Pele is the most successful player in the history of the World Cup, lifting the trophy three times in four attempts, including his first win coming when he was just 17 years old in 1958.
Pele broke a lot of records for goalscoring during his time for Brazil at the World Cup that still stands today, becoming the youngest goalscorer at the tournament at 17 years and 249 days old, the youngest player to score a hat-trick and the youngest goalscorer in the World Cup Final.
4. Just Fontaine - 13 goals
Just Fontaine may not be a household name, but he holds a place in the history books at the World Cup despite appearing at the tournament just once, giving him the record for the most goals at a single tournament.
Fontaine scored 13 times in just six matches for France at the 1958 World Cup, securing his side a third-place finish, being knocked out to Pele’s hat-trick in the semi-final, whilst netting four of his own in the third-place playoff, which gave him the record for most goals in the tournament’s history, which stood for 16 years.
3. Gerd Muller - 14 goals
For 32 years, Gerd Muller held the record for most goals at the World Cup, breaking the record after scoring 14 goals in 13 games for West Germany at the 1970 and 1974 World Cups, scoring the winning goal in the 1974 final to help West Germany win their home World Cup.
If Muller didn’t fall out with the German Football Association after the 1974 World Cup, he would probably still hold the record as he sat out of the 1978 World Cup, despite scoring 32 goals in the season leading up to the tournament.
2. Ronaldo - 15 goals
At every World Cup, Ronaldo was the main attraction and with the world’s eyes on him, he didn’t fail to deliver goals, scoring four goals in the 1998 tournament, but failing to score in the final, despite playing shortly after suffering a convulsive fit.
Entering the 2002 World Cup, Ronaldo had missed the entire qualification campaign through injury, but despite this, he carried his country to World Cup victory, scoring in all but one game, totalling eight goals in the tournament.
Despite nearing the end of his European career and his fitness questioned, Ronaldo was still Brazil’s main man in the 2006 World Cup, needing three goals to break Gerd Muller’s goalscoring record, and with two goals in the group stage and a goal in the knockout, Ronaldo became the competition's all-time top scorer.
1. Miroslav Klose - 16 goals
Despite not being the best player in this list, Miroslav Klose’s consistency and longevity meant he became the top scorer in the competition, participating and scoring in four different tournaments, only the third player to do so.
The 2002 World Cup was Klose’s breakout, scoring five goals, all headers, becoming the tournament’s second top scorer, and then he one-upped himself in his home World Cup in 2006, becoming the top-scorer with five goals.
At the 2010 World Cup, he equalled Gerd Muller’s record for World Cup goals, and then the 2014 World Cup became historic for him, not only for him as he broke the scoring record in the huge 7-1 victory over Brazil, and then in the next game, at his fourth attempt, he helped Germany lift their fourth World Cup.
Who can Break Into the top 5?
The Closest player to enter this list is Thomas Muller, who is entering his fourth World Cup with Germany at 33 years old, scoring 10 goals in 16 matches, including becoming top scorer in his first tournament at 21 years old.
Whilst it is unlikely that Cristiano Ronaldo and Lionel Messi make this list, with them sitting on seven and six goals, with the careers they have had and all the goalscoring records they have amassed between them, you wouldn’t put it past them to have a historic goal-scoring tournament and put themselves on this list.
Neymar is also on six goals at the World Cup, in just 10 games, and with two World Cups likely left in his career, Neymar has every chance to make this list, and after the amazing start he has had to this season, if he stays fit, he could get really close to this list after this tournament.
At just 19 years old, Kylian Mbappe had a breakout tournament at the 2018 World Cup, which put him on the world’s stage, scoring four goals in the tournament, including an amazing goal in the final where his French side win the competition and if he stays fit, he could participate in five World Cups, and if he continues or improves on his first World Cup outing, he could easily smash Klose’s goalscoring record.