World Cup Golden Boot Winners

Welcome to our World Cup Golden Boot page where we take a look at who was the top scorer at each of the 21 World Cups there have been up to this point.

From Gerd Muller, to Eusebio, to Ronaldo, the World Cup Golden Boot award has been won by some of the finest players to ever play the game. Take a look at them all below.

Also feel free to click on the country and player headings to take you to World Cup team guides, player profiles, and our World Soccer 500 lists.

2018 – Harry Kane (England) – 6 Goals

Harry Kane added to his goalscoring resume by clinching the Golden Boot in the 2018 tournament in Russia.

his World Cup started perfectly with a goal in the first 15 minutes. He then scored the winner for England with a lovely header at the back post.

A hat-trick followed against Panama, and he scored his final goal of the tournament against Columbia once again from the penalty spot. England would go crashing out of the tournament during the semi-finals against Croatia.

2014 – James Rodriguez (Colombia) – 6 Goals

Rodriguez scored three times during the group stages against Greece, Ivory Coast and Japan, before then scoring twice against Uruguay. His first was a beautiful volley from 25 yards after chesting the ball to control it. However, during the quarter-finals against Brazil, he would score a penalty but his side would lose 2-1 after goals by Thiago Silva, and David Luiz.

James Rodriguez scored 6 in 2014, including a peach against Uruguay (Getty Images)

2010 – Diego Forlan (Uruguay), Thomas Muller (Germany), Wesley Sneijder (Netherlands), David Villa (Spain) – 5 Goals

All four of these men with their respective countries made it to the semi-final of the 2010 World Cup with David Villa and Spain ultimately winning the tournament in extra time against the Netherlands.

2006 – Miroslav Klose (Germany) – 5 Goals

The most prolific World Cup goal-scorer ever topped the chart in 2006 with five goals. He scored twice against Costa Rica and Ecuador during the group stages and then once against Argentina during the quarter-finals. Germany would come third overall.

2002 – Ronaldo (Brazil) – 8 Goals

One of the finest strikers ever showed his class, and put the 1998 demons to bed, in Japan and South Korea at the 2002 World Cup. He scored four times during the group stages, and then four more during the knockout rounds. This included two in the final against Germany, and this performance further cemented Ronaldo’s place as one of the all-time greats.

2002: Ronaldo scored eight for Brazil at the 2002 tournament (Getty Images)

1998 – Davor Suker (Croatia) – 6 Goals

The Croatian striker scored twice during the group stages in 1998, once against Jamaica, and the other against Japan. Then he scored once against Romania, Germany, France, and finally the Netherlands in the third-place playoff game.

1994 – Oleg Salenko (Russia), Hristo Stoichkov (Bulgaria) – 6 Goals

Salenko scored five goals in one game, a 6-1 victory over Cameroon during the group stages. His side failed to get out of the group. Bulgaria did though, with Stoichkov scoring three during the group stage, and then one each against Mexico, Germany and Italy later in the tournament.

1990 – Salvator Schillachi (Italy) – 6 goals

Schillachi was unknown before the tournament, having only started one game for Italy. This was soon to change as he came on as a substitute against Austria and scored the winner. He then scored against Czechoslovakia and then three more times during the knockout rounds to guide Italy to third place.

1986 – Gary Lineker (England) – 6 Goals

After a poor start to the tournament, which saw England lose to Portugal and draw with Morocco, the Lions finally came to life against Poland with Lineker scoring a hat-trick. During the round of 16, he would score two more against Paraguay, and the once against Argentina. This game is best remembered for the ‘Hand of God’ goal and Diego Maradona’s sublime second to knock the English out.

Lineker fights for a header against Paraguay (Getty Images)

1982 – Paolo Rossi (Italy) – 6 Goals

Italy struggled during the first group stage of the 1982 tournament with three draws against Poland, Peru and Cameroon. They came alive in the second round though, as did Rossi, scoring a hat-trick against Brazil. He would then score twice against Poland in the semi-final, and then once in the final against Germany.

1978 – Mario Kempes (Argentina) – 6 Goals

Surprisingly, Kempes didn’t score during the first round group stage in 1978. But from then on, he would score two goals against Poland, Peru, and then two more in the final against the Netherlands.

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1974 – Grzegorz Lato (Poland) – 7 Goals

Poland came third in 1974, and that is largely because of Lato, who became a goal-scoring machine during the tournament. He scored twice against Argentina, and then Haiti, before scoring goals against Sweden, Yugoslavia and finally Brazil.

1970 – Gerd Muller (Germany) – 10 Goals

Arguably Germany‘s finest player ever, Muller was at his best in 1970. He started off by scoring a goal against Morocco to ensure a German victory, and then proceeded to hit two hat-tricks in a row against Bulgaria and Peru. He would score another decisive goal against England, and then two more in a 4-3 loss to Italy.

Gerd Muller scoring the equaliser against Italy. They would lose 4-3 (Getty Images)

1966 – Eusebio (Portugal) – 9 Goals

During the group stage, the Portuguese winger scored three, including two against Brazil to knock them out of the tournament. Four more followed against North Korea, and the one each against England and the Soviet Union. Portugal would come third.

1962 – Florian Albert (Hungary), Garrincha (Brazil), Valentin Ivanov (Soviet Union), Drazan Jerkovic (Yugoslavia), Leonel Sanchez (Chile), Vava (Brazil) – 4 Goals

In terms of goalscoring numbers, no one player really differentiated themselves in 1962, with six players scoring four goals each. Interestingly, Garrincha and Vava didn’t score any during the group stages, instead all of theirs came during the quarters, semis, and final.

1958 – Just Fontaine (France) – 13 Goals

In sole possession of the record for most goals scored at a single World Cup, Fontaine was a genius at the 1958 tournament. A hat-trick in their opening game, followed by two against Yugoslavia, and one against Scotland, helped France top their group. Two more followed against Northern Ireland, one against a ridiculous Brazil side, and then four in the third place playoff game against Germany.

Just Fontaine scoring against Brazil. They would lose 5-2 after a Pele hat-trick (Getty Images)

1954 – Sandor Kocsis (Hungary) – 11 Goals

Chocks helped guide Hungary to a runners-up finish in 1954. He scored a hat-trick against South Korea, and then four in an 8-3 victory against West Germany. He then scored twice against Brazil, and twice again against Uruguay. He failed to score in the final.

1950 – Ademir (Brazil) – 8 Goals

During the group stage, Ademir scored four times to help them top their group. Four more followed against Sweden, and then once more against Spain in a 6-1 win. Shockingly, Brazil didn’t win the tournament after losing 2-1 to Uruguay in front of nearly 200,000 people.

1938 – Leonidas (Brazil) – 7 Goals

Leonidas started the tournament scoring three goals in a 6-5 victory against Poland. He scored in the first game against Czechoslovakia, and then again during the replay. He finally scored two against Sweden to secure a third place for Brazil.

1934 – Oldrich Nejedly (Czechoslovakia) – 5 Goals 

Nejedly scored once against Romania and Switzerland to get into the semi-finals. A hat-trick followed against Germany, but he couldn’t score in the final which meant Czechoslovakia had to be content with a runners-up finish.

1930 – Guillermo Stabile (Argentina) – 8 Goals

In the first World Cup, Guillermo Stabile was the top scorer, starting off with a hat-trick against Mexico, and then two against Chile three days later. In the semi-final against the USA he scored two more, and then scored one in the final against Uruguay. It wasn’t enough however, with Argentina losing 4-2.

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