The World Cup’s top serial goalscorers

The Rio Report

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Russian forward Oleg Salenko

They are the select band whose one-match goal splurges have etched their names into World Cup history - those players to have scored at least four in a game.

OLEG SALENKO (Russia) - 5 goals

First round: 28/06/1994 (Stanford) - Russia 6-1 Cameroon

(Goals on 15, 41, 44 pen, 72 and 75 minutes)

Oleg Salenko remains unique in the history of the World Cup - the Russian striker is the only man to have ever scored five times in one match. Even more impressive is the fact that his exploits against Cameroon were crammed into just one hour of exemplary finishing, 60 minutes of scintillating football. Salenko, who made his name at Zenit Leningrad, ended the tournament in the US as joint top scorer, along with Bulgaria's Hristo Stoichkov, with six goals to their names, but it is his recors-breaking feat at Stanford Stadium that he will most be remembered for.

ERNEST WILIMOWSKI (Poland) - 4 goals

Last 16: 05/06/1938 (Strasbourg) - Brazil 6-5 Poland (a.e.t.)

(20 pen, 59, 89, 118)

Wilimowski was, and will remain, the first player to score four times in a single World Cup encounter after the Polish centre-forward lit up the Stade de la Meinau with his never-seen-before haul. His salvo wasn't just against any old team either - Brazil finished the tournament third - and all of his goals came from open play. Incredibly, despite his efforts, Wilimowski finished on the losing side, largely thanks to the feats of Brazil's own goal ace Leonidas, who managed just three on the day.

ADEMIR (Brazil) - 4 goals

Final group round: 09/07/1950 (Rio de Janeiro) Brazil 7-1 Sweden

(17, 37, 51, 59)

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Brazilian forward Ademir (C)

It took Ademir, the legendary Brazil striker, just over 40 minutes to bag four goals in the Selecao's romp over Sweden at the Maracana. Sadly for Ademir and the host nation, he was not able to save one or two for their final match, a 2-1 defeat to Uruguay that saw their South American rivals clinch the title. The Vasco da Gama striker would nevertheless walk away from the tournament with a trophy - the Golden Boot, after he netted a total of eight - although that might not have been enough of a consolation for the player himself, or his country as a whole.

SANDOR KOCSIS (Hungary) - 4 goals

First round: 20/06/1954 (Geneva) - Hungary 8-3 West Germany

(4, 21, 69, 79)

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Hungarian forward Sandor Kocsis

Sandor Kocsis' eyes must have lit up when he saw the German team-sheet for the group stage match and realised that his Mighty Magyars were facing a second string, reserve German side sent out by coach Sepp Herberger. The Honved striker promptly filled his boots, grabbing his first as early as the fourth minute to get up and running towards his final tally of four. He went on to finish the tournament with 11 goals - including two hat-tricks - but his return in that first game against West Germany will not have made up for the heartbreak of defeat in the final - to the same opposition, albeit with a full-strength line-up.

JUST FONTAINE (France) - 4 goals

Third-place play-off: 28/06/1958 (Gothenburg) - France 6-3 West Germany

(16, 36, 78, 89)

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France striker Just Fontaine

The only man to score more than Kocsis in a single edition of a World Cup is Just Fontaine and the France forward surpassed 11 goals four years after the mark was set by the Hungarian. Of his final tally of 12, four came against West Germany in Les Bleus' last game of the tournament, the third-place play-off. The goal that took him beyond Kocsis, and into this elite list, did not come until the 89th minute, but it could have arrived earlier, had he not allowed team-mate Raymond Kopa to place the ball on the penalty spot when given the chance in the 27th minute.

EUSEBIO (Portugal) - 4 goals

Quarter-final: 23/07/1966 (Liverpool) Portugal 5-3 North Korea

(27, 42, 57, 59 pen)

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Portuguese forward Eusebio

Scoring four times in 32 minutes on any football pitch, in any situation, is a feat to be marvelled at, but when a player scores four times on a stage as huge as the World Cup, with his team 0-3 down, is truly a remarkable achievement. Yet, in one of the all-time greatest individual performances, that was exactly what Eusebio managed to do, steering his side to victory at Goodison Park while at the same time propelling himself to greatness.

EMILIO BUTRAGUENO (Spain) - 4 goals

Last 16: 18/06/1986 (Queretaro) Spain 5-1 Denmark

(43, 56, 80, 88)

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Spanish forward Emilio Butragueno

To this day, Emilio Butragueno must regret not having stepped up to take a 68th-minute penalty in Spain's demolition of Denmark in Mexico. As it was, the task was performed, admirably, by his team-mate Andoni Goikoetxea, putting Spain 3-1 up. But had Butragueno taken it, and scored, he would have finished the game as the man ever to score five in one match, eight years before that landmark was eventually reached by Salenko.

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