Contributed by OBILOWO BOLAJI RIDWAN
There is nothing as unique as World cup in football competitions. Even though different league in each continent may seem interesting including the popular Uefa Champions league play by the European countries but it cannot be compared with World cup that has television viewer of more than 3.2 billion. Before world cup was flagged off, the football tournament was a subset of Olympic games earning the most credibility but due to inconsistency with the Olympic spirit, FIFA then made plans to arrange the first edition of world cup and was officially declared on May 26,1928. Uruguay hosted the first ever World cup tournament in 1930 and ever since then it has been played at four years interval with the exception of the time of second world war.
Ever since 1930 till date, world cup tournament has been held for twenty-one times with Uruguay winning the first in 1930 and France winning the 2018 edition held in Russia. Many players since then have shown extraordinary performance in sportsmanship and this article help to compile the list of the top ten highest goal scorer in the history of World cup.
- Grezegorz Boleslaw Lato – He wa born in 8th of April, 1950 in Malbork. Lato played as a winger for Poland’s golden generation of football players and rose to limelight in 1970s and early 80s. He played in five major tournaments including the summer Olympic games in Munich in 1972. In 1982, he represented Poland in the year world cup where they ended in third place. He was the highest goal scorer at 1974 world cup and total of ten (10) world cup goals which was the peak of his career and the only Pole to hold that record which place him as the tenth highest goal scorer in world cup history. He took some career in managing some clubs after his retirement.
- Tofilo Juan Cubillas – The Peruvian former footballer wa born in 8th of march,1949. He played as an attacking midfielder and was known for his excellent shooting ability and soft spot for playing free kicks. He contributed much in 1970 FIFA world cup that saw Peru to quarter final. He is the ninth highest goal scorer in the history of world cup with total of ten goals as well. He had total appearances of 506 and 81 for club and national team respectively with 323 career goals.
- Gabriel Batistuta – The argentine retired professional footballer was born on February 1, 1969. He held the record of argentine all time highest goal scorer honor with 52 goals before the Barcelona icon, Lionel Messi overtook that. He has a total of ten World cup goals and secured the eighth position in the highest goal scorer in the history of world cup making him the argentine all time leading goal scorer in the competition. He was one of the best strikers in his generation having scored two hat-tricks in different world cups and the only player in history to have done that.
- Sandar Kocsis – He was born in 21st of Septembeter,1929 in Hungary and made his debut for hungary senior team in 1948. He participated in 1954 world cup and finished as the top scorer in the tournament with the total of eleven goals which place him as the seventh highest goal scorer in the World cup history. He died after being diagnosed with leaukemia and stomach cancer in 1979 at the age of 49.
- Jurgen Klinsman – He is a retired German footballer born on 30 July, 1964. He became the first player to score 3 goals in 3 consecutive World cups(1990,1994,1998) and one of the Germany team players that won 1990 World cup. He was the Germany Footballer of the year two times after he made his international debut for Germany in 1987 and led his country to quarterfinals in 1994 and 1998 world cup competitions and 1996 European Championship. He is the sixth highest goal scorer in the history of world cup with 11goals after which he retired as a professional footballer following 1998 world cup.
- Pele – Edson Arantes do Nascimento nicknamed as Pele is a Brazilian retired professional footballer born on October 23,1940 who played as a forward. He is globally known for his exceptional abilities in sportsmanship and was voted as World Player of the Century by IFFHS. He made his international debut in 1957 in a match against Argentina where he scored his first goal at 16years and remains the youngest goal scorer for his country. He was among the Brazilian football team that won the FIFA world of 1958 Sweden, 1962 Chile,1970 Mexico and has 12goals in world cup which place him as the 5th highest goal scorer in world cup history. Presently, he is a global ambassador for soccer and other humanitarian causes.
- Just Fontaine – Just Louis Fontaine was born on 18 August 1933. He made his debut for France national team in 1953. He is remembered for his 1958 FIFA World Cup performance where he scored 13 goals in just six matches –a record that put him as the 4th highest goal scorer in the history of World Cup behind other three players. It was the highest number of goals ever scored by one player at a single World Cup tournament and this record secured him a Golden boot in 1958 World Cup. He was forced to retired at early age of 28years due to recurring injury.
- Gerd Muller – The former German football player was born on November 3, 1945. He made his international debut in 1966. He scored 68 goals in 62 games for West Germany. He was Germany;s all time leading scorer for close to 40 years before overtook by Miroslav Klose in 2014. He scored 10 goals in 1970 World Cup and 4 goals in 1974 World cup earning him the 14 goals in total and highest goals scorer in world Cup till 2006 when it was broken by Brazilian striker Ronaldo.
- Ronaldo Luis Nazario de Lima – The Brazilian retired professional footballer popularly known as Ronaldo was born on 18 September 1976. He played as a striker globally known for his exceptional abilities in dribbling at speed, feints and clinical finishing. Ronaldo won the FIFA World player of the Year in 1996,1997 and 2002 and Ballon d’Or in 1997 and 2002. Ronaldo played for Brazil in 98 matches and scored 62 national goals including 15 world Cup goals which placed him as the 2nd highest goal scorer in the history of world Cup behind Miroslav Klose.
- Miroslav Klose – The reigning highest goal scorer in the history of World Cup is Miroslav Klose. The Polish born German football player was born on June 9, 1978. He was widely acknowledged for his exceptional heading skills. He is currently the all time top scorer of the Germany national football team with 71 national goals. He had 137 total national appearances with 71 national goals including 16 goals in World Cup competitions earning him the all time leading goal scorer of the FIFA World Cup after beating Ronaldo’s record in the 2014 semi-final against Brazil, the title which he still maintain till the time of writing this article.