The FIFA World Cup is the biggest tournament in the world of football. It is the beautiful game's showpiece event and it is every footballer's dream to represent their country at the World Cup.
Scoring a goal at a World Cup would be a moment to cherish for any footballer. After all, the competition comes around only once every four years and how many appearances a player gets to make at the tournament depends on a variety of factors.
World Cup heroes hold a special place in the hearts of football fans. To come up clutch for one's national team on the biggest stage is a great achievement. That's why the top goalscorers in World Cups deserve to be celebrated.
Without further ado, let's take a look at the top five players who have scored the most goals in FIFA World Cups.
#5 Pele - 12 World Cup goals
Widely regarded as one of the greatest players of all time, Pele was part of the Brazilian side that dominated the international circuit in the late 50s and 60s. The legendary forward has scored 12 goals across four World Cups.
It's worth noting that despite being one of the all-time top scorers at World Cups, Pele never won the Golden Boot. But he holds the distinction of being the youngest player to ever score in a World Cup. He found the back of the net for Brazil against Wales in the 1958 final at just 17 years and 249 days old.
Pele also holds the record for being the youngest player to score a hat-trick at a World Cup. He achieved that feat against France on 24 June 1958.
#4 Just Fontaine - 13 World Cup goals
French striker Just Fontaine scored all of his 13 World Cup goals in the 1958 edition of the tournament. He was on a roll and holds the record for most goals scored at a single World Cup. It was also the only World Cup tournament that he featured in.
Fontaine's 13 goals came from six appearances. He scored a hat-trick against Paraguay and netted four against Germany as well. But despite Fontaine's heroics and extraordinary goalscoring rate, France finished third after conceding a defeat to eventual champions Brazil in the semi-finals.
#3 Gerd Muller - 14 World Cup goals
Gerd Muller is widely viewed as one of the greatest strikers of all time. He played in just two World Cup tournaments but managed to find the net a whopping 14 times. He scored as many as 10 goals in the 1970 World Cup and won the Golden Boot that year.
Muller holds the distinction of having scored in each of his first five appearances at the World Cup. He scored hat-tricks in successive games against Bulgaria and Peru in 1970. However, the legendary striker's heroics couldn't inspire West Germany to the title as they fell to Italy in the semi-finals.
Muller would go on to score four goals at the 1974 World Cup. This time, he scored the winning goal for West Germany in the final against Johan Cruyff's Netherlands side.
#2 Ronaldo - 15 World Cup goals
O Fenomeno is one of the most skillful strikers of all time. Ronaldo took the world by storm in the 1998 World Cup. He scored four goals in seven appearances in the tournament. However, Ronaldo couldn't inspire his team to the title as they fell 3-0 to France in the final.
He made up for it four years later at the 2002 FIFA World Cup as he scored eight goals in seven games, including a match-winning brace against Germany in the final. The attacking trio of Ronaldo, Rivaldo and Ronaldinho ran riot at the tournament and were simply indomitable and impossible to not love.
Ronaldo would add three more goals to his World Cup tally in the 2006 FIFA World Cup as Brazil crashed out in the quarter-finals against Germany.
#1 Miroslav Klose - 16 World Cup goals
Former German striker Miroslav Klose's record for most goals scored (16) at World Cup tournaments has remained in tact for eight years now. Klose made his World Cup debut in 2002 and scored a hat-trick against Saudi Arabia as Germany trounced them 8-0.
He scored five goals in the tournament and added five more at the 2006 World Cup held in Germany. Klose won the Golden Boot for his goalscoring exploits in that edition. He also netted four times in the 2010 World Cup held in South Africa.
Klose finally overtook Ronaldo to become the leading goalscorer in World Cups in the 2014 edition of the competition, where he scored two goals. His 16th goal came in Germany's famous 7-1 thrashing of Brazil in the semi-finals.