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Top 10 Scorers in Latin America in Soccer World Cups

Top 10 Scorers in Latin America in Soccer World Cups

Posted by Miguel Ernesto on April 12, 2018

Since the Frenchman Lucien Laurent perforated the net defended by a Mexican goalkeeper, in the 19th minute of the opening game, on July 13, 1930, until today, more than 1200 players have scored at least one goal in a World Cup. The number of entries in the 20 editions of this tournament is more than 2300 and among the top scorers in history there are several Latin American players.

PanamericanWorld proposes to approach the 10 players of our region who have scored the most goals in the World Cups. In this list, we find the two best players of the twentieth century, the Brazilian Pelé and the Argentine Diego Armando Maradona, as well as figures who were leaders in their national teams, such as Ronaldo, Batistuta and Cubillas.


The Brazilian Ronaldo is the second highest scorer in the history of the World Cups, with 15 goals, only surpassed by the German Miroslav Klose, who scored 16. The "phenomenon" debuted being 17 years old, in 1994’s event, in U.S; but coach Carlos Alberto Parreira did not even place him on the court for a minute. Four years later, Ronaldo was already considered one of the best strikers in the world and in France, he showed his goal-scoring instinct by drilling the net four times. His most important score of that version was against Holland, in the semifinal; although little could he do against the locals, in the game for the title. In 2002, Ronaldo lived his best World Cup, as he was the leading scorer of Korea-Japan, with eight goals, including the last three of the Brazilian team: first against Turkey, in the semifinal and then twice against Germany, in the fight for the crown. In 2006, the Brazilian added three more goals to his record and, in this way, overcame Gerd Gerd "the Torpedo" Müller who was, until then, the man with the most goals in World Cups. In 2014, Klose reached 16 points and left the South American in second place.


Another Brazilian, King Pelé, appears in the fifth seat of the list of top scorers, since in his four World Cups (14 games) he scored 12 goals. In his debut, in Sweden 1958, the great striker, considered the best player of the 20th century, scored six times, two of them in the duel for the title, against the locals. Later, in Chile 1962, the star of the national team scored against Mexico, in the debut; but then he suffered an injury in the second match of the knockout round and couldn’t contribute more for his team, which won the Cup. In 1966, in England, Pelé only managed one goal and Brazil was eliminated in the first phase. The World Cup farewell to the King was huge, since in Mexico 1970 he reached his third crown and scored four times, including the goal that opened the scoring, in the final against Italy.

Gabriel Omar Batistuta

"BatiGol" participated in three World Cups, in which he scored 10 goals, for which he is tied for eighth place in the list, with the Germans Helmut Rahn and Thomas Müller, the Peruvian Teófilo Cubillas, the Englishman Gary Lineker and the Polish Grzegorz Lato. The Argentine debuted in the 1994 edition and the start was spectacular: a hat trick against Greece; then, in the second round, scored a penalty against Romania, although the Argentinian team lost that game and was eliminated. In 1998, in France, the striker was the great figure of the team, as he scored the victory goal against Japan and, in the qualifying phase final challenge, added his second hat trick, this one against Jamaica. In eighth-finals, in a complicated match against England, he opened the scoreboard with a penalty. In his World Cup farewell, in Korea-Japan 2002, "BatiGol" achieved a goal against Nigeria; but he surely didn’t keep a pleasant memory of that event, since Argentina didn’t pass the initial phase.


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Teófilo Cubillas

 Cubillas has been the great Peruvian scorer in the World Cups, with 10 goals. In Mexico 1970 he achieved five scores and his contribution was essential for Peru to advance to the second phase (his goal against Bulgaria was decisive and the double against Morocco as well); then, in the quarterfinals, he scored goals against Brazil, although this was not enough to beat that formidable team. In 1978, in Peru’s return to the Cups, Cubillas scored five goals, including a hat trick against Iran.


This Brazilian managed nine goals, in his three appearances in World Cups. At the event in England, he got nothing, but four years later, in Mexico 1970, he was the most offensive figure of one of the teams with the biggest attack in the history of the event. Jairzinho scored seven goals, including three at decisive moments: in the quarterfinals against Peru, in the semifinal against Uruguay and in the final, versus Italy. In Germany 1974, he scored twice that amount (against Zaire and Argentina).


Another Brazilian who knew how to handle the ball very well was Vavá, who also scored nine goals, although in only two World Cups. In Sweden 1958, he scored five times and his figure was felt in the semi-final, against France, as he opened the scoring, in minute 2; then, in the final, he did the same against the locals, to whom he scored two goals. In the 1962 event, Vavá appeared again when it was most necessary: ​​he scored the decisive goal against Chile, in the semifinal and added another goal, against Czechoslovakia, in the game for the crown.

Guillermo Stábile

The Argentine Guillermo Stábile only played in one Cup, in the opening version of 1930, and had such a good tournament that his name was inscribed in the top scorers list, since he scored nine goals: a hat trick against Mexico, two goals in the semifinal against the United States and another one in the final against Uruguay.

Leónidas - Ademir

These two Brazilians scored nine goals, although in the case of Ademir he did it in only one World Cup. Leonidas was the leading scorer in the 1938 edition, with eight goals, including two in the match for the third place discussion, against Sweden; while, Ademir shone before his fans, because he achieved two consecutive hat tricks in the final phase of 1950’s World Cup, against Sweden and Spain. Nevertheless, he couldn’t perforate the net in the decisive game, versus Uruguay.

Oscar Míguez

This Uruguayan scored eight goals in two World Cups. In 1950, he scored five times and was proclaimed champion with the national team and then, in 1954, he achieved three more goals, although his team was left without medals, losing the game for the third place against Austria..


This Brazilian played two consecutive world finals and his passes and shots to the goal-gate were key to the "Canarinha’s" triumph over Germany, in the Korea-Japan event. In 1998, Rivaldo scored three goals (two of them decisive, against Denmark, in the quarterfinals) and in 2002, he scored five times.

Diego Armando Maradona

The legendary 10 of the Argentinian team played in four World Cups and scored eight goals: he didn’t have much impact in 1982, where he only achieved two goals. In 1986, he was spectacular and his five entries in that event will be forever remembered. He received all kinds of punches in 1990, but he was able to push Argentina to a new final and he said goodbye to the Cups in the worst possible way, when he tested positive in an anti-doping control in the United States in 1994.

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