French superstar Kylian Mbappé edged out Lionel Messi to win the Golden Boot for most goals scored in the 2022 FIFA World Cup. How many goals did he do and where does he rank in the history books? Read to find out as we rank the highest goal scorers in FIFA World Cup history along with a prediction for who would be the top striker in the charts by 2027.

Messi Mbappe World Cup
Image courtesy of AP via Hindustan Times

Miroslav Klose

Miroslav Klose is a one-of-a-kind striker. Across four editions from 2002-14, Klose scored a staggering 16 goals in 24 matches, becoming the all-time top scorer of the FIFA World Cup and the German national team.

Image courtesy of Eurosport / Reuters
  • Klose retired from international football a month after winning the iconic 2014 World Cup Final with Germany against Argentina at the Maracana.

Ronaldo

R9 truly lives up to his nickname of ‘The Phenomenon’, especially at the FIFA World Cup. With 15 goals in 19 matches, Ronaldo has won two World Cups with the Brazilian national team. Ronaldo was the first to beat Gerd Muller’s goal-scoring record which stood for over three decades.

Image courtesy of SportBible / Alamy

Gerd Müller

  • Gerd Müller was the definitive record-book goal scorer for an entire generation. He scored 10 goals in the 1974 World Cup for West Germany.
Gerd Müller, fifa world cup highest scorer
Image courtesy of UEFA
  • In the next tournament, Müller broke the record held by Just Fontaine scoring an overall 14 goals in just 13 matches.

Lionel Messi, Just Fontaine

  • Lionel Messi has scored 13 goals in 26 matches at the FIFA World Cup for Argentina. 
  • In December 2022, Lionel Messi inspired Argentina to their third FIFA World Cup trophy in Qatar, cementing his legacy as the greatest footballer of all time.

  • Just Fontaine, on the other hand, scored the same number in a record six matches for France in the 1958 edition. 
  • Fontaine’s record for most goals scored in a single World Cup campaign still stands.

Pelé, Kylian Mbappé

  • With an identical 12 goals in 14 matches, Pelé and Kylian Mbappé define the two ends of a long spectrum of footballing greatness.

  • Pele is still the only player to win three FIFA World Cups. Mbappé won his first World Cup in 2018 and almost led France to a second in 2022.

Top Striker 2027

It’s prediction time. By the year 2027, just after the conclusion of the next FIFA World Cup, the all-time highest goal-scorer charts are expected to realign. 

  • Alongside Lionel Messi and Thomas Muller, Kylian Mbappé is the only active player to have scored more than 10 goals at the tournament. However, Mbappé’s age of 24 gives him an edge over the former veterans. 

  • 2018 Golden Boot Winner Harry Kane, Brazilian superstar Neymar, and 37-year-old Cristiano Ronaldo are the closest active names on the list with eight goals each.

If Norway qualifies for the FIFA World Cup, Erling Haaland is a potential addition to the list of candidates. Other young and upcoming starlets like Phil Foden, Vinicius Jr., Kai Havertz, Julian Alvarez, and Marcus Rashford will also look to make their mark. Who do you think will be the top striker by 2027?

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SOURCES:  FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022™, WorldFootball