10 Greatest World Cup
Top Scorers In History

By Abhinandan Lawati

top world cup scorers

When a player makes his mark in the World Cup, he is immortalized for eternity. The biggest footballing event, the World Cup, is the perfect stage for footballers to prove their worth and some of them have taken the world by storm. We have listed 10 of the Greatest World Cup Top Scorers in history.

  • Till age 8, Miroslav Klose called France his home. The man speaks to his children in Polish. He trained as a carpenter before his football career took off.
  • Pele is the youngest goal scorer at the World Cup. He is also the youngest player to score a hat trick.
  • Sandor Kocsis’s 2.2 goals to game ratio is the best scoring ratio in the World Cup.
  • Gary Linekar is the only English player to win the Golden Boot award.
  • Pele has won the World Cup the most number of times. He has lifted the World Cup 3 times.

1. Miroslav Klose (Germany), Goals Scored : 16

miroslav klose, top world cup scorer with 16 goals

The top scorer in World Cup history really needs no introduction. We should count our blessings for being alive to witness the finest goal scorer in World Cup history set the goal scoring record in the recently concluded World Cup. He eclipsed Ronaldo’s tally of 15 goals in the semi-final match against Brazil. When it comes to performing in the biggest stage, no one soaks up pressure better than Miroslav Klose, the fox in the box. 

2. Ronaldo (Brazil), Goals Scored : 15

ronaldo, top world cup scorer

Ronaldo’s goal scoring record in the World Cup was recently eclipsed by Miroslav Klose. He has 3 FIFA World Player of the Year awards to prove his talents though. The voracious goal scorer helped Brazil claim an unprecedented 5th World Cup title in 2002, scoring 8 goals along the way. He won the golden boot in the tournament. 

3. Gerd Muller (Germany), Goals Scored : 14

At no.3, we have another German in Gerd Muller. The man has scored 14 goals at the World Cup.  Nicknamed Der Bomber for his goal scoring exploits, the man scored 10 goals alone at the 1970 World Cup. His goal to game ratio for national team West Germany is even more remarkable. He scored 68 goals in 62 games for the country.

4. Just Fontaine (France), Goals Scored : 13

Although most of us haven’t witnessed Just Fontaine’s goal scoring prowess, the 13 goals he has scored at the World Cup shouldn’t be undermined. The Frenchman scored all of his 13 goals in one single edition of the World Cup. This is certainly unheard of in the modern era. He scaled such dizzying heights in the 1958 World Cup. 

5. Pele (Brazil), Goals Scored : 12

the legendary pele, scored 12 goals in world cup

The King of Football finally makes his appearance at no 5. The man guided Brazil to 3 World Cup victories; an unmatched feat so far. His goals often came in crucial moments. The 2 goals he scored in the 1958 World Cup Final, at the age of 17, set the tone for the man to achieve everything football had to offer.

6. Jurgen Klinsmann (Germany), Goals Scored : 11

He might be known as the coach of United States these days but there’s no denying his superior goal scoring abilities during his playing days. The man has bagged 11 goals in the World Cup and his exploits in the tournament has cemented his place in the upper echelon of the footballing society. Germany’s fourth highest capped player was a ubiquitous figure in the 1990 World Cup winning squad.

7. Sandor Kocsis (Hungary), Goals Scored : 11

Sandor Kocsis’s name on this list must surely come as a surprise to you. The man had a fairytale World Cup in 1954 when he bagged 11 goals in the tournament. He has the distinct honor of being the first player to register 2 hat tricks in a World Cup. The man also holds the record of possessing the best goal to game ratio in a single World Cup. No one has even come narrowly close to eclipsing his 2.2 goal to game ratio. 

8. Gary Linekar (England), Goals Scored : 10

Seeing the England team in current form, no one would have predicted for an Englishman to be on this coveted list. Gary Linekar’s tally of 10 goals in the World Cup is a remarkable feat yet to be achieved by any other English player. The man remains the only Englishman to have had his arms wrapped around the Golden Boot. His 6 goals in the 1986 World Cup landed him that trophy.

9. Thomas Muller (Germany), Goals Scored : 10 

thomas muller, top world cup scorer

Currently, Thomas Muller looks to be the strongest candidate to beat Miroslav Klose’s record. The poacher has already notched 10 goals in the World Cup and he has plenty of time on his side to overtake Klose in the scoring charts. He first came into prominence when he won the 2010 World Cup Golden Boot aged 20.

10. Gabriel Batistuta (Argentina), Goals Scored : 10

Neither Maradona nor Messi is Argentina’s highest goal scorer in the World Cup. Gabriel Batistuta’s 10 goals for Argentina give him that title. With 56 goals, he is also Argentina’s highest ever goal scorer. The man is the first man to score a hat-trick in 2 separate World Cups. 

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