Only two players have scored more than six times before turning 24 in the quadrennial event.

World Cups occur only every four years. And each player has the opportunity to lead their country to immortality by scoring numerous goals. Although it isn’t rare for a world-class player to score a goal, scoring in World Cups must be a great sensation.

Many top players remained top-scorers in the tournament, from Pele to Ronaldo and now Miroslav Klose, with 16 goals total. We’ve also seen numerous young stars make their names and compete. We identify players who scored the most goals before the age of 24 in the World Cup.

James Rodriguez – 6 goals

Rodriguez made his senior squad debut for his country in 2011 and made such an impression that he was named man of the match. He has been a part of many grateful occasions for Colombia since then. He made his World Cup debut in 2014, scoring four goals and establishing himself as an outstanding young talent, finishing as the tournament’s top scorer.

Columbia advanced further in the 2018 World Cup but lost on penalties to England in the quarter-finals. James played in only a few games due to a calf injury but contributed two assists. He has appeared in 89 games for Colombia, scoring 25 goals.

Mario Kempes – 6 goals

Mario Kempes, the Argentine great, had the world at his feet. He was a proficient player for Argentina, carrying his country to World Cup victory in 1978 with two goals in the final. Kempes ended the tournament as the contest’s leading scorer and also won the golden ball for player of the tournament, making him one of just three players to have won all three honours at the same World Cup. He was selected South American football player of the year in 1978. Before retiring in 1990, he played 43 times for the national team and scored 20 goals.

Pele – 7 goals

Brazil’s best player of all time, he stunned the world with his brilliance in the 1958 World Cup final, scoring twice to lead the team to its first-ever victory. He is the only player in history to have won three World Cups, in 1958, 1962, and 1970. Pele is also Brazil’s leading scorer, with 77 goals in 92 appearances. He is one of just seven players in World Cup history to have scored seven goals before the age of 24.

Kylian Mbappe – 9 goals

His explosive growth saw him make his international debut at the age of 17. By 18, he had become the youngest player for France to score at the 2018 FIFA World Cup, as France reached the final, and Mbappe was on target in the match, making him the second teenager to score in the World Cup final after Pele.

He concluded the tournament as France’s joint second-highest goalscorer and was voted FIFA World Cup Best Young Player and French Player of the Year for his efforts. Mbappe has already scored five goals in the FIFA World Cup 2022.

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**This article was last updated on 4 December, 2022.