Top 10 World Cup Goalscorers

Since the first World Cup in 1930 we have seen some great goal-getters and here we take a look at the top 10 scorers in the history of this great competition.

1. Ronaldo

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Before Cristiano there was another Ronaldo, the Brazilian striker who only needed one name. With 15 goals in 19 matches across three World Cups he is the leading scorer in the history of the World Cup. Along with Lionel Messi and Zinedine Zidane he is the only man to have been World Player of the Year three times and his pace, power and finishing made him deadly at his peak.

2. Miroslav Klose

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Klose has 14 goals from the same number of games and competitions as Ronaldo but has received considerably less attention. Germany’s joint top scorer with 68 goals (from 131 games) he has a great chance of breaking both records in Brazil, although injury could yet ruin his dreams in what would be his last World Cup.

3. Gerd Muller

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Muller is tied with Klose on 14 goals but managed his in just 13 games across two tournaments. Regarded as one of the best strikers of all-time, Muller managed his 68 international goals in just 62 games and was a sensational all-round striker with a great turn of pace and fine leap.

4. Just Fontaine

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Fontaine “only” managed 13 goals but amazingly they came in just six games at the 1958 World Cup, a record for a single tournament that seems unlikely to be broken. Born in Morocco, the French striker retired at 28 due to injury but 30 goals in 21 matches for Les Bleus tells its own story.

5. Pele

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Pele. Need we say more? 12 goals in 14 games helped Brazil to win three of the four World Cups this legend competed in. Pele was another who had it all: pace, power, and skill and he was a fine header of the ball and had a vicious shot to top it off.

6. Sandor Kocsis

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Hungarian Kocsis notched 11 goals at the 1954 World Cup as the Magical Magyars almost went all the way. Two hat-tricks in the five games he played was a mighty impressive feat and Kocsis is one of only two men (the other is Muller) to average more than a goal a game at international level (minimum 43 games).

7. Jurgen Kilinsmann

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Like Kocsis, Klinsmann has 11 goals, but from 17 games, more than three times as many as the Hungarian! Klinsmann, now the Head Coach of the US national team, was a class act though, as 47 international goals testify.

8. Helmut Rahn

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The German got 10 in 10 at the 1954 and 1958 World Cups, including the winner in the 1954 final.

9. Gabriel Batistuta

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“Batigol” also scored 10, in 12 games at the 1994, 1998 and 2002 editions, representing Argentina. His country’s leading all-time scorer with 56 goals in 78 games, he played for Roma and most famously Fiorentina, among others, and was a fine striker: fast, great movement and good in the air.

10. Gary Lineker

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Before he bored the ears of us on Match of the Day, Lineker was a fine striker. A poacher who played for Leicester, Everton, Barcelona and Spurs, Lineker was lightening quick, a good header of the ball and had the handy knack of being in the right spot at the right time. A record of 10 goals from 12 World Cup games earns him his place in our top 10.