World Cup: highest scorers

By Natasha Sporn ENRIQUE MARCARIAN/Newscom/RTR, AP Photo/STF, Sipa Press/Rex Features
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The top 12 highest scorers in World Cup history

Players who have scored 10 or more goals in World Cup competitions See Gallery

Up to the end of the 2010 tournament only 12 players had managed to score 10 or more goals at World Cup finals.

Here is our review of the highest scoring World Cup footballers.

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Ronaldo: 15 goals

Brazil's Ronaldo is the top scorer in World Cup finals history having scored 15 goals. His best tournament was in Korea/Japan in 2002, where he scored 8 goals as Brazil eventually claimed the trophy. The striker scored four times at World Cup 1998 in France and a further three times in Germany at the 2006 tournament.

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Gerd Müller: 14 goals

Gerd Müller made his World Cup finals debut for West Germany in 1970 and celebrated the occasion with 10 goals. He also scored four times at World Cup 1974 in West Germany including the goal in the final against the Netherlands that secured his country’s tournament victory.

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Miroslav Klose: 14 goals

Miroslav Klose shares second place with fellow German Gerd Müller. His 14 goals so far have come in three tournaments: Klose scored five times in his first World Cup in 2002 (all five goals were headers), another five goals four years later in Germany 2006 and four more in 2010 in South Africa. If selected for World Cup 2014, Klose would have the opportunity to break Ronaldo’s record of 15 goals at World Cup finals.

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Just Fontaine: 13 goals

Just Fontaine remains one of only two players to have scored more than 10 goals at a single World Cup. The French forward scored 13 goals at the 1958 tournament in Sweden and helped his team to finish third. Unsurprisingly, he won the Golden Shoe award for highest tournament goalscorer.

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Pelé: 12 goals

With his first World Cup goal in 1958, Pelé became the youngest goal-scorer at a World Cup finals. He scored a total of six goals in Sweden in 1958 and one goal in each of the next two tournaments in 1962 and 1966. The brilliant Brazilian took his total to 12 in 1970 with four goals in his final tournament.

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Sandor Kocsis: 11 goals

Hungary's number 9 Sandor Kocsis scored 11 goals at the 1954 World Cup tournament in Switzerland. Hungary reached the final which they lost to 3-2 to West Germany.

AP Photo/Denis Paquin
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Jürgen Klinsmann: 11 goals

German striker Jürgen Klinsmann scored three goals at the 1990 World Cup finals in Italy, five four years later in the USA and another three at his final tournament at World Cup 1998 in France.

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Gabriel Batistuta: 10 goals

Argentina's Gabriel Batistuta, nicknamed Batigol, made his World Cup finals debut in 1994 and scored four goals; including three against Greece. He also appeared at the 1998 and 2002 World Cups, scoring five goals and one goal respectively, taking his total to 10.

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Helmut Rahn: 10 goals

Helmut Rahn is one of four players tied on 10 goals in the list of highest scorers at World Cup finals. The German scored four goals in his first World Cup in 1954, including the winning third goal against Hungary in the final. At the 1958 World Cup in Sweden, Rahn scored a further six goals.

AP Photo/Nick Ut
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Teofilo Cubillas: 10 goals

Teofilo Cubillas shares a record with German goalscorer Miroslav Klose as they are the only players to have scored five goals in two World Cup tournaments. The Peruvian scored his goals in the 1970 and 1978 tournaments. Peru failed to qualify for the 1974 World Cup.

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Grzegorz Lato: 10 goals

Poland’s Grzegorz Lato scored seven goals during the World Cup finals in Germany in 1974 and played a big part in securing his team third place, scoring the winning goal against Brazil in the third-fourth play-off match. At the 1978 World Cup finals in Argentina, Lato scored two goals and he added one more goal four years later in 1982.

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Gary Lineker: 10 goals

England's Gary Lineker scored six times in his first World Cup in 1986. Four years later, he was part of the England team that reached the semi-finals and he added four goals to his tally, taking it to 10.