All-Time Top Goal Scorers at the World Cup

Source: Alex Livesey / Getty Images Sport via Getty Images

The World Cup, the most prestigious international soccer competition, will kick off in Qatar on Sunday. And while fans’ eyes will be on which national team will claim the gold trophy, some players may have an additional goal: the Golden Boot. (These are the best men’s national soccer teams of 2022.)

The Golden Boot goes to the player who scores the most goals during the nearly month-long tournament, guaranteeing that person a place in football (soccer) history for all eternity.

To compile a list of the soccer players who have scored the most goals at the World Cup since the tournament began in 1930, 24/7 Tempo reviewed information from FIFA, the governing body of international soccer, as well as soccer-oriented sites such as Germany’s Weltfussball (World Football). We only included players who have scored at least seven World Cup goals. In case of ties, the player with the most goals per game was ranked higher. 

Whichever player wins the Golden Boot in 2022 will join true soccer greats such as Mozambique-born Portuguese legend Eusébio and France’s Just Fontaine. This year’s top goal scorer may be one already ranked among the greatest. At least four players, including Argentina’s Lionel Messi and Portugal’s Cristiano Ronaldo, have a chance to move up the ranking if they score in Qatar. (These are the World Cups with the highest attendance per match.)

For now, Germany is the nation with the most top goal scorers on the list, with nine players, followed by Brazil with eight. Fontaine, who played in the 1958 World Cup, still holds the record for most goals scored in a single edition of the tournament: 13. He scored an average of 2.2 goals per match: which is a record he shares with Hungary’s Sandor Kocsis who scored 11 goals in five matches during the 1954 World Cup. (More recently, though, these are the most successful athletes in the world.)

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