The FIFA World Cup Golden Boot is the highest award for top scorers. And over the years, numerous players have won the award, from Guillermo Stábile to Eusébio, Gerd Müller and Ronaldo Luís Nazário de Lima.
The FIFA World Cup, held once every four years, is always the most challenging competition for every association football player to score double figures except for Just Fontaine, Gerd Müller and Sándor Kocsis. These players hit double figures while representing the French, German and Hungarian Men’s National Teams, respectively.
So who are the FIFA World Cup Golden Boot winners? Which player tops the list with the most Golden Boot awards?
Germany and Brazil have produced the most number of players that have won the FIFA World Cup Golden Boot award. Other countries like Argentina, England and France have also had some winners.
Originally as Golden Shoe, the FIFA World Cup Golden Boot award was first presented in 1982 and was rebranded as the Golden Boot in the 2010 FIFA World Cup in South Africa.
How is the FIFA World Cup Golden Boot awarded, or under what criteria is it awarded? The player with the most goals at the end of the tournament or the top scorer receives the award. However, if two players finish as top scorers, a tie-breaker goes to the player who has played the least amount of time, resulting in a higher goal average.
FIFA World Cup Golden Boot winners list 2022 < 1930
Golden Boot Winners World Cup
- Harry Kane – (6 Goals) – (England, 2018 Russia)
- James Rodríguez – (6 Goals) – (Colombia, 2014 Brazil)
- Thomas Müller – (5 Goals) – (Germany, 2010 South Africa)
- Miroslav Klose – (5 Goals) – (Germany, 2006 Germany)
- Ronaldo Luís Nazário de Lima – (8 Goals) – (Brazil, 2002 South Korea/Japan)
- Davor Šuker – (6 Goals) – (Croatia, 1998 France)
- Oleg Salenko (Russia) and Hristo Stoichkov (Bulgaria) – (6 Goals) – (1994 United States)
- Salvatore Schillaci – (6 Goals) – (Italy, 1990 Italy)
- Gary Lineker – (6 Goals) – (England – 1986 Mexico)
- Paolo Rossi – (6 Goals) – (Italy, 1982 Spain)
- Mario Kempes – (6 Goals) – (Argentina, 1978 Argentina)
- Grzegorz Lato – (7 Goals) – (Poland, 1974 West Germany)
- Gerd Müller – (10 Goals) – (Germany, 1970 Mexico)
- Eusébio – (9 Goals) – (Portugal, 1966 England)
- Flórián Albert (Hungary), Valentin Ivanov (Soviet Russia), Garrincha and Vavá (Brazil), Dražan Jerković (Yugoslavia Croatia), Leonel Sánchez (Chile) – (4 Goals) – (1962 Chile)
- Just Fontaine (13 Goals) – (France, 1958 Sweden)
- Sándor Kocsis (11 Goals) – Hungary, 1954 Switzerland)
- Ademir (8 Goals) – (Brazil, 1950 Brazil)
- Leônidas (7 Goals) – (Brazil, 1938 France)
- Oldřich Nejedlý (5 Goals) – (Czechoslovakia, 1934 Italy)
- Guillermo Stábile (8 Goals) – (Uruguay, 1930 Uruguay)
Notable players who have won the World Cup Golden Boot Award
Eusébio – 9 Goals
Wearing the colours of the Portuguese Men’s National Team in the 1966 England FIFA World Cup, Eusébio netted nine goals which took Portugal to a third-place finish. Most goals were scored in the knockout stages and some through the penalty spot.
Eusébio is regarded as one of the greatest Portuguese soccer players. He scored 733 goals in 745 matches (41 in 64 games for Portugal.
Throughout the 1966 World Cup, Eusébio scored most of the decisive goals, especially in the knockout stages via the penalty spot.
To date, Eusébio remains the only Portuguese footballer to have won the FIFA World Cup Golden Boot award. Portugal remains a hub for big stars performing at the same level as Eusébio.
Eusébio had one of the best career performances when he single handedly took the Portuguese Men’s National Team from the brink of quarter-finals elimination to third place.
Despite trailing 3-0, Portugal, led by Eusébio, came from behind to beat North Korea 5-3, with Eusébio netting four of the five goals in the encounter. Although Portugal lost to host England in a tearful match for Eusébio, Portugal clinched third place.
Eusébio finished the 1966 FIFA World Cup in England as a Golden Boot award winner with nine goals.
Gerd Müller – 10 Goals
Gerd Müller is one of the greatest German soccer players of all time. Müller was the first German to win the World Cup Golden Boot at the 1970 Mexico World Cup with ten goals.
Müller scored twice as Germany lost 4-3 in the semi-finals to Italy. He was a crucial player in the first team, helping the Germans throughout the tournament.
Not just for Germany and Bayern Munich, Gerd Müller is one of the greatest goalscorers in the history of football. Renowned for his clinical finishing, he won the 1974 World Cup with Germany.
Gerd Müller is one of the greatest players in German football history. Müller helped Germany to the FIFA World Cup victory of 1974 and a third-place finish in the 1970 edition in Mexico. He was awarded the World Cup Golden Boot at the end of the tournament.
Müller also won the European Football Championship (the Euro) with Germany in 1972 in Belgium.
Ronaldo Luís Nazário de Lima – 8 Goals
Ronaldo Luís Nazário de Lima is one of the greatest Brazilian soccer players. He was the fifth Brazilian to win the award in the 2002 South Korea/Japan, scoring eight goals.
Ronaldo scored some of the most important goals that led to Brazil’s victory at the finals against Germany. He scored the two goals, which handed Brazil their fifth FIFA World Cup trophy.
Ronaldo is widely considered one of the greatest players of all time. His unique approach to the game following a multi-functional striker role helped him dominate the Brazilian forward position for a while.
Sometimes referred to as “R9” and the “Big Ronaldo” , the Brazilian won two FIFA World Cups representing the Brazilian Men’s National Team (the Seleção Brasileira).
Gary Lineker – 6
Gary Lineker was the first English Footballer to win the World Cup Golden Boot. The English forward scored six goals in the 1986 edition in Mexico.
England was eliminated from the quarter-finals as Gary Lineker’s 80th-minute consolation goal could not save the Three Lions from leaving the competition at an early.
Miroslav Klose – 5 Goals
Miroslav Klose left a mark on the German Men’s National Team throughout his active career with the team. He holds the record for the most goals scored in FIFA World Cup tournaments.
Miroslav scored five goals in the 2006 FIFA World Cup held on home soil, helping Germany to a third-place finish. His 80th-minute goal saved Germany from elimination in the quarter-finals against Argentina, forcing the encounter to extra time.
Klose had over 137 appearances for the Die Mannschaft, scoring 71 times and winning the 2014 FIFA World Cup with the German Men’s National Team.
Miroslav Klose won the FIFA World Cup and Golden Boot in the 2006 World Cup in Germany after scoring five goals. The German also scored four times in the 2010 World Cup and twice at the 2014 World Cup and overtook Ronaldo with 15 goals to emerge the all-time top scorer.
Thomas Müller – 5 Goals
Thomas Müller is one of the few new generations of German soccer players who kept their consistency at the highest level. Müller was part of the German team that won the FIFA World Cup in 2014.
Müller was in fine form as Germany, led by head coach Joachim Löw, led a formidable team to the first-ever tournament held on African soil. He scored five goals that helped Germany to a third-place finish.
Thomas Müller was the joint top scorer along with Diego Forlán, Wesley Sneijder and David Vilith on five goals respectively.
The Bayern Munich Midfielder and forward scored five goals in the 2010 FIFA World Cup in South Africa to win the Golden Boot. Since then, he’s been consistent with his performance across every level of football with the German National Team in UEFA and FIFA organised international football competitions.
Harry Kane – 6 Goals
Harry Kane won the 2018 FIFA World Cup Golden Boot, following his six-goal tally at the end of the tournament. Kane’s goals proved vital for the “Three Lions of England” , who finished fourth at the end of the game.
Harry Kane had risen to become one of the most consistent forwards in the English Premier League. With Tottenham Hotspur, Kane has scored remarkable goals and has won the Premier League Golden Boot.
Kane’s consistency in the National Team and Tottenham Hotspur makes him one of the best forwards in the world. Although trophies had been absent in his cabinet, Kane would always remain one of the best in the world.
Just Fontaine – 13 Goals
Just Fontaine, representing the French Men’s National Team in the 1958 FIFA World Cup in Sweden, Fontaine remains the only player in the history of the World Cup with the highest number of goals in a single tournament at thirteen goals.
Just Fontaine scored 13 goals as the French Men’s National Team finished third at the end of the tournament. In the third-place playoffs against West Germany, Just Fontaine bagged four goals as France ran out against Germany by a 6-3 scoreline.
Guillermo Stábile – 8 Goals
Guillermo Stábile was the first player in the history of the World Cup to be awarded the FIFA World Cup, Golden Boot, and then the Top scorer award. He scored eight goals and helped Argentina to runner- up in an all-South American Final with Uruguay.
The 1930 FIFA World Cup was the first edition of the tournament hosted and won by Uruguay. Guillermo Stábile scored in Argentina’s World Cup final loss to Uruguay.
Countries with the Most Awards
Since 1930, players worldwide have won the Golden Boot award. Argentina’s centre forward was the first to win the trophy after scoring eight goals for the Argentine men’s national team.
Brazilians dominated the first ten Golden Boot trophies along with Hungary. Since then, more European footballers have won the award.
Number of wins: 5
Players: Leônidas (7), Ademir Marques de Menezes (8), Garrincha (4), Vavá (4), Ronaldo (8)
Brazilian forward Leônidas scored seven goals in the 1938 France World Cup in France. Ademir Marques de Menezes scored eight goals after the tournament returned in 1950 in Brazil, making Brazil the first country to win the trophy consecutively.
In the 1962 Chile edition, Garrincha and Vavá were among the sixth joint winners of the Golden Boot with four goals each. Fast forward to 2002, Ronaldo scored eight goals to become the fifth-player to win the trophy.
Brazil is the most successful team in World Cup history, with five titles.
Number of wins: 3
Players: Gerd Müller (10), Miroslav Klose (5), Thomas Müller (5)
From Gerd Müller to Miroslav Klose, Germany has also produced some of the greatest goalscorers in the FIFA World Cup finals.
Gerd Müller was the first German footballer to win the World Cup Golden Boot in the 1970 Mexico edition after scoring ten goals. Miroslav Klose, the leading World Cup top scorer with 15 goals, won the award in 2006 with five goals.
In 2010, Thomas Müller became the third German footballer to win the award. He scored five goals to achieve it.
Number of wins: 2
Players: Sándor Kocsis (11), Flórián Albert (4)
Hungarians were the best in the early years of the FIFA World Cup. Sándor Kocsis won the Golden Boot in 1954 in Switzerland, scoring eleven goals.
Flórián Albert was among the six Golden Shoe winners in the 1962 tournament in Chile.
Number of wins: 2
Players: Paolo Rossi (6), Salvatore Schillaci (6).
Italians also have their fair share of the trophy. Paolo Rossi was the first player to be awarded the Golden Boot after being rebranded to the Golden Shoe in the 1982 World Cup in Spain.
Salvatore Schillaci scored six goals in six goals in 1990 Italy.
Number of wins: 2
Players: Gary Lineker (6), Harry Kane (6).
England is one of the biggest football countries in the world. With just one World Cup Trophy, England remains the unchallenged home of the best players globally.
Gary Lineker was the first Englishman to win the World Cup Golden Boot in the 1986 FIFA World Cup held in Mexico, scoring six goals.
Harry Kane scored six goals as England finished third in the 2018 World Cup in Russia to win the Golden Boot and the second Englishman.
History of the FIFA World Cup Golden Boot
The FIFA World Cup Golden Boot, termed “Adidas Golden Boot”, is the award issued to the tournament’s top scorer and was first awarded in 1982 to the Argentine centre forward Guillermo Stábile, who scored eight goals.
The Golden Boot or Golden Shoe Award is presented to the player with the most goals at the end of every FIFA World Cup. Initially Top scorer and then unto Golden Shoe, its current status as Golden Boot since the 2010 FIFA World Cup in South Africa.
About the World Cup
The FIFA World Cup is the number one football tournament in the world. It is held every four years organized and governed by Federation of International Football Association (FIFA).
France won the last edition held in 2018 in Russia by defeating Croatia in an all European final. Qatar will host the next edition scheduled for November/December 2022.