TRIVIA – FIFA WORLD CUP RUSSIA 2018: ‘FIFA World Cup top goalscorers’

 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.]Since the first goal scored by French player Lucien Laurentat the 1930 FIFA World Cup,[4] over 1,200 footballers have scored goals at the World Cup, only 90 of which scored at least five goals.

Number of goalscorers
Goals ≥11 10 9 8 7 6 5 4 3 2 1 Total
№ players 7 6 9 7 6 23 32 57 >90 >200 >750 >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 than 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 Klosewent 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 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, Oleg Salenko, Josef Hügi, and Ernst Wilimowski — the latter scored four goals in his single World Cup game in 1938.[7] The top 90 goalscorers have represented 30 different nations, with 13 players scoring for Brazil, and another 14 for Germany or West Germany. In total, 60 footballers came from UEFA (Europe), 26 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 goals, respectively. The lowest scoring tournament’s top goalscorer was in 1962, when six players scored only four goals each. Across the 20 editions of the World Cup, 29 different 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 Jairzinho became in 1970 the only footballer to score at least seven goals without being the top goalscorer of that tournament. These 29 top goalscorers played for 19 different nations, the most (five) for Brazil. Another five came from other South American countries, and the remaining 19 came from Europe. Excluding the 2010 tournament, all the top goalscorers won the Golden Boot.

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