15 World Cup Most Goals Players In FIFA History

FIFA World Cup was founded in 1930, over 92 years ago. It is one of the most prestigious association soccer tournaments globally, and over 79 national teams have competed.

Therefore, one can safely say that there have been numerous great players who have graced the tournament. And it begs the question, which players have scored the most goals in FIFA World Cup history?

Uruguay VS Costa Rica, FIFA World Cup, 2014
Uruguay VS Costa Rica, FIFA World Cup, 2014 (Source: Wikimedia.org)

We have compiled a list of the most prolific World Cup top scorers to answer the question.

Not all the great players are the top scorers. Therefore, don’t be surprised not to see big names like Lionel Messi, Cristiano Ronaldo, Neymar, etc., on our list.

So without any further delay, let us get right into our list of the World Cup most goals players in FIFA history.

15 World Cup Most Goals Players In FIFA History

We have prepared the list with reference to internet sites like Wikipedia, The18, etc. Before we get down with our list, let us look at the preview in the table below. 

Player NameGoals
15. Christian Vieri9
14. Eusebio Portugal9
13. Grzegorz Lato10
12. Thomas Muller10
11. Teofilo Cubillas10
10. Gary Lineker10
9. Gabriel Batistuta10
8. Helmut Rahn 10
7. Jurgen Klinsmann11
6. Sandor Kocsis11
5. Pele12
4. Just Fontaine13
3. Gerd Muller14
2. Ronaldo15
1. Miroslav Klose16

 

15. Christian Vieri

  • Country: Italy

The first player with nine total goals in FIFA is a former professional soccer player, Christian Vieri. He is a 49 year-old former center forward who made his senior debut in 1991.

During his playing career, Vieri played for his national team and many prestigious international teams like Juventus, Atletico Madrid, Inter Milan, etc. Throughout his career, he played for more than 12 clubs.

When Inter Milan paid Lazio £32 million for getting him on their team in 1999, he became the world’s most expensive player. Similarly, Vieri is also regarded as one of the best strikers in Europe.

Christian Vieri
Christian Vieri (Source: Instagram)

He is one of the three of Italy’s highest ever goalscorers in the FIFA World Cup. Between 1997 and 2005, he scored 23 goals in 49 appearances for Italy at the international level.

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14. Eusebio

  • Country: Portugal

We have Mozambican-born Portuguese player Eusebio on number 14 of the World Cup most goals. Full name Eusébio da Silva Ferreira, he was born on January 25, 1942.

Eusebio is considered one of the greatest soccer players of all time. Nicknames the “Black Panther,” “Black Pearl,” and “O Rei,” he was one of the most prolific goalscorers and known for his technique, athleticism, and ferocious right-footed shot.

Eusebio, 1963
Eusebio, 1963 (Source: Wikimedia.org)

IFFHS elected Eusebio as the ninth-best footballer of the 20th century. Similarly, he was also the tenth-best footballer of the 20th century in a poll by World Soccer magazine.

In 2003, he was selected as the Golden Player of Portugal by the Portuguese Football Federation. Furthermore, Eusebio has been called “Africa’s first great and greatest-ever player.”

Eusebio was one of the most recognizable faces of his generation. Sadly, this legendary, prolific goalscorer passed away at age 71 on January 5, 2014.

13. Grzegorz Lato

  • Country: Poland

Grzegorz Lato is a former winger and manager who was a member of Poland’s golden generation of soccer players. Now 72 year old, he made his professional debut in 1966 with Stal Mielec.

After his international debut in 1980, he garnered much interest thanks to his performance.

His highlight game was in the 1974 World Cup in West Germany. Furthermore, Lato finished the tournament with seven goals and was a top goalscorer.

Grzegorz Lato
Grzegorz Lato (Source: Instagram)

He represented his country at five major tournaments over a decade. Additionally, he won gold at the 1972 Summer Olympic Games and finished third-place finish in the 1982 FIFA World Cup.

Lato retired from a professional playing career in 1984. After his retirement, he transitioned to a manager career and took the helm of several national and international clubs.

12. Thomas Muller

  • Country: Germany

Renowned for being a versatile player, we have 32 year-old Thomas Muller on our number 12 of the World Cup most goals. Currently, he plays for Bundesliga club Bayern Munich and the German national team.

Muller is regarded as one of the best midfielders in the world. Similarly, he is also considered one of the most complete attacking players.

He began his professional playing career at a youth academy. He has also represented the national team in different divisions.

Thomas Muller
Thomas Muller (Source: Bavarian Football Works)

In the 2014 World Cup, Muller played a significant role in the team’s win. As a result, he received the Silver Vall and Silver Boot as the second-top goalscorer.

He is one of the most decorated German soccer players in history.

11. Teofilo Cubillas

  • Country: Peru

Born as Teofilo Juan Cubillas Arizaga, we have 73 year-old Teofilo Cubilas on our number 11 of the World Cup most goals. He is considered one of the best South American players in history.

Nicknamed “El Nene,” his best achievement include FIFA awards for the best young player and the bronze boot in Mexico in 1970. 

Teofilo Cubillas
Teofilo Cubillas (Source: Pinterest)

One of the best-attacking midfielders in soccer history, Teofilo was one of the 50 players voted as the Best footballer of the century in all the historical rakings made at the end of the 20th century.

10. Gary Lineker

  • Country: England

Gary Lineker has ten goals on number 10 of the World Cup most goals. He is a 61 year-old former professional soccer player working as a sports broadcaster.

Lineker is regarded as one of the greatest English strikers. He began his professional career with Leicester City’s youth academy and made his senior debut with the team in 1978.

Gary Lineker
Gary Lineker (Source: Instagram)

Lineker had received a Golden Boot. Likewise, he was also an integral part of England’s 1990 World Cup semi-final progress. He is the only English top scorer with three clubs.

In his 16 years long professional career, Lineker scored 330 goals, including 282 goals at the club level. He has been inducted into the English Football Hall of Fame.

9. Gabriel Batistuta

  • Country: Argentina

Nicknamed “El Angel Gabriel,” we have 53 year-old Gabriel Batistuta next on our list. He is a former professional soccer player regarded as one of the best strikers.

Moreover, he was so popular among the fans that the Fiorentina fans erected a life-size bronze statue of his in 1996.

Gabriel Batistuta
Gabriel Batistuta (Source: Instagram)

In 1999, Batistuta was placed third for the FIFA World Player of the Year award. Likewise, he was also named on the FIFA 100 list in 2004 by the legendary Brazilian player Pele.

He is Argentina’s all-time leading goalscorer at an international level. Similarly, Batistuta is also the country’s top scorer in FIFA World Cup. He is the only player to score two hat-tricks in different World Cups in soccer history.

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8. Helmut Rahn

  • Country: Germany

We have Helmut Rahn on our number 8 of the World Cup most goals. He was born on August 16, 1929, and was known as “Der Boss” by his fan.

In the 1954 FIFA World Cup, Rahn achieved an incredible achievement that made him a legendary figure in German football. He scored a winning goal in the final against Hungary.

Helmut Rahn
Helmut Rahn (Source: Wikipedia)

Likewise, he was also part of the German team that played in the 1958 World Cup that reached the semi-finals. After his goal against Yugoslavia, Rahn became the third maximum scorer in World Cup at the time.

Der Boss was also the first-ever player to score at least four goals in two different World Cups. Unfortunately, the heroic figure of German soccer passed away at the age of 73 on August 14, 2003.

7. Jurgen Klinsmann

  • Country: Germany

On number 7 of the World Cup most goals, we have Jurgen Klinsmann. Now 57 year old, the former player is considered one of Germany’s premier strikers during the 1990s.

Klinsmann has scored in all six major international tournaments, from the 1988 Euro to the 1998 World Cup. He was named third in the 1995 FIFA World Player of the Year award.

Jurgen Klinsmann, Germany national team at the 1990 World Cup
Jurgen Klinsmann, Germany national team at the 1990 World Cup (Source: Instagram)

Likewise, he was also named in the FIFA 100 list of the “125 Greatest Living Footballers” in 2004. After he retired from his playing career, Klinsmann transitioned into a manager.

6. Sandor Kocsis

  • Country: Hungary

Tied with 11 goals in the World Cup, we have Sandor Kocsis on our number 6 of most World Cup goals. He was born on September 21, 1929, and is known as one of the most prolific goalscorers for Hungary.

In 1952 and 1954, Kocsis was the top goalscorer in any European league while playing for Honved, and he was the ultimate goal scorer in the 1954 World Cup.

Sandor Kocsis
Sandor Kocsis (Source: Instagram)

Mainly known for scoring headers, unfortunately, this prolific player passed away untimely at 49 on July 22, 1979.

5. Pele

  • Country: Brazil

Regarded as one of the greatest players and labeled “the greatest” by FIFA, we have 81 year-old former player Pele. He began his career at the early age of 15 with Santos.

He is Brazil’s all-time leading goalscorer with 77 goals in 92 games. Similarly, Pele is the only player to win three FIFA World Cups in 1958, 1962, and 1970. 

One of the iconic Pele photo
One of the iconic Pele photo

Pele made 1,279 goals in 1,363 games, also recorded as a Guinness World Record. He announced his retirement in 1977 and has been a worldwide ambassador for football since then.

4. Just Fontaine

  • Country: France

With 13 goals scored in the World Cup, we have Just Fontaine on number 4. Now 88 year-old, the former prolific forward is one of the greatest players in soccer history.

However, his most significant achievement was in the 1958 FIFA World Cup, where he scored thirteen goals in six matches.

Just Fontaine
Just Fontaine (Source: Instagram)

It is one of the highest numbers of goals ever scored by one player at a single World Cup tournament. As a result, Fontaine won the Golden Boot for the feat.

In 2004, he was named as one of the 125 Greatest Living Footballers by Pele at a FIFA Awards Ceremony. After retiring from his playing career, Fontaine became a manager and managed several teams.

3. Gerd Muller

  • Country: Germany

Widely regarded as one of the greatest goalscorers in soccer history, we have Gerd Muller with 14 World Cup goals. Born on November 3, 1945, the former striker is renowned for his clinical finishing.

Nicknamed “Bomber der Nation” or “Der Bomber,” he was also part of Bayern Munich and Fort Lauderdale Strikers.

Gerd Muller
Gerd Muller (Source: Instagram)

In the 1970 FIFA World Cup, he scored an incredible ten goals and earned a Golden Boot as a top goalscorer. He scored four more goals in the 1974 World Cup.

Muller has the third-highest goal-to-game ratio among the top scorer. Sadly, this prolific goalscorer passed away at age 75 on August 15, 2021.

2. Ronaldo

  • Country: Brazil

On number 2 with 15 goals in World Cup is a 45 year-old Ronaldo. Nicknamed R9, he is widely considered one of the greatest players.

He was the youngest national team member that won the 1994 FIFA World Cup.

Ronaldo celebrates after scoring goal in 2002 WC final against Germany
Ronaldo celebrates after scoring a goal in the 2002 WC final against Germany.

In the 1998 FIFA World Cup, Ronaldo received a Golden Ball, and he received the Golden Boots in the 2002 FIFA World Cup. Moreover, he was the youngest recipient of FIFA World Player of the Year in 1996.

He has won the FIFA World Player of the Year three times. Ronaldo is one of the most marketable athletes, an iconic influence on the new generation of strikers.

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1. Miroslav Klose

  • Country: Germany

With 16 goals in World Cup, we have 44 year-old Miroslav Klose as our top World Cup most goals players in FIFA history. 

The former striker is one of the few players who have won gold, silver, and bronze medals in the FIFA World Cup. 

 

 

Miroslav Klose
Miroslav Klose (Source: Instagram)

In his debut World Cup in 2002, he scored five goals while winning the Golden Boot in the 2006 World Cup. Similarly, after the 2014 World Cup, Klose overtook Ronaldo’s 15 goals.

Conclusion

As one of the most famous soccer tournaments, it is also one of the most-watched sporting events. However, not many people know about these players who are the top goal scorers in FIFA history.

Without saying, these players deserve all the fame and credit. Other players in the future might overtake their record. Nevertheless, they have carved themselves as prolific goalscorers in FIFA history.

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