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These players scored a record number of goals at the Summer Games.
With the 2021 Tokyo Olympic Games set to begin in less than a week from now, all eyes have turned to Tokyo. Despite being held a year after their set date, the Olympics will include all 28 sports. Among the sports included in the summer edition, football has always been one of the most popular events.
Although the Olympic squads are primarily occupied by U-23 players, the importance and history behind Olympic football is what attracts global attention. Keeping that legacy in mind, Khel Now takes a look at the top five highest goalscorers in football at the Olympics:
5. Gottfried Fuchs (Germany) – 10 goals
Gottfried Fuchs made just two Olympic appearances for Germany. But, it was enough to put him in the list of the highest goalscorers in football in Olympics history. He scored 10 goals at the 1912 Summer Olympics. All of his goals came in the 16-0 thrashing of Russia in the intermediate stage.
Considered as one of the most prolific strikers of the 1910s, he started in Germany’s opener against Hungary in the tournament. Fuchs went without scoring in the 3-1 defeat, but made up for it in his next match. He, however, played no part in the latter stage. Ultimately, Germany’s campaign was cut short by Austria, who beat them 5-1.
Fuchs’ international career mirrored his Olympic stats, as he finished with 14 international goals in just six appearances.
4. Domingo Tarasconi (Argentina) – 11 goals
Domingo Tarasconi finished as the top scorer of the 1928 Summer Olympics, where he scored 11 goals. All of his five Olympic appearances came in the same tournament, as Argentina won the silver medal. The Boca Junior centre-forward scored three hat-tricks, including a couple of tap-ins against the US and Egypt.
Like Tarasconi’s statistics, Argentina’s campaign until the final was sound. The Albiceleste drew 1-1 against Uruguay and then lost 2-1 in the rematch of the final. Despite being the best-performing side in the whole tournament, Argentina had to stay content with a silver medal. Tarasconi failed to find the net in the final as well as in the rematch.
In addition to his excellent Olympic performances, Tarasconi’s international career was decorated with three Copa America titles. He still remains the 13th highest scorer in Argentine history, with 18 goals in 24 appearances.
3. Ferenc Bene (Hungary) – 12 goals
Five goals in 12 appearances – Ferenc Bene’s Olympic performance is impeccable in many ways. On the back of the Ujpesti Dozsa striker’s bounteous campaign, Hungary clinched gold at the 1964 Olympic Games. All of Bene’s Olympic appearances came in this winning campaign, where he scored in all games except one against Romania.
Bene scored all six goals in Hungary’s 6-0 win against Morocco in the tournament opener. The striker followed it up with a four-goal haul against Egypt in the semi-finals, as Hungary scored six goals in a game again. In a 2-1 finale thriller in Tokyo, he scored the winning goal against Czechoslovakia.
With Bene’s goal, Hungary clinched a second Olympic gold medal in football. Prior to the 1964 gold, the side had emerged victorious at the 1952 Summer Olympic Games.
2. Antal Dunai (Hungary) – 13 goals
Antal Dunai was Hungary’s star in the 1968 Olympic win, carrying Ferenc Bene’s baton. Appearing at the 1968 and 1972 Olympic Games, Dunai ended up with a gold and silver medal.
Six of Dunai’s 13 Olympic goals for the Magyaroks came in the winning campaign, including a brace in the final. Against rivals Bulgaria, he inspired a 4-1 victory to secure Hungary’s last gold medal of the dominant era. Prior to the finale, he scored against Israel, Ghana, and El Salvador in the group fixtures. He is level with Sophus Nielsen in the list of the highest goalscorers in football in Olympics history, but finds himself in second, courtesy of having played more games.
At the 1972 Olympic Games, Dunai picked up from where he had left and scored a hat-trick against Iran. However, Hungary succumbed to a 2-1 defeat against Poland in the final, missing the opportunity to win three consecutive Olympic gold medals.
1. Sophus Nielsen (Denmark) – 13 goals
Considered one of Denmark’s finest players to-date, Sophus Nielsen scored 13 Olympic goals in just six appearances. He still leads the list of the highest goalscorers in football at the Olympics. The striker became the first player in football history to score 10 goals in a single match at the event. That feat came at the 1908 Olympic Games, where Nielsen scored 10 in a 17-1 thrashing of France A.
11 of Nielsen’s 13 goals came in 1908, in three appearances. Despite an amazing road to the final, the Danish national team fell to a 2-0 defeat against Great Britain in the gold medal match. However, the Danes repeated a similar feat four years later.
Nielsen appeared in the 1912 silver-winning campaign as well, scoring two goals in three games. His record of scoring 10 goals in a single game was matched by Gottfried Fuchs at the 1912 Olympic Games itself.