Top 3 players who scored the most goals in a single World Cup
Scoring outbursts in the FIFA World Cup. In the last three World Cups, the top goalscorer put up six or fewer goals. Over the previous 12 World Cup tournaments, only two players have scored more than six goals; Polish Grzegorz Lato, seven goals in 1974, and Brazilian Ronaldo, eight in Korea Japan 2002, but that is not the norm during World Cup competition, there are tremendous goalscoring numbers in past contests.
After 14 games played in Russia and 32 goals scored overall, three players scored braces, and another striker netted a hat-trick. In Brazil 2014, after 14 games played, the goal tally was at 44. Up to that point, four players scored braces, and one player scored a hat-trick.
In World Cup history, only three players scored at least ten goals during one competition. 48 years passed by since the last time a player scored ten goals under the World Cup umbrella. Let's take a look into the three players topping the table for more goals scored in a single World Cup.
#1 Just Fontaine (France, 1958)
During the sixth World Cup in history, French striker Just Fontaine had the biggest goalscoring outburst ever seen. The Stade de Reims forward accounted for 13 of France's 23 goals in the competition.
Fontaine's record remains intact at the top of this list 60 years and 14 World Cups later. The French forward scored in each of the six games he played in the tournament. Also, he is one of three players who managed to have two matches of at least three goals in a single World Cup.
Fontaine played only the 1958 World Cup because of an injury-plagued career. His World Cup stats are 13 goals in 6 games, with a 2.17 goal-per-game ratio.
The resume of Fontaine's goals in the 1958 contest is:
Hat-trick versus Paraguay in the first matchday of the group stage
Brace in a loss against Yugoslavia in the second matchday
A goal versus Scotland in the last matchday
Brace against Northern Ireland in the quarterfinals
A goal in a loss versus Brazil in the semifinals
Four goals in France's 6-3 win over Germany for third place.
Fontaine scored more goals in the tournament than the two best Brazilians Pelé (6 goals), and Vavá (5). But the Canarinha strikers outplayed Fontaine during the semifinals when Brazil defeated France 5-2 with a hat-trick by Pelé and one goal from Vavá.
In fact, Fontaine scored more goals than runner-up Sweden (12 goals) and fourth place Germany (12). France was the team with most goals scored with 23 but had the worst defense with 15 goals received.
The Frenchman's prolific World Cup career was his biggest highlight, however, it is not the only one. Fontaine was a prominent figure for Stade de Reims, winning four Ligue 1 titles, and a couple of French Cups. He scored 145 goals in 152 games for Reims. During Reims' runner-up effort in the 1958/59 European Cup, Fontaine was the leading goalscorer of the championship with ten, but his squad lost the final versus Real Madrid in Stutt.
Internationally, many defenses could not handle Fontaine's attacking explosiveness. During the 1960 European Championship qualifiers with and the tournament's final stage with France, Fontaine scored 8 goals in 4 matches. Overall, the striker put up 30 goals in just 21 games.