Poland | 7 goals scored | 7 matches played
  13. 1978 | Mario Kempes | Argentina | 6 goals scored | 7 matches played
  14. 1982 | Paolo Rossi | Italy | 6 goals scored | 7 matches played
  15. 1986 | Gary Lineker | England | 6 goals scored | 5 matches played
  16. 1990 | Salvatore Schillaci | Italy | 6 goals scored | 7 matches played
  17. 1994 | Oleg Salenko | Russia | 6 goals scored | 3 matches played
  18. 1994 | Hristo Stoitchkov | Bulgaria | 6 goals scored | 7 matches played
  19. 1998 | Davor Suker | Croatia | 6 goals scored | 7 matches played
  20. 2002 | Ronaldo | Brazil | 8 goals scored | 7 matches played
  21. 2006 | Miroslav Klose | Germany | 5 goals scored | 7 matches played
  22. 2010 | Thomas Muller | Germany | 5 goals scored | 6 matches played
  23. 2014 | James Rodriguez | Colombia | 6 goals scored | 5 matches played
  24. 2018 | Harry Kane | England | 6 goals scored | 7 matches played

Only four of the names on this list went on to win the tournament with their countries: Angelo Schiavio and Italy in 1934, Mario Kempes and Argentina in 1978, Paolo Rossi and Italy in 1982 and Ronaldo and Brazil in 2022.

Most goals in World Cup history

While 24 players have won the golden boot, there are only 50 players in total who have scored five goals or more in the World Cup.

Record goalscorer, Miroslav Klose, scored his 16 goals across four World Cup tournaments, but won the golden boot only once. He is also one of only three players to have scored at four different World Cup tournaments, alongside legendary Pele and Uwe Steeler of Germany.

Klose also holds the record of being the only player to have scored at least four goals in three different World Cup tournaments.

Here are the top 10 goalscorers in World Cup history

  1. Miroslav Klose | Germany | 16 goals | 24 matches
  2. Ronaldo | Brazil | 15 goals | 19 matches
  3. Gerd Muller | Germany | 14 goals | 13 matches
  4. Just Fontaine | France | 13 goals | 6 matches
  5. Pele | Brazil | 12 goals | 14 matches
  6. Jurgen Klinsmann | Germany | 11 goals | 17 matches
  7. Sandor Kocsis | Hungary | 11 goals | 5 matches
  8. Gabriel Batistuta | Argentina | 12 goals | 10 matches
  9. Teofilo Cubillas | Peru | 10 goals | 13 matches
  10. Grzegorz Lato | Poland | 10 goals | 20 matches

World Cup goalscorers trivia and facts

  • Germany and Brazil dominate the goal scorers with 28 of the top 97 goal scorers presenting both Nations.
  • The 1962 edition was the lowest scoring World Cup of all time with the top scorer winning the Golden boot with only four goals scored. Six different players shared the Golden boot in that tournament.
  • Five of the 30 Golden boot winners are Brazilians.
  • Germany’s Thomas Muller is the only player who is still active in the top 30 world cup goalscorers all time. He has 10 goals and is a Golden boot winner.

Martin Graham is an MFF sports writer

Archives
Back To Top