A goal… The most important thing in football, which decides whether a game is won or lost. The rush of adrenaline, the sheer excitement of the scorer, the joy of the fans in the stands. Those are all priceless moments, which will definitely live in the memory of everybody watching and will be enshrined in history.
Thanks to the archive video footage, we can relive any goal scored by all-time greats, like Pele, Diego Armando Maradona, Ferenc Puskas or Johan Cruyff. Current heroes like Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo have also signed off on impressive goals at the FIFA World Cup, combining 13 goals between them in the competition.
But who is the all-time top goal scorer of the competition? Well, that title has been held by Germany’s Miroslav Klose since 2014, with 16 goals, one goal over Brazilian superstar Ronaldo and two goals over fellow German striker Gerd Müller. But can this record be beaten at Qatar 2022?
From the active players, Germany’s Thomas Müller is the closest to Klose, with 10 goals, followed by Uruguay’s Luis Suarez and Portugal’s Cristiano Ronaldo, with seven goals each following suit, with plenty of other players, like Messi, Colombia’s James Rodriguez or England’s Harry Kane scoring six times.
Whether Klose’s record will be broken or not at Qatar 2022, the jury is still open. But who can be the top scorer in the 22nd World Cup?
At only 23 years old, Mbappe is already a World Cup winner, having secured the trophy four years ago, in Russia, when he scored four goals, as his dazzling pace was no match for the defenders that tried to stop him. The French striker will also come in hot after a successful season at his club, PSG, where he scored 18 times in 18 matches in all competitions.
In 2022, Mbappe also scored four goals for France, taking his overall tally to 28 goals, which, at the age of 23, is enough for breaking into the top 10 all-time scoring list for France, some 23 goals behind the leader, Thierry Henry.
Mbappe is a bona-fide superstar already, he has both the confidence and experience to lead his team, the reigning champions, at Qatar 2022, and could also be on penalty duty, despite missing a crucial one in the Round of 16 at the UEFA EURO 2020 against Switzerland, which saw France crash out after that penalty shoot-out.
With 12 goals in the first 10 matches of the Premier League for Tottenham Hotspur, Harry Kane enjoyed his best-ever start in the domestic competition, jumping to the second place of the top goal scorer list, seven goals behind Norwegian striker Erling Haaland, who had the best-ever start in the Premier League.
Kane has been in superb form in 2021 for England, scoring 16 goals in 16 matches, but the goals have dried off this year, with only three goals in eight matches for Gareth Southgate’s side. Still, he is the top choice for the striker position and the designated penalty taker, as England are favourites in Group B, which also consists of Iran, the United States and Wales.
In his only edition of the World Cup played, Kane scored six goals in 2018, winning the Golden Boot, with a brace against Tunisia and a hat-trick against Panama, proving his credentials in the group phase before also scoring a crucial goal in the quarter-final against Colombia.
Brazil is surely one of the favorites to win the 2022 FIFA World Cup and they will need some magic from Neymar, who is currently in his prime, with his turn to shine for the “Selecao”, as did plenty of stars before him.
One of them is definitely Pele, Brazil’s all-time top scorer, with 77 goals. Yet with only three goals at Qatar 2022, Neymar can dethrone Pele, breaking one of the most difficult records there is to break in world football.
Since his debut in August 2010, Neymar has scored 75 goals in 121 matches, including six at the World Cup, four in 2014, and two in 2018. While Klose’s record might be too much for the creative Brazilian forward, Neymar can surely be one of the top scorers in the competition, yet the South American powerhouse has a difficult group to navigate, facing Serbia, Switzerland, and Cameroon.
We all know Messi’s penchant for scoring goals, yet all of his six goals at the World Cup came in the group stage, with none scored in the knockout round. Well, this might be about to change, as the Argentinian stalwart will be playing his last edition of the world football flagship event and his motivation is sky high.
He looked properly motivated to be in top shape for Qatar 2022 after a quiet 2021/22 season, where he scored only 11 goals in 34 matches. He already has 12 goals in 18 matches this time around and has been excellent throughout the whole season for PSG.
A true leader, an excellent motivator, and an all-time great, Messi will like to finish his World Cup career on a high, and what better way than to score goals for his beloved Argentina? A clear penalty taker, Messi will have his chance for the first World Cup Golden Boot in his career.
One of the best goal scorers of all time, Ronaldo has broken through at the World Cup only seven times, with all of his goals scored in the group phase. He has never won the Golden Boot and will come with plenty of baggage at Qatar 2022, with his stock falling over the last two seasons since he signed for Manchester United.
In his first 14 matches in all competitions for his club team, Ronaldo scored only three goals, as he only produced two goals in seven matches for his national team in 2022, taking his tally to 117 goals in 191 matches.
But we all know how much Ronaldo likes to play the underdog role and with the last World Cup on the horizon, he certainly wants to end the tournament on a high. Facing Ghana, Uruguay and the Republic of Korea is no easy feat in the group stage, especially playing for a coach, Fernando Santos, that is renowned for his defensive style. But if there is one player who can do it, Ronaldo is surely the answer.
Since being named the “Ballon d’Or” for the first time in his career in October, Benzema has missed some matches for Real Madrid, with his current season being marred by injuries. He still scored six goals in 12 matches, as Benzema is surely not a player who can be discarded on this list.
He failed to be called up for the national team between 2016 and 2020, but is still one of France’s all-time top scorers, with 37 goals, and will forge a hard-to-stop partnership with Kylian Mbappe in France’s attack.
With only three goals scored at the World Cup in his career, all in 2014, Benzema could be written off, but his penchant of scoring goals and excellent positioning, he will be one of the main strikers to watch in the competition.