The only man to have won three World Cups (1958, 1962 and 1970), he’s also Brazil’s all-time top scorer with 77 goals in 92 appearances, but in World Cups he only got six goals in 1958, one in both 1962 and 1966, and four in 1970 to total 12, second to Ronaldo on 15 in terms of all-time most World Cup goals for Brazil. In 1958, when he won best youngster, he finished second to Just Fontaine who scored 13, which unlucky for him was insurmountable as it’s still a record.
Diego Maradona (Argentina)
This 1986 World Cup winner was more about quality than quantity. He’s not even Argentina’s top goalscorer, and is fifth in that list behind Lionel Messi, with just 34 goals in 91 appearances. He’s also second to Gabriel Batistuta in terms of most World Cup goals for Argentina with eight over three tournaments; two in 1982, five in 1986 and one in 1994. In 1986, when he won best player and carried Argentina to glory, he finished second to Lineker in most goals by just one.
Lionel Messi (Argentina)
Is Argentina’s all-time leading scorer with 61 in 123 appearances, but at World Cups he’s only Argentina’s fourth highest scorer with five, one in 2006 and four in 2014 when they reached the final and lost to Germany. He may have won player of the tournament in that event but he was two off the most goals benchmark of six set by Colombia’s James Rodriguez despite the fact the latter played two less games after getting knocked out in the quarters.
Cristiano Ronaldo (Portugal)
Another man who is his country’s all-time top scorer with 79 goals in 147 appearances, but who hasn’t backed it up in World Cups, scoring just one each in 2006, 2010 and 2014. This tally of three makes him only the third all-time highest scorer at World Cups for Portugal – Eusebio leads that honour with nine all scored in 1966. Unlike the rest featured here, he hasn’t come anywhere near challenging for the top scorer or any other award at a World Cup.
Ferenc Puskas (Hungary & Spain)
Considering he played in World Cups for two different sides you’d think he’d have done more damage. He’s Hungary’s all-time top scorer with 84 goals in 85 appearances, but is fifth in all-time most World Cup goals by a Hungarian with four behind Sandor Kocsis on 11, all scored in 1954. Puskas’ four also all came in 1954, so he was well off challenging Kocsis for the boot. He did at least win best player at that event. Also represented Spain in 1962 but never scored.