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 also staked 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.
Messi opened the scoring in Argentina’s opening World Cup match against Saudi Arabia but 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.
In the quarter-finals, he set up the first goal for Nahuel Molina before adding the second from the penalty spot to give Argentina a 2-0 lead in the World Cup quarter-final. They would go on to win on penalties after the game finished 2-2 in extra-time. Lautaro Martinez scored the winning goal.
And Messi then opened the scoring against Croatia in Argentina’s semi-final.
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. Following the five he has scored thus far in the 2022 World Cup he now has 11 World Cup goals.
Ronaldo won’t have a chance to improve on his eight goals after he and Portugal were knocked out by Morocco thanks to a 1-0 win that made them the first African team to reach the semi-finals of the World Cup.
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.
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