There is no more desired sensation in soccer than a goal. It can be said that the ball exists for that, to be embedded in the goal. If we add to this the fact of scoring a goal in the most important tournament of this sport, that is, the FIFA World Cup, the experience borders on the sublime.
Qatar 2022 will be attended by players whose relationship with the goal is one of absolute complicity. Undoubtedly, the hope of fans to see a love story between the ball and the net is deposited in the cleats of stars like Cristiano Ronaldo and Lionel Messi, but also in stars like Neymar Jr, Kylian Mbappé, Harry Kane and Sadio Mané.
However, a distinction must be made: it is different to score a lot of goals without any context, than to score goals with the least amount of games played. The species that achieves this is recognized as the most lethal breed of strikers in soccer. These individuals are key to winning games and tournaments; in a FIFA World Cup, such as the one that will be played in Qatar 2022, their value is maximized.
Strikers and scoring average: the most lethal strikers in FIFA World Cup history
The list of Miroslav Klose as the top scorer in the history of the FIFA World Cup is now democratized. It also includes players such as Thomas Muller, David Villa, Diego Maradona... and even Cristiano Ronaldo. However, it is worth mentioning that none of them are among the most lethal scorers, unbelievably.
In order to discover the most effective attackers with the ability to cause damage to their National Team's opponents, a mathematical formula is used: divide their number of goals scored by the number of matches they have played in the FIFA World Cup. The goal-scoring average is then obtained, which indicates a striker's lethality.
Sandor Kocsis - 11 goals in 5 appearances - 2.20 scoring average
The greatest example of lethality in the history of the World Cup. The Hungarian Kocsis only needed one edition of this tournament, Switzerland 1954, in which he played 5 matches and scored an outrageous 11 goals, for an average of 2.2 goals per match.
Just Fontaine - 13 goals in 6 appearances - 2.17 scoring average
The World Cup of Switzerland 1954 had the opportunity to enjoy live two magnificent strikers. On the one hand, Sandor Kocsis, on the other, the scoring champion of this edition, the Frenchman Just Fontaine, who holds the record for most goals scored in a single edition of the World Cup with 13 for a scoring average of more than two goals per game.
Guillermo Stabile - 8 goals in 4 appearances - 2.00 scoring average
The first Argentine legend at a FIFA World Cup was not Lionel Messi, not even Diego Armando Maradona or Mario Alberto Kempes. That was Guillermo Stábile, who was proclaimed scoring champion at Uruguay 1930, scoring 8 goals in 4 games that helped the Albiceleste to finish as the runner-up of this edition.
Leonidas - 8 goals in 5 appearances - 1.60 scoring average
The first Brazilian champion scorer in an edition of the FIFA World Cup was the legendary Leonidas da Silva, who with his 8 goals is far behind the top scorers, but with a higher scoring average than many, as he scored in only 5 matches played.
Eusebio - 9 goals in 6 appearances - 1.50 scoring average
Another name that will infarct the contemporaries who associate soccer quality coming from Portugal only to Cristiano Ronaldo, is Eusebio Ferreira. The Black Panther played in only one edition of the World Cup, England 1966, in which he was enough to score 9 goals in 6 appearances and lead his team to the third place.
Ademir - 8 goals in 6 appearances - 1.33 scoring average
A name not so often mentioned in Brazil because of the pain caused by the World Cup edition in which he proved his greatness: Ademir achieved his high scoring record at Brazil 1950, in which his 8 goals in 6 matches were not enough to prevent Uruguay from snatching the title from the Canarinha in the decisive match.
Oldrich Nejedly - 7 goals in 6 appearances - 1.17 scoring average
The Czech striker shared his powder in editions two and three of the FIFA World Cup, in which his country finished as runner-up and fifth place, respectively. He was the top scorer in 1934 and was on the scoresheet twice in the pair of games he played in 1938.
Oscar Miguez - 8 goals in 7 apperances - 1.14 scoring average
Once again, linking a Uruguayan goal scorer in a World Cup is not all about Luis Suarez or Edinson Cavani. Before them, there was a true hero for his country: Oscar Miguez, who with his 8 goals in 7 matches, spread between the 1950 and 1954 editions, was enough to lead Uruguay to its second World Cup championship, including the Maracanazo.
Gerd Muller - 14 goals in 13 appearances - 1.08 scoring average
The Bomber not only ranks third on the list of players with the most goals in the World Cups, he is also one of the most lethal, scoring 14 goals in 13 matches between the 1970 and 1974 World Cups. In the latter, he was a key player in Germany's second World Cup crown.
Helmut Rahn - 10 goals in 10 appearances - 1.00 scoring average
World Champion in 1954 with Germany, he also showed his quality in Sweden 1958. Rahn scored goals in each of the ten matches he played in this tournament. Curiously, despite being one of the players with the most goals in World Cups and with the best scoring average, he was never the top scorer in the editions he played.
Christian Vieri - 9 goals in 9 appearances - 1.00 scoring average
The Bull proved that he not only had the talent to gore, but also to score goals. In two World Cups played, 1998 and 2002, he scored nine goals, and like Helmut Rahn, there was not a game he played in in which he did not score. Had Italy gone further in these editions, his quota would surely have increased.
Vavá - 9 goals in 10 appearances - 0.90 scoring average
Part of the Brazil team that was twice world champion, winning the Sweden 1958 and Chile 1962 editions. His true power detonated in Chile, taking advantage of the fact that the legendary Pelé could only play 2 matches due to an injury. He scored 9 goals in 10 appearances at the FIFA World Cup.
Lajos Tichy - 7 goals in 8 appearances - 0.88 scoring average
He is usually overshadowed by legends such as Sandor Kocsis, Florian Albert or Ferenc Puskas, but Tichy's World Cup career is more than worthy. He played in the 1958 and 1962 World Cups, where he showed his goal-scoring ability; he attended England 1966, but did not play a single match.
Pelé - 12 goals in 14 appearances - 0.86 scoring average
Edison Arantes do Nascimento is at the top of the list of FIFA World Cups won with 3, is one of those who played more editions with 4, and is in the top 5 of top scorers. However, in scoring average he is not one of the most lethal although he is above average. O Rei played 14 games and scored 12 goals.
Gary Lineker - 10 goals in 12 appearances - 0.83 scoring average
If there is an Englishman with an idyllic relationship with World Cups on an individual level, it is Gary Lineker. Although he did not win the Cup won by Charlton, Banks and Hurst, he was the team's goal man in two consecutive editions, 1986, where he was the top scorer, and Italy 1990, where England finished fourth.
Gabriel Batistuta - 10 goals in 12 appearances - 0.83 scoring average
Perhaps without the technical and magical reach of Stabile, Kempes, Maradona and Messi, but with an indomitable heart and an almost robotic precision, Gabriel Bastituta is the Argentine with the most goals in World Cups, scoring in each of the three editions in which he played.
Ronaldo Nazario - 15 goals in 19 appearances - 0.79 scoring average
The Phenom could not be left off the list of lethality and accuracy. In addition to his power, speed, change of pace and dribbling, he was a lethal finisher, which allowed him to play in 4 World Cups, reach the final of 3 of them and win two of them. Currently, he is the second highest scorer in this tournament's history with 15 goals in 19 games.