Miroslav Klose of Germany stands atop the list of World Cup scorers, but other ace marksmen are hot on his heels.
Miroslav Klose (Germany) – 16
Klose scored his first World Cup goal as a fresh-faced 23-year-old in Germany’s 8-0 hammering of Saudi Arabia in 2002, and his record-breaking 16th as a seasoned striker in a 7-1 thumping of Brazil 12 years later.
With that effort in Belo Horizonte, Miroslav Klose became the World Cup’s all-time finals goalscorer and, at the time, just the third man to have scored in four different competitions.
Klose, far more prolific at international level than for the clubs he played for, won the Golden Boot in 2006 and retired straight after helping Germany lift the cup in 2014.
Ronaldo (Brazil) – 15
Previous record holder Ronaldo was arguably the greatest player on earth when he scored four goals helping Brazil to reach the 1998 final, which they lost to France.
Devastated at failing to get A Selecao over the line in Paris, four years later, he stole the show in Japan and South Korea, banging in eight goals, including both in the 2-0 win over Germany in the final.
He still had one more tournament left in him in 2006, and despite looking overweight and out of shape, he still managed to add three more goals to his tally.
Gerd Muller (West Germany) – 14
Gerd Muller’s conversion record made him stand out – he scored his 14 World Cup goals in just 13 games, one of only three players who reached double figures to have done so at over a goal a game.
His finest feats came in 1970 in Mexico when he became just the second man to score back-to-back hat-tricks en route to winning the Golden Boot with ten goals.
But his finest hour came four years later on home soil when he added four more goals, including the one against the Netherlands in the final, which won West Germany the trophy.
Just Fontaine (France) – 13
Now it is time for the record that will surely never be beaten, at least while the World Cup format is as it is.
Reims striker Just Fontaine only played in one tournament in Sweden in 1958, when, in just six matches, he banged in 13 goals, the most by any player in a single World Cup.
The Reims’ striker scored two braces and a hat-trick and capped it off with a four-timer as France thrashed West Germany 6-3 in the third-place playoff.
Pele (Brazil) – 12
The greatest ever? In footballing terms, yes, but only fifth on this list – though you wonder how many he would have scored had he not limped out of the 1962 finals with a thigh strain after just two matches.
The Brazilian legend is one of only four players to have scored in two different World Cup finals, his 12th and last goal was the opener in Brazil’s 4-1 dismantling of Italy in the showpiece match at the 1970 tournament.