Next to his team's 7-1 thumping of tournament host Brazil and the emotional 1-0 extra-time victory over Argentina in the final, Germany's Miroslav Klose also had a personal triumph to celebrate at the 2014 FIFA World Cup. After scoring his 16th goal at a World Cup tournament in the semi-final against Brazil, Klose is now the leading goal scorer of all time on the sporting world's biggest stage. The now-retired Polish-born striker found the net twice in 2014, surpassing Ronaldo’s (the Brazilian one) previous record by one goal.
Looking at the illustrious list of top scorers in World Cup history, Klose currently has only one man to fear: his former teammate Thomas Müller, Golden Boot winner in South Africa 2010, who already has 10 World Cup goals under his belt. A likely starter for Germany in Russia and still young enough to compete in Qatar in 2022, Müller is the only real threat to Klose’s impressive record.
Noticeably absent from the list of top scorers are Argentina’s Lionel Messi and Portugal’s Cristiano Ronaldo, undisputedly the world’s best players over the past decade. While Lionel Messi found the net five times in three World Cups, Cristiano Ronaldo scored just three goals in as many tournaments.Find all our World Cup related charts here