Which players have scored the most goals in a single World Cup?

Which players have scored the most goals in a single World Cup? originally appeared on NBC Sports Bayarea

It’s one thing to score a significant number of goals within one’s career, or even one season. But it’s a totally different thing to score a lofty amount within one tournament – especially the FIFA World Cup.

For generations, countries from all over the world have put their best foot forward in the quadrennial tournament. And every now and then, there is a player who manages to surpass all odds.

Scroll to continue with content
Ad

Gulliermo Stabile, Just Fontaine and Ronaldo are just a few of the many players who set precedents for goal-scoring in FIFA history.

With the 2022 World Cup in the books, let’s take a deeper dive into some of the most decorated goalscorers in history, specifically, those who have scored the most within a single iteration of the tournament.

Who has scored the most goals in a single World Cup?

France’s Just Fontaine holds the record for the most goals scored in a single FIFA World Cup.

How many goals did Fontaine score?

The French football star scored 13 goals in six matches during a single FIFA World Cup.

Advertisement

Four of these goals came against the World Cup defending champions, West Germany.

When did Fontaine solidify this record?

Fontaine achieved this record during the 1958 FIFA World Cup, which took place in Sweden.

What are some other notable goalscoring records in previous World Cups?

Here are the athletes with the most goals scored in a single World Cup competition:

Just Fontaine

Team: France

World Cup: 1958

Goals: 13

Sándor Kocsis

Team: Hungary

World Cup: 1954

Goals: 11

Gerd Müller

Team: Germany

World Cup: 1970

Goals: 10

Eusébio da Silva Ferreira

Team: Portugal

World Cup: 1966

Goals: 9

Ademir Marques de Menezes

Team: Brazil

Advertisement

World Cup: 1950

Goals: 9

Guillermo Stábile

Team: Argentina

World Cup: 1930

Goals: 8

Ronaldo Luís Nazário de Lima

Team: Brazil

World Cup: 2002

Goals: 8

Kylian Mbappé

Team: France

World Cup: 2022

Goals: 8

Leônidas da Silva

Team: Brazil

World Cup: 1938

Goals: 7

Jair “Jairzinho” Ventura Filho

Team: Brazil

World Cup: 1970

Goals: 7

Grzegorz Lato

Team: Poland

World Cup: 1974

Goals: 7

Lionel Messi

Team: Argentina

World Cup: 2022

Goals: 7

Were goals easier to score in the past?

Considering no one has even come close to Fontaine’s record since Ronaldo in 2002 with eight goals, it’s valid to question whether time has anything to do with that.

Advertisement

When asked whether goals were easier to score back in the 1950s, Fontaine rebuffed.

“No, it wasn't easier to score in 1958,” Fontaine said, according to The Guardian.

“The state of the ball, the length of the trip over and the amateurism of the backroom staff made everything much more complicated than today. I had somebody else's boots as well. And the last great World Cup scorer, Ronaldo, played against teams such as China and Costa Rica. Above all else, referees protect strikers much more than they did in my day. So let me repeat it: 13 goals is an enormous total. Beating my record? I don't think it can ever be done.”