Memories and lasting images are made at World Cups from Diego Maradona’s Hand of God, to Pele dancing around the Uruguayan defense in 1970 to Landon Donovan’s last minute goal against Algeria in the 2010 World Cup.
Still maybe the most memorable stat besides who wins the World Cup is who was the leading scorer of said World Cup. Here is every top scorer from the tournament, here are the FIFA World Cup top scorers of each World Cup.
1930 - Guillermo Stábile - 8 goals
Argentine forward Guillermo Stábile scored 8 World Cup goals in 4 matches during the first World Cup held in Uruguay. Stábile scored a hat-trick against Mexico during the competition.
1934 - Oldřich Nejedlý - 5 goals
Oldřich Nejedlý of Czechoslovakia scored 5 goals in the second FIFA World Cup in Italy, Nejedlý was given the Bronze Ball and was voted to the All-Star Team of the tournament.
1938 - Leônidas - 7 goals
Brazilian forward Leônidas scored a hat-trick against Poland and went on to score 4 more goals in the competition in France. Leônidas scored 21 goals in 19 caps for Brazil from 1932 -1946.
1950 - Ademir - 8 goals
Ademir, much like the rest of his 1950 Brazilian teammates, name has been lost to the sands of time. The Brazilian team was ready to win the 1950 World Cup until Uruguay shocked them in the final losing 2-1. The squad was seen as the ultimate failure, what fans have forgotten is that Ademir scored 8 goals in the tournament with 4 in one game against Sweden.
1954 - Sándor Kocsis - 11 goals
Hungarian forward Sándor Kocsis scored a whopping 11 goals in the tournament including 4 goals against West Germany! When it was all said and done Kocsis scored 11 goals in 1954.
1958 - Just Fontaine - 13 goals
In the World Cup of 1958 French striker Just Fontaine lit up the score sheet, scoring the most goals in a single tournament at 13. Fontaine would score 1 hat-trick against Paraguay and 4 goals against West Germany. Despite playing in only one FIFA World Cup, Fontaine is the tournament’s fourth all-time leading scorer.
1962 - Six players with 4 goals
The 1962 World Cup in Chile was a strange tournament indeed with the golden boot going to six! players Flórián Albert, Valentin Ivanov, Garrincha, Dražan Jerković, Chile 's own Leonel Sánchez, and Vavá all scored 4 goals in the tournament. Never again have so many players shared the honor.
1966 - Eusébio - 9 goals
Portuguese great Eusébio was one of the best players of the 66 World Cup in England. Eusébio scored 9 goals in 6 matches as Portugal went on to claim third place in the competition.
1970 - Gerd Müller - 10 goals
German striker Gerd Müller was a goal scoring machine at Bayern Munich and that was no different with the German national team. Defending West Germany in the Mexico World Cup in 1970 the deadly striker scored 10 goals.
1974 - Grzegorz Lato - 7 goals
Polish winger Grzegorz Lato scored two goals in the 1974 World Cup against Argentina and added two more against Haiti. Lato would finish with 7 goals and later on would be a Polish senator.
1978 - Mario Kempes - 6 goals
Mario Kempes was a striker, but he was also a silky set-up man as well, the Valencia attacker scored 2 goals in the final to lead Argentina to their first ever World Cup.
1982 - Paolo Rossi - 6 goals
Italian target man Paolo Rossi would score 6 goals as the Italian national team won the 1982 World Cup in Spain. Rossi was a Juventus mainstay and scored a hat-trick against Brazil during the tournament.
1986 - Gary Lineker - 6 goals
This is one golden boot few remember, but Gary Lineker did outscore Diego Maradona in the 1986 World Cup with six goals. Still, few remember that stat since the 86 World Cup belonged to Maradona who completely dominated every opponent he faced, including England.
1990 - Salvatore Schillaci - 6 goals
Salvatore Schillaci’s six goals in the 1990 World Cup in Italy were not enough as the host were eliminated by Sergio Goycochea and Argentina in the semifinals. Schillaci was the face of the Italian squad but after the tournament faded from memory as his last match for Italy was in 1991.
1994 - Two players - 6 goals
A tale of two players, Hristo Stoichkov was one of the World Cup’s most dominant players with a surprise Bulgaria side making it to the semifinals. Oleg Salenko was able to score 5 goals in 1 game and an extra goal in the group stage had him ahead of players like Roberto Baggio and Romario well after Russia was eliminated. Stoichkov continued to thrive well after the 94 World Cup playing at Barcelona and later MLS. Salenko faded into obscurity as the years progressed being remembered for one freak game.
1998 - Davor Šuker - 6 goals
Croatian striker Davor Šuker surprised many by winning the golden boot at the 1998 World Cup in France. Croatia would play all the way to the semifinals claiming third place. Šuker had a reputation as a top striker and his talents shined in France.
2002 - Ronaldo - 8 goals
Breaking the magic number of 6 goals was Ronaldo in 2002 with 8. Ronaldo, who had a nightmare 1998 final, came back and led Brazil to their fifth and final World Cup title was every bit the world class striker you expected with a massive game in the final against Germany.
2006 - Miroslav Klose - 5 goals
For a World Cup that had some fantastic goals and great games, Miroslav Klose won the golden boot with a meager 5 goals. Still, they were key goals, 2 against Costa Rica in the opener, a huge two-goal performance against Ecuador, and one key goal against Argentina.
2010 - Four players - 5 goals
South Africa in 2010 was a magnificent tournament with memorable games and performances, none bigger than Diego Forlán who was the best player of the 2010 World Cup. The Uruguayan had to share his golden boot with great company as Thomas Müller, Wesley Sneijder, and David Villa all scored 5 goals.
2014 - James Rodríguez - 6 goals
Colombian midfielder James Rodríguez stole the show in Brazil 2014, putting in big performances against Uruguay and Brazil. The Colombian scored 6 goals and continued his rise in the sport.
2018 - Harry Kane - 6 goals
A decent tournament by England which saw the three lions go to the semifinals, led by Harry Kane the English got 6 goals from their top striker. Kane is hoping for an even bigger performance in 2022.