Who has scored the most goals in World Cup history? Top 10 revealed ahead of Qatar 2022


THE World Cup is right around the corner as Qatar prepare to kick off the 2022 edition on November 20.

Some of the world’s best strikers will descend on the tournament as they look to find the back of the net on the biggest stage.

PA:Empics SportLineker is England’s highest-placing player in the list[/caption]

And SunSport felt this was the perfect time to look back at the most formidable strikers in the competition’s history.

There are gang of household names near the top of the all-time top scorers list.

But there are also a host of lesser-known players that do not get the recognition they deserve.

Here is a list of 37 names that all make it into the top 10.


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10) Oldrich Nejedly, Lajos Tichy, Careca, Johnny Rep, Andrzej Szarmach, Luis Suarez, Hans Schafer, Cristiano Ronaldo – 7 goals

Ronaldo has scored seven goals so far in his World Cup careerGetty

Eight players who just about make it into the list with seven goals each to their name.

Czechoslovakia’s Oldrich Nejedly, Hungary’s Lajos Tichy, Brazil’s Careca, Netherlands’ Johnny Rep, Poland’s Andrzej Szarmach and West Germany’s Hans Schafer all finished their careers with the same tally.

Uruguayan Luis Suarez and Portuguese superstar Cristiano Ronaldo will both be looking to add a few more in Qatar this summer.

9) Guillermo Stabile, Leonidas, Ademir, Oscar Miguez, Rivaldo, Rudi Voller, Diego Maradona – 8 goals

AP:Associated PressMaradona inspired Argentina to World Cup glory in 1986[/caption]

One of the all-time great World Cup players, Diego Maradona, finished his career with eight goals in the World Cup – including five on the way to Argentina’s 1986 triumph.

He is joined on the list by fellow Argentine Guillermo Stabile, Uruguayan Oscar Miguez, Germany’s Rudi Voller and Brazilian trio Leonidas, Ademir and Rivaldo.

8) Eusebio, Christian Vieiri, Vava, David Villa, Paolo Rossi, Jairzinho, Roberto Baggio, Karl-Heinz Rummenigge, Uwe Seeler – 9 goals

PA:Empics SportVilla was talismanic in helping Spain win their first World Cup in 2010[/caption]

Five-time champions Brazil continue to populate the list as we move towards the top of the rankings.

Vava and Jairzinho both netted nine times for the South American giants, along with Portugal legend Eusebio.

Italians Christian Vieiri, Paolo Rossi and Roberto Baggio also achieved the feat, along with Spain’s David Villa and German duo Karl-Heinze Rummenigge and Uwe Seeler.

7) Helmut Rahn, Gary Lineker, Gabriel Batistuta, Teofilo Cubillas, Thomas Muller, Grzegorz Lato – 10 goals

Times Newspapers LtdMuller could yet break the World Cup record as he is just six off the top of the list[/caption]

Just 13 players have managed to hit double digits at the World Cup.

Nearly half of those sit on a total of 10 – with the highest-placed Englishman Gary Lineker among them thanks to his six in 1986 and four in 1990.

German Helmut Rahn is level with Lineker – as are Argentine Gabriel Batistuta, Peru’s Teofilo Cubillas and Poland’s Grzegorz Lato.

Another German, Thomas Muller, will be hoping he can move up the list in Qatar later this year.

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6) Sandor Kocsis, Jurgen Klinsmann – 11 goals

ReutersKlinsmann netted five times at the 1994 tournament[/caption]

Hungary’s Sandor Kocsis may not be a name known to many, but he scored a remarkable 11 goals in five matches at the 1954 World Cup – and never added to that tally ever again.

He joins German legend Jurgen Klinsmann on 11 – with the ex-Inter Milan, Tottenham and Bayern Munich man netting three in 1990, five in 1994 and three in 1998.


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5) Pele – 12 goals

GettyPele is the only player to win the World Cup on three occasions[/caption]

Brazilian legend Pele is the only player in football history to have won the World Cup three times.

He helped his country lift the trophy in 1958, 1962 and 1970, scoring six, one and four goals respectively.

He also netted once at the 1966 World Cup before Brazil were eliminated in the group stage.

4) Just Fontaine – 13 goals

AFPFontaine scored four against West Germany in the third place play-off in 1958[/caption]

Frenchman Just Fontaine holds the record for the most goals scored at a single World Cup, netting an astonishing 13 times in six games at the 1958 tournament.

Yet despite his incredible exploits, France still lost to eventual champions Brazil 5-2 in the semi-finals.

And Fontaine never appeared in another World Cup as France failed to qualify in 1962, with the forward retiring that same year.

3) Gerd Muller – 14 goals

DPA/Press Association ImagesGermany legend Muller was the most prolific striker of his generation[/caption]

German marksman Gerd Muller scored a sensational 10 goals at the 1970 World Cup, but much like Fontaine had to settle for a semi-final exit.

He returned to lift the trophy with West Germany four years later, netting four times including the winner in the final.

2) Ronaldo – 15 goals

AP:Associated PressRonaldo scored eight times as Brazil won the World Cup in 2002[/caption]

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Widely regarded as the greatest striker of his generation, Brazilian Ronaldo held the record for nearly a decade before it was broken in 2014.

He went to the 1994 tournament which Brazil won but did not feature in any of the matches.

Ronaldo then returned in 1998 and scored four goals on the way to the final – before famously missing the defeat to France.

He found redemption four years later by scoring eight times as Brazil lifted the trophy, and added to that tally with three more in 2006.

1) Miroslav Klose – 16 goals

AFPNo player in history has scored more World Cup goals than Klose[/caption]

German striker Klose is the top scorer in World Cup history with a stunning tally of 16 to his name.

He opened his account with a hat-trick against Saudi Arabia at the 2002 World Cup – the only goals he scored at that tournament.

Klose then took home the golden boot in 2006 with five more to his name.

He managed another four in South Africa in 2010, before overtaking Ronaldo thanks to his two goals in 2014 – where Germany lifted the trophy.

The record-breaking goal came against Ronaldo’s countrymen as Klose netted the second in a 7-1 semi-final drubbing of Brazil.

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