Lionel Messi surprisingly doesn’t top the list yet.

Argentina is home to several renowned football players who have wowed us with their abilities and status in the game. They have led their country to unprecedented glory, having won two FIFA World Cups. The players we have seen have left their stamp on the blue and white stripes, and we will continue to see such budding superstars.

Yesterday, we witnessed another Lionel Messi masterpiece as he led the club to the quarter-finals of the FIFA World Cup 2022, becoming Argentina’s second-best-scorer in FIFA World Cup, and with this, we take a look at Argentina’s top 10 goalscorers in FIFA World Cup.

Rene Houseman – 4 goals

Houseman was one of the best Argentine wingers of all time, and he was famed for his character and outstanding dribbling ability, speed, and mischief on the field. He was also among Argentina’s greatest scorers, scoring three goals in the 1974 World Cup despite Argentina failing to win it.

Although, in the next World Cup, Houseman played a key part alongside Diego Maradona as Argentina won their first big event medal. He appeared in 55 games and scored 13 goals for the national team.

Hernan Crespo – 4 goals

Legendary Argentina made his debut in 1955 and made an immense contribution to the national team. He made his World Cup debut in 1998, but couldn’t score a goal. Crespo’s transformation into a complete striker saw him topping the goal-scoring charts with four goals in his World Cup career.

After legendary Batistuta’s retirement, Crespo took over the number nine and led the nation from the front. He appeared in 64 matches for the nation registering 35 goals.  

Claudia Caniggia – 4 goals

Caniggia’s goals in the 1990 World Cup semi-finals helped Argentina reach the final, and his winning goal against Brazil in the same event cemented his legendary reputation among Argentina players. He was a big game player who always stepped up to the plate, propelling the country to the 1990 World Cup final against Germany. Despite the fact that Caniggia was suspended, Argentina fell 1-0 to Germany. He would play in two more World Cups before retiring, having made 50 appearances for them.

Daniel Bertoni – 4 goals

Bertoni appeared in 31 games for Argentina and was a member of the side that won the 1978 FIFA World Cup. His breakthrough came in 1978 when he inspired Argentina to a 3-1 victory over the Netherlands. Bertoni played in three World Cups and scored four goals. He left the national team with 12 goals.

Gonzalo Higuain – 5 goals

Higuain, a Real Madrid player, made his international debut in 2009 and has played in three World Cups. He has been heavily pilloried for missing numerous vital chances for Argentina in decisive matches, whether Copa America or World Cup.

One of his most notable misses occurred against Germany in the 2014 World Cup final. Regardless, he is one of Argentina’s highest scorers in the FIFA World Cup. Higuain has made 75 appearances for Argentina and scored 31 goals.

Mario Kempes – 6 goals

Mario Kempes was a productive footballer who took centre stage in the 1978 World Cup, scoring twice in the final and winning the tournament’s golden boot. Kempes scored six goals and gained the golden boy award for his performance in the 1978 World Cup, making him one of just three players to have won all of the accolades in a competition, along with Garrincha in 1962 and Paolo Rossi in 1982. Kempes contested in three World Cups and competed in 43 matches for the country, scoring 20 goals.

Guillermo Stabile – 8 goals

Stabile made his national team debut at 25 and played in the inaugural 1930 World Cup in Uruguay. Although he was unable to play in their first encounter, Stabile played in the second, which Argentina won 6-3, with Guillermo earning a hat-trick on his World Cup debut. Stabil scored three more goals in the final group encounter and semi-final to lead La Albiceleste to their first World Cup final.

However, Argentina lost the final 4-2 to Uruguay. Still, Stabile received the golden boot trophy for scoring eight goals in the tournament, becoming him Argentina’s fourth-highest goal-scorer in World Cup history.

Diego Maradona – 8 goals

Maradona, the greatest footballer of all time, facilitated Argentina to their first-ever World Cup victory in 1986. He was awarded the Golden Ball for his best performance in the tournament, and was granted two awards in that competition: first, scoring with his hands which was named “God’s hand” and second, gliding across the pitch and beating five England defenders and scoring one of the best goals in World Cup history, his goal was voted “Goal of the Century” by voters in 2002. Diego Maradona was Argentina’s second-highest scorer until Lionel Messi eclipsed him. The Argentine made 91 caps and 34 goals. 

Gabriel Batistuta – 10 goals

Lionel Messi eclipsed Batistuta as Argentina’s all-time best goal-scorer with 54 goals in 77 matches across all competitions. Considering the fact that the former Roma player is La Albiceleste’s second top scorer in the FIFA World Cup. Batistuta has played in three World Cups and is the joint-eighth highest FIFA World Cup scorer. He is the first player in World Cup history to have two hat-tricks in different World Cups.

Lionel Messi – 11 goals

Another blessing of all time: Messi is Argentina’s all-time top-scorer with 95 goals and the most outings 169 across all competitions. He is also Argentina’s youngest player to score at the World Cup in 2006. The 35-year-old has performed in five World Cups and came close to laying his hands on the trophy in 2014 when Argentina succumbed to Germany 1-0 in the final.

Lionel Messi is now Argentina’s leading scorer in the FIFA World Cup. The 2022 World Cup is the former Barcelona man’s final chance to win football’s most prestigious title before retiring from the national squad.

*Last updated on 13 December 2022

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