World Cup top goal scorers all-time: Complete list of Golden Boot winners in FIFA men’s tournament history

The Golden Boot race for the competition’s top scorer is set to provide a fascinating subplot to the 2022 FIFA World Cup, with Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo taking part in what looks to be their last major tournament.

The duo, who at 35 and 37 are now firmly in the twilight of their careers, should be among the main contenders to top the Qatar goalscoring charts as the two try to lay claim to what has so far proven to be an elusive. first World Cup trophy.

The pair have shared accolades as the best players of their generation, if not of all time, for more than a decade, and they will head to the Middle East with Argentina and Portugal, respectively, to fly to the star again.

They won’t be alone, however, with the likes of Brazilian striker Neymar, French superstar Kylian Mbappe and Russia 2018 winner England’s Harry Kane all likely to be in the game.

It remains to be seen who will emerge victorious, but one thing is certain: whoever succeeds will etch their name in the illustrious history books of the World Cup.

MORE: World Cup hat-tricks: The players who scored three or more times in the final?

All-time World Cup Golden Boot winners

The battle for the Golden Boot is always eagerly awaited at the World Cup, with a curious record of no player having won it more than once in men’s football.

Two former winners will be looking to change that in Qatar, with Germany’s Thomas Muller and England captain Kane among the main contenders.

Tournament Golden Boot winner Country Goals
Uruguay 1930 Guillermo Stabile Argentina 8
Italy 1934 Oldrich Nejedley Czechoslovakia 5
France 1938 Leonidas Brazil seven
Brazil 1950 ademir Brazil 8
Switzerland 1954 Sandor Kocsis Hungary 11
Sweden 1958 Just Fountain France 13
Chile 1962 Garrincha, Vava, Leonel Sanchez, Florian Albert, Drazan Jerkovic, Valentin Ivanov Brazil, Brazil, Chile, Hungary, Yugoslavia, Soviet Union 4
England 1966 Eusebio Portugal 9
Mexico 1970 Gerd Muller West Germany ten
West Germany 1974 Grzegorz Lato Poland seven
Argentina 1978 Mario Kempes Argentina 6
Spain 1982 Paul Rossi Italy 6
Mexico 1986 Gary Lineker England 6
Italy 1990 Salvatore Schillachi Italy 6
United States 1994 Oleg Salenko, Hristo Stoichkov Russia, Bulgaria 6
France 1998 Davor Sucker Croatia 6
South Korea/Japan 2002 Ronaldo Brazil 8
Germany 2006 Miroslav Klose Germany 5
South Africa 2010 Thomas Muller Germany 5
Brazil 2014 James Rodriguez Colombia 6
Russia 2018 Harry Kane England 6

Players with the most goals in a single World Cup

Scoring more than 10 goals in a single tournament has proven too far a feat for any player since 1970, with the average dropping to six per tournament since the turn of the century.

Rank Last name Country Tournament Goals scored in a single tournament Overall World Cup goals
1 Just Fountain France Sweden 1958 13 13
2 Sandor Kocsis Hungary Switzerland 1954 11 11
3 Gerd Muller West Germany Mexico 1970 ten 14
4 Eusebio Portugal England 1966 9 9
5 Guillermo Stabile Argentina Uruguay 1930 8 8
5 ademir Brazil Brazil 1950 8 8
5 Ronaldo Brazil Japan/South Korea 2002 8 15
8 Leonidas Brazil France 1938 seven 8
8 Grzegorz Lato Poland West Germany 1974 seven ten

Players with the most goals in World Cup history

The World Cup top scorers list is dominated by top European and South American players, with no player outside of those two continents making the top 10.

Rank Last name Country World Cup goals Matches played Tournament appearances Goals per game
1 Miroslav Klose Germany 16 24 2002, 2006, 2010, 2014 0.67
2 Ronaldo Brazil 15 19 1994*, 1998, 2002, 2006 0.79
3 Gerd Muller West Germany 14 13 1970, 1974 1.08
4 Just Fountain France 13 6 1958 2.17
5 Pele Brazil 12 14 1958, 1962, 1966, 1970 0.86
6 Sandor Kocsis Hungary 11 5 1954 2.20
6 Jurgen Klinsmann West Germany/Germany 11 17 1990, 1994, 1998 0.65
8 Helmut Rahn West Germany ten ten 1954, 1958 1.00
8 Gary Lineker England ten 12 1986, 1990 0.83
8 Gabriel Batistuta Argentina ten 12 1994, 1998, 2002 0.83
8 Teofilo Cubillas Peru ten 13 1970, 1978, 1982** 0.77
8 Thomas Muller Germany ten 16 2010, 2014, 2018** 0.63
8 Grzegorz Lato Poland ten 20 1974, 1978, 1982 0.50

* Named to the World Cup squad but did not make an appearance

** Competed in the World Cup but did not score a goal

Most goals scored in a World Cup game

The 1994 World Cup Golden Boot race continued the pattern of back-to-back tournaments where the award was won by six goals, with Russian star Oleg Salenko and Bulgarian icon Hristo Stoichkov sharing the prize in the United States.

However, the tournament still holds the record for the most goals scored by a single player in a match.

Salenko scored five goals in Russia’s 6-1 Group B win over Cameroon in their final group stage match, but it wasn’t enough to secure a place in the last 16. final.

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