Every footballer’s dream is to represent their country at the global showpiece, which has witnessed about 21 editions.
Over two thousand goals have been scored at the tournament but who are the top scorers of all time at the World Cup?
8. Helmut Rahn – 10 goals
This all time World Cup top scorers’ list starts with German striker Helmut Rahn. He was quite prolific for West Germany at the 1954 and 1958 editions of the FIFA World Cup tournament.
Rahn, who was known as the Boss (Der Boss), netted the winning goal in the final of the 1954 World Cup.
Der Boss scored 10 goals in 10 matches for West Germany at the FIFA World Cup, an average of one goal per game.
8. Gary Lineker – 10 goals
Former Barcelona star Gary Lineker, who is now making a name for himself as a football presenter on television, is one of the best players to come out of England.
He is England’s sole representative on the list of the all time World Cup top scorers.
In just two World Cup tournaments, Lineker played 12 matches and scored ten times for the Three Lions.
He made his England debut in 1984 and ended up with 80 caps and 48 goals to his name. Lineker won the World Cup Golden Boot in the 1986 edition.
8. Gabriel Batistuta – 10 goals
Gabigoal, as he was fondly referred to, is one of Argentina’s most recognisable soccer stars to have featured at the World Cup.
He made his mark on the global stage by scoring 10 goals in 12 appearances at the World Cup, an average of 0.83 goals per game for the Albiceleste.
Sadly, he never won the title with his beloved Argentina but he remains one of the greatest 100 to play the game per Brazilian legend, Pele.
7. Jurgen Klinsmann – 11 goals
Making an appearance at number seven on the list of the all time World Cup top scorers is another German striker, Jurgen Klinsmann.
He represented then West Germany and Germany in three different World Cup tournaments, scoring 11 goals in 17 appearances.
Klinsmann, who hung his boots after scoring 48 times in 108 international matches, has since taken to management and coached his country at the 2006 and 2014 editions of the competition.
6. Sandor Kocsis – 11 goals
Easily one of the most prolific net bursters on this exclusive list, Sandor Kocsis made his mark on the world stage.
A key member of the Hungary golden generation that also had Real Madrid legend, Ferenc Pukas, Kocsis left it all on the pitch.
The forward featured in just the 1954 FIFA World Cup, playing five matches and scoring a ridiculous 11 goals.
He averaged over two goals per game, scoring three and four times in two separate matches respectively that year.
5. Pele – 12 goals
Edson Arantes do Nascimento, popularly known as Pele, certainly needs to introduction. Regarded as the best to ever play the game, Pele was the star of three World Cup victories for Brazil.
He was the man for the big occasions, right from the age of 17 and he represented Brazil at four different editions of the World Cup, winning three of them.
Pele is one of the World Cup all time top scorers, bagging 12 goals in 14 matches across those four editions, an average of three goals per edition. Pele’s World Cup trophies came in 1958, 1962 and 1970.
4. Just Fontaine – 13 goals
Like his name, Fontaine was Just phenomenal in front of goal at the World Cup. He is only the second player to get on the World Cup all time top scorers list after playing in just one FIFA World Cup.
Fontaine was one of the stars of the 1958 edition, scoring 13 goals for France in just six matches. His goals were not enough to take France all the way, but he did lead them to a third-place finish.
He remains the only Frenchman in the top ten and it will require something remarkable to beat this record at the global fiesta.
3. Gerd Muller – 14 goals
For over three decades, Gerd Muller held the record for the most goals scored at the World Cup before it was broken in 2006.
Muller is regarded as the best striker to ever come out of Germany, scoring 68 goals in 62 matches for his nation.
Just as his tally for West Germany, Muller scored more goals (14) than the number of matches he played (13).
He also netted the winning goal in the 1974 final to write his name in gold as one of the greatest ever.
2. Ronaldo – 15 goals
This Ronaldo is the Brazilian one, Ronaldo Nazario, who ended Muller’s reign as the all time World Cup top scorer in history in 2006.
The Brazilian remains an iconic reference point in the game and led his country to two World Cup titles in 1994 and 2002.
Ronaldo played 19 matches between 1994 and 2014, winning the golden boots and ball at the 1998 and 2002 editions.
In 2006, he finally broke Muller’s 32-year record to become the all-time top scorer at the World Cup, a record that lasted just eight years before it was retaken by another German striker.
1. Miroslave Klose – 16 goals
While he was not as prolific as some of the names before him nor did he net in a World cup final, Miroslave Klose deservedly takes his position as the all time top scorer at the World Cup.
Klose scored 16 goals across four World Cups for Germany, yes, another German, in 24 matches.
He has also to his name a World Cup title from 2014 when he broke Ronaldo’s all time Wolrd Cup top scorer record as well as a golden boot from the 2006 edition of the competition.