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Top 5 Goalscorers in the history of the FIFA World Cup

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FIFA World Cup 2022 – Qatar Tournament Will Now Start a Day Earlier

Although India didn’t make the FIFA 2022 World Cup, other nations like South Kora and Japan made Asia proud. 

Particularly, in Group E, punters had staked on top betting apps like Dafabet (extensively reviewed on https://www.telecomasia.net/in/sports-betting/reviews/dafabet/mobile-app/) that Germany and Spain would emerge from the group.

The world was intensely shocked when Japan topped the group and knocked Germany out. Ritsu Doan’s goal against Spain reminded us of some of the most prestigious goalscorers the World Cup has ever seen.

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Who were the goalscorers?

1. Miroslav Klose

Miroslav Klose holds the famous record for the highest goal scored in FIFA World Cup history since its inception in 1930. The German scored 16 goals in 24 matches across four tournaments, including five in his first in 2002.

Miroslav was with Germany at the 2006 edition of the Mundial, where he added another five goals to his tally, emerging tournament’s top scorer. 

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He scored four goals at the 2010 World Cup, coming second behind Thomas Muller and Wesley Sneijder in the top scorer’s award. Miroslav Klose’s Germany came third in the competition.

His most memorable World Cup tournament was the 2014 edition which he won, although it was his least prolific outing with two goals. 

He equaled the competition’s all-time scoring record against Ghana in the group stage and broke it in German’s 7-1 thrashing of hosts Brazil in the semifinals. He is his country’s highest-ever goalscorer with 71 goals.

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2. Ronaldo De Lima

Ronaldo Luis Nazario de Lima is one of the greatest players in football history. He’s won the Ballon d’Or on two occasions and the FIFA World Player of the Year three times. O Fenomeni scored 15 goals in three World Cup campaigns, averaging 0.79 goals per game.

His debut was the 1998 edition, where he netted four goals before Zinedine Zidane-led France defeated his team (Brazil) 3-0 in the final. However, he dominated the competition on his return in 2002 to deliver one of the best individual performances in World Cup history.

Ronaldo scored eight goals in the 2002 tourney, including two in the final, and won the golden boot. He played at the 2006 edition in Germany and scored thrice as Brazil made it to the quarter-finals. O Fenomeno broke Gerd Muller’s 32-year record as the highest goalscorer in World Cup history in 2006.

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3. Gerd Muller

Gerd Muller, Just Fontaine, and Sandor Kocsis are the only three players to have scored ten or more goals in a single FIFA World Cup edition. 

He scored ten times in the 1970 edition of the tournament and averaged 1.08 goals per match in his World Cup career. World Cup aside, Muller is one of the most prolific attackers in football history, with 634 goals.

Four years later, he would score a comparatively small four goals but lifted the trophy at the expense of the Netherlands. His goals at the tourney made him the top scorer in FIFA World cup history at the time. He retired from international football shortly after having won football’s ultimate prize.

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4. Just Fontaine

Next on the list is the man with an unbelievable World Cup goalscoring record, Just Fontaine. 

He scored a whopping 13 goals in six matches in the 1958 tournament and has two goals per game ratio. Just Fontaine is the player with the most goals in one FIFA World Cup tournament.

For context, it took all-time great; Lionel Messi Five tournaments to reach that number. Fontaine scored four of his 13 goals against the defending Champions.

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At the time, those goals were enough to make him the all-time top scorer in the competition before Gerd Muller broke the record in 1974. Unfortunately, his first tournament would be his last as an injury cut short his career. He won the bronze medal in the only appearance at the tourney.

5. Lionel Messi

Lionel Messi has scored 13 goals at the World Cup and has a goal-per-game ratio of 0.50. 

He scored on his world cup debut against Serbia and Montenegro in 2006. His 2010 tournament was disappointing as he failed to find the back of the net in all the Albicelste’s five games.

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Fast forward to 2014, he was matured, established, and already considered one of the all-time greats by many. His four goals at the tourney led Argentina to the final, where they infamously lost to Germany 1-0. 

A distraught Messi walked away with the Golden Shoe, awarded to the tournament’s best player.

He only managed one goal in a struggling Argentian side in the 2018 edition against Nigeria in their must-win group stage encounter. However, eventual champions France brutally knocked them out of the second Round.

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He became one of the four players to have played in five editions of the FIFA World Cup when he started against Saudi Arabia in 2022. His seven goals and three assists gave Argentina its first World Cup title since 1986. He’s the player with the most appearances at the FIFA World Cup with 26.

Conclusion

These are the top five goalscorers in FIFA World Cup history. Note that this list is strictly based on the number of goals scored and not on a per-match basis. 

Lionel Messi and Just Fontaine tied on 13 goals each, and Brazilian legend Pele and French youngster Kylian Mbappe were one short at 12.

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Of all the players on the list, only Lionel Messi has never won the Golden Boot. However, he’s won the Golden Ball a record two times. No player has won the Golden Boot more than once in the competition’s history.

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