Goals, goals, goals – that’s what football is all about, and the player who finds the back of the net most at the 2022 World Cup in Qatar is going to give their team a very good chance of winning the tournament.
Harry Kane, Kylian Mbappe, Cristiano Ronaldo and Lionel Messi have all been tipped to be the leading goalscorer in this year’s World Cup, although the likes of Marcus Rashford and Cody Gapko are staking a claim following their group stage heroics.
But who has the most World Cup goals ever, and which player has scored the most at one tournament? Here is a list of all records under threat at the 2022 World Cup in Qatar.
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After Messi opened the scoring in Argentina's opening World Cup match against Saudi Arabia he moved up to seven goals - that pulled him alongside Cristiano Ronaldo who also has seven. Argentina would go on to lose the match 2-1.
Ronaldo had an opportunity in Qatar to become the first player to score at five consecutive World Cups - he previously scored one goal in 2006, 2010 and 2014, before getting four at Russia in 2018 - and the former Manchester United man duly delivered when he scored in Portugal's first game against Ghana, taking him to eight tournament goals in total.
In Argentina's second match on November 26, Messi scored his eighth World Cup goal with a fabulous effort on the edge of the area. That moved him level with Ronaldo.
Messi failed to get on the scoresheet in the 2-0 win over Poland after he missed from the spot, but was back amongst the goals in Argentina's last 16 victory over Australia.
Messi scored once in 2006, failed to score at 2010, collected four at 2014 and added a further goal in 2018 to enter the 2022 World Cup on six goals.

Who has the most World Cup goals?

It’s not Pele, or Diego Maradona, or (the Brazilian) Ronaldo who has the most World Cup goals. It is, in fact, Germany’s Miroslav Klose.
His compatriot Gerd Muller held the record from 1974 with his 14th goal that came in the final for West Germany against the Netherlands. He surpassed France’s Just Fontaine, who scored 13 goals from six games.
Ronaldo took Muller’s mantle in 2006 when he netted his 15th World Cup goal, before Klose set a new target of 16 goals by scoring in Germany’s famous 7-1 victory against Brazil in the 2014 semi-final.
Of current players, Thomas Muller - with 10 - has the highest tally at World Cups, tying him eighth on the all-time list, and he will be hoping to add to that in Qatar.
PlayerCountryWorld Cup matchesWorld Cup goals
Miroslav KloseGermany2416
RonaldoBrazil1915
Gerd MullerGermany1314
Just FontaineFrance613
PeleBrazil1412
Sandor KocsisHungary511
Jurgen KlinsmannGermany1711

Most World Cup goals in a single tournament

Remember Fontaine from France we mentioned above? Astonishingly, his 13 goals all came from one tournament in 1958.
France didn’t even reach the final, as they finished third, but Fontaine’s hat-trick in the opening game was followed by two more braces and four goals in the third place play-off, with a couple more goals along the way.
He broke Hungary’s Sandor Kocsis' record of 11 goals which was set in the previous tournament in 1954.
Muller is next on the list with 10 goals in Mexico 1970, with Portugal’s Eusebio and Brazil’s Ademir on nine goals apiece.
The lowest number of goals for the top goalscorer at a World Cup is four, which was accomplished by six players in Chile 1962.
England’s Harry Kane was the Golden Boot winner last time out in Russia 2018 with six goals as the Three Lions finished fourth.
PlayerCountryYearGoals
Just FontaineFrance195813
Sandor KocsisHungary195411
Gerd MullerGermany197010
EusebioPortugal19669
AdemirBrazil19509
Guillermo StabileArgentina19308
RonaldoBrazil20028

Who has more World Cup goals – Lionel Messi or Cristiano Ronaldo?

The never-ending Lionel Messi v Cristiano Ronaldo debate can’t be settled by the World Cup, with neither player shining on football’s biggest stage.
Both players have competed at every World Cup since 2006 and it was Ronaldo who had the slight edge coming into the 2022 World Cup in Qatar, having scored seven goals.
And he has made history in Qatar, becoming the first player to score at five consecutive World Cups with a goal against Ghana. His total tally stands at 8.
Messi had six goals at the World Cup coming into the tournament. He failed to score in South Africa 2010 where Argentina lost in the quarter-finals to Germany.
However, he opened his account against Saudi Arabia at the 2022 World Cup with 10 minutes on the clock to take his tally to seven. They would lose the match 2-1.
Ronaldo netted his eighth goal in a World Cup with a penalty in Portugal's opening match of the 2022 tournament against Ghana, becoming the first player to score in five tournaments.
Messi then matched that with a fabulous effort against Mexico in Argentina's second match. That goal took him to eight as well.
It looked like Ronaldo had added another against Uruguay when he jumped to flick in a cross, but he didn't get a touch and the goal was credited to Bruno Fernandes.
Messi had the chance to move ahead of his rival after Argentina were awarded a penalty in their final group game against Poland, however saw his kick saved by Wojciech Szczesny, while Ronaldo was taken off in the 65th-minute during the 2-1 defeat to South Korea without registering on the scoresheet.
Messi soon moved clear at the next opportunity after firing the opener in Argentina's clash with Australia in the last 16, whereas Ronaldo was denied the opportunity to add to his tally from the start after he was benched for the match against Switzerland.
YearLionel Messi goalsCristiano Ronaldo goals
200611
201001
201441
201814
202231
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