Goals galore in group stage at the World Cup

14:32, Jun 27 2014

The group stages of the 2014 World Cup in Brazil are over and have not been short on action, setting a new goal scoring record.

There were more goals (136) scored in the group stages in Brazil than at any previous World Cup, and at a rate (2.83 per game) not seen since the 1950s, when the tournament was smaller and a few lop-sided results inflated the goals-per-game ratio. 

Not only is this one of the most goal-laden beginnings to a World Cup in almost 60 years, it is in stark contrast to the group stages of the 2010 competition in South Africa, where just 2.1 goals per game were scored - the lowest in the tournament's history. 

The Netherlands, with 10, were the team that fired in the most in the group stages, helped in no small part by their five-goal demolition of defending champions Spain. Thanks largely to the free-scoring Dutch, Group B was the most productive with 22 goals from its six games. 

France and Switzerland also played their part by scoring eight and seven times respectively out of Group E's 19 goals. Group G also tallied 19, with winners Germany bagging seven and other three teams bagging four apiece.  

On an individual level six players have already notched three goals, while Brazilian star Neymar, Germany's Thomas Muller and Argentina's Lionel Messi sit atop the golden boot table with four apiece. 

All but one of these nine players will continue to contest for the golden boot in the knock-out stages. 

At the last two World Cups the Golden Boot was won by players with five-goal totals, although Brazil's Ronaldo took it out with eight in 2002, while the six winners prior to that each found the net six times.