FIFA World Cup is the most popular international sports event. The international tournament is followed by millions of fans worldwide. Even casual and seasonal football fans don’t miss out on the quadrennial event.
As of 2018, FIFA had organized a total of 21 football World Cups. So far, 79 national teams have participated in the event. Surprisingly, only eight national teams have successfully claimed the title. Let us look at the top three record goal scorers in the international events.
The Top Goal Scorers in World Cup History
1. Miroslav Klose
Tournaments: 2002, 2006, 2010, 2014
Total Goals: 16
Matches Played: 24
Miroslav Josef Klose is a German professional football manager and a former professional footballer. He currently holds the record for the most goals scored in FIFA World Cups. From 24 appearances in four separate iterations, he scored 16 goals.
Klose is also one of the only 13 players with a record of a hattrick on their World Cup debut. Since his record in 2002, no one has been able to join the club. The following tournament in 2006, he scored another five goals in his home country. This earned him the Golden Boot at the tournament. In the following two tournaments, he added four and two goals respectively.
Klose’s 16 World Cup goals came from just 63 shots. It is an incredible record of converting 25.4% of his shots in four tournaments.
Tournaments: 1994, 1998, 2002, 2006
Total Goals: 15
Matches Played: 19
Ronaldo Luis Nazario de Lima is better known as Ronaldo. He is a retired professional footballer. The former athlete played as a striker for the Brazil national team.
Ronaldo made his World Cup debut in the 1994 tournament. He was the youngest member of the Brazilian squad that year. Unfortunately, he could not get to play any match that year as his team won the tournament. His actual World Cup debut tournament was 1998. There he made four goals from seven appearances. Sadly, his team lost to France 3-0 in the finals. He was billed as the world’s greatest player when entering the event that year.
In the 2002 World Cup, Ronaldo participated in seven matches. There he scored a total of eight goals. This performance earned him the golden boot that year. The three, which included him, Ronaldinho, and Rivaldo, were a fan favorite that year. In the 2006 iteration, Ronaldo made only three goals from five games. That year, everyone questioned his fitness and physical state. At present, he is the record-holder of the second-most goal scorer in FIFA World Cups.
3. Gerd Muller
Team: West Germany
Tournaments: 1970, 1974
Total Goals: 14
Matches Played: 13
Gerhard “Gerd” Muller is a football legend. He is widely considered one of the greatest goal scorers and strikers in football history. Alongside 3rd most World Cup goals, he also leads the record for most goals scored in a calendar year.
Gerd Muller participated in only two FIFA World Cups under the German national team. Among the 13 matches he participated in; the legendary footballer scored 14 goals. In any of the last 15 men’s World Cup final tournaments, no player has scored as many goals as Müller did in 1970.
In his World Cup debut, the West German player scored 10 goals. Additionally, he scored back-to-back hattricks in matches against Bulgaria and Peru. In his second World Cup, the player scored 4 goals in 7 matches. In the finals against the Netherlands, he scored the winning goal. He is also one of just two players to have scored a hat-trick in two straight World Cup appearances.
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