History suggests that putting money on Germany to score handsomely at a World Cup seems like a safe bet. With 226 goals in the competition, they are the second-highest scorers in tournament history, just three behind Brazil. Miroslav Klose is famously the tournament’s highest scorer with 16 goals, but his former World Cup-winning teammate Thomas Müller has contributed plenty of his own.
The two-time Champions League winner with Bayern Munich has scored 10 goals in 16 World Cup appearances, averaging a goal every 1.6 games. Of all players going to Qatar, he boasts the best goal-per-game ratio of those to have played at least 10 games in the tournament. He is tied for the eighth most goals in World Cup history, and is the fourth-highest German scorer in the competition behind Klose, Gerd Müller (13), and Jürgen Klinsmann (11).
Bayern teammate Jamal Musiala will provide competition for his starting role, but Germany manager Hansi Flick will certainly give Müller plenty of opportunity to increase his goal tally. Müller has scored two goals in his last five starts for his country, notching against Italy and the Netherlands earlier this year.
South America boasts two players with the closest goal-per-game ratio to Müller. Brazilian Neymar, who set the 2014 World Cup alight at just 22, averages a goal every 1.67 games, with six in his 10 games. In what will likely be his World Cup swan song, Luis Suárez of Uruguay will look to improve on his tally of seven goals in 13 games, a goal every 1.86 games on average.
Averaging a goal every two games, Belgium’s Romelu Lukaku and Croatia’s Ivan Perišić have been prolific at the tournament, each scoring five goals in their 10 appearances. This puts their World Cup scoring average above Cristiano Ronaldo, Eden Hazard, Edinson Cavani, Antoine Griezmann and Lionel Messi.
Matt Hearn | GWFN