FIFA World Cup 2022: Messi just behind Pele after goal against Croatia in the semifinal

In the Qatar World Cup, Thomas Muller will relish the chance of setting a new world record, while Cristiano Ronaldo, Luis Suarez and Lionel Messi will be looking to break into the double-figure club.

Argentina’s Lionel Messi scores the opening goal from the penalty spot during the World Cup semifinal soccer match between Argentina and Croatia at the Lusail Stadium in Lusail, Qatar, Tuesday, Dec. 13, 2022.

Argentina’s Lionel Messi scores the opening goal from the penalty spot during the World Cup semifinal soccer match between Argentina and Croatia at the Lusail Stadium in Lusail, Qatar, Tuesday, Dec. 13, 2022. | Photo Credit: Frank Augstein

In the Qatar World Cup, Thomas Muller will relish the chance of setting a new world record, while Cristiano Ronaldo, Luis Suarez and Lionel Messi will be looking to break into the double-figure club.

Miroslav Klose

No player has scored as many goals at FIFA World Cup as German striker Miroslav Klose, who scored 16 times in 24 appearances in four separate editions.

All of his goals came from just 63 shots – a phenomenal record for a player who played four World Cups.

Ronaldo Luis Nazario de Lima

FILE PHOTO: Brazil striker Ronaldo celebrates in the heavy rain after scoring against Barcelona in a 2-2 draw during a rare friendly match between a national team and a club on April 29, 1999.

FILE PHOTO: Brazil striker Ronaldo celebrates in the heavy rain after scoring against Barcelona in a 2-2 draw during a rare friendly match between a national team and a club on April 29, 1999. | Photo Credit: REUTERS

Before Klose took over the record for the most World Cup goals, the record belonged to Brazil’s 2002 World Cup-winning star Ronaldo. He scored 15 goals in just 19 appearances across three tournaments. In his debut World Cup in 1998, he scored four goals and four years later, he poured in eight goals in seven appearances to win the Golden Boot award. Due to his brilliant performance, Brazil won its fifth World Cup title.

Gerd Muller

Legendary German footballer Gerd Muller has 14 World Cup goals to his credit in just two World Cup tournaments. In 1970, he won the Golden Boot for scoring 10 goals.

Moreover, no player has scored as many goals as Muller did in 1970 across any of the last 15 men’s World Cup final tournaments.

Just Fontaine

French striker Fontaine holds the record for scoring the most goals in a single edition. He scored 13 goals in six matches at the 1958 World Cup. This was the only World Cup where he played but certainly made an everlasting impression.

Pele

Brazilian footballer Pele in 1963. 

Brazilian footballer Pele in 1963.  | Photo Credit: Getty Images

Legendary Pele is fifth on this chart with 12 goals in four editions of the World Cup. Though he has never won a Golden Boot, he did win the Best Player award at the 1970 World Cups for scoring four goals and six assists.

Jurgen Klinsmann and Sandor Kocsis

German striker Klinsmann and Hungarian legend Kocsis scored 11 goals in the World Cup.

Kocsis played only one World Cup ever for Hungary in 1954. In that tournament, he scored 11 goals in just five games.

FILE PHOTO: Hungarian footballer Sandor Kocsis in 1953.

FILE PHOTO: Hungarian footballer Sandor Kocsis in 1953. | Photo Credit: Getty Images

Klinsmann made his World Cup debut in 1990. But his most successful performance in front of goal came in 1994 America, scoring five goals in five games before the Germans exited the tournament at the quarter-final stage in a shock defeat to Bulgaria.

His final World Cup tournament came in 1998 when he scored three goals at the age of 34.

In the Qatar World Cup, Thomas Muller, Cristiano Ronaldo, Luis Suarez and Lionel Messi will be looking to break into the double-figure club. Muller has 10 goals, while Ronaldo and Messi scored seven and six goals, respectively.

Lionel Messi

Lionel Messi got into the lift of highest goal scorers ever in the FIFA World Cup, scoring his 11th goal in the tournament. Messi converted a penalty in the 34th minute to give Argentina the lead, which was soon doubled by a solo goal by Julian Alvarez.

This was Messi’s 11th goal in 25 matches, which kept him level with Sandor Kocsis and Jurgen Klinsmann and just one shy of the goal tally of Pele.

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