FIFA World Cup: Number of goals scored at each tournament 1930-2018

Total number of goals scored at each FIFA World Cup from 1930 to 2018

by Christina Gough, last edited Jul 25, 2019
FIFA World Cup: Number of goals scored at each tournament 1930-2018

How many goals were scored in the 2014 FIFA World Cup?

A total of 171 goals were scored across the 2014 FIFA World Cup held in Brazil. This marked a joint record for the tournament along with France 1998. The goal-fest in 2014 was thanks to some unusually high-scoring games, including Netherlands beating Spain 5-1 in the group stages and, most famously, Germany embarrassing Brazil 7-1 at the semi-final stage. The 2014 World Cup in Brazil also holds the record for the most amount of different scorers in a single tournament with 121 players.
Goals galore

The highest ever goals to game ratio was during the 1954 World Cup in Switzerland, where an average of 5.38 goals were scored in each of the 26 games. Some of the highest scoring games during this tournament included Austria 7 Switzerland 5 and Hungary 9 South Korea 0. The honor of the highest individual goalscorer of all time at World Cups belongs to Germany's Miroslav Klose. The iconic striker scored a total of 16 goals across 4 World Cups, his 16th and record-breaking goal coming in Germany's semi-final demolition of Brazil at the 2014 World Cup.

Goal droughts

At the other end of the scale, the Italy 1990 World Cup had the fewest average goals per match with the ball hitting the back of the net 115 times in 52 matches, thus averaging 2.21 goals per match. The fewest goals scored in a single tournament stands at 70, which occurred at the first two World Cups in 1930 and 1934. This can be explained by the fact that only 13 and 16 teams respectively took part in the finals and so fewer games were played overall. The format for the finals was changed for the 1982 World Cup in Spain in which 24 teams participated. The current format, first implemented in France 1998, sees 32 teams split into eight groups of four.

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Total number of goals scored at each FIFA World Cup from 1930 to 2018

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