German soccer player Miroslav Klose holds the record for career World Cup goals scored, a total of 16.
Miroslav Klose is the all-time top scorer for the German national football team, with 71 goals in 137 games between 2001 and 2014. He is also the top scorer in the history of the FIFA World Cup, with 16 goals in 24 appearances across four editions from 2002 to 2014. In the 13 years Klose played for the national team, Germany never lost a game in which he scored.
Klose scored on his debut for Germany, a 2–1 win over Albania on 24 March 2001 during the 2002 FIFA World Cup qualification. On 13 February 2002, h scored his first international hat-trick in a 7–1 win over Israel at his then club ground, the Fritz-Walter-Stadion in Kaiserslautern; another treble followed this on 18 May in a 6–2 win against Austria. At his first tournament finals, the 2002 FIFA World Cup in South Korea and Japan, Klose scored five goals to become the tournament's joint-second top scorer, alongside Brazil's Rivaldo and behind Ronaldo. All of his goals came in the group stage, starting with a headed hat-trick in an 8–0 win against Saudi Arabia at the Sapporo Dome.
Klose netted two goals in the opening game of the 2006 FIFA World Cup, a 4–2 win against Costa Rica, and scored another brace in Germany's final group stage match, a 3–0 win against Ecuador. He finished his second World Cup again with five goals to take the FIFA World Cup Golden Shoe. On 10 September 2008, during the 2010 FIFA World Cup qualification, he scored the last of his four international hat-tricks, earning a 3–3 draw away to Finland. He scored four goals at the finals in South Africa, including two in a 4–0 quarter-final win over Argentina on his 100th cap. On 6 June 2014, Klose scored his 69th goal in 132 games in a 6–1 friendly win over Armenia in Mainz, surpassing Gerd Müller's record of 68 goals in 62 games from 1966 to 1974. Klose added two more goals in Germany's victory at the 2014 FIFA World Cup to retire with a record of 71 goals in 137 games. His final goal came in their 7–1 semi-final victory over hosts Brazil, taking him to 16 World Cup goals and surpassing Ronaldo as the tournament's record goalscorer.
In addition to his 16 goals in the World Cup finals, Klose scored another 13 in qualification games, as well as three goals in UEFA European Championship finals and 16 in that tournament's qualification matches. The remainder of his goals, 23, were scored in friendly matches. He scored six times against Austria, his highest tally against one country, and also totaled five goals against Azerbaijan and Sweden.