Love it or loathe it, there's no getting away from it.
And even if the regular-season friendlies and qualifiers aren't your thing, there's no denying the excitement and pressure generated around the world when Europe meets South America, Asia meets Africa, or when two heavyweights from the same continent clash heads in a huge grudge match in a semi-final.
Big summer tournaments, expectant crowds, wild hair-dos and broken hearts - and, occasionally, a new national hero is born.
Some strikers are just natural goal scorers, netting for fun at club and country level no matter who the opposition or what the occasion; others struggle to net regularly - or even play regularly in some cases - for their club teams but find their feet at International level, scoring goal after goal for their country to earn the adoration of the citizens and fans.
But who are the very best of the best, those who scored consistently and often for their countries, in qualifiers and in International tournaments? Who got the hattricks and top goalscorer awards?
To bring up the century in my articles on Bleacher Report, I have painstakingly trawled the full list of FIFA member states and searched out the stats and records of their brightest and best, and now the top 50 goalscoring strikers of the past twenty years can be unveiled.
But this isn't just a high-scoring competition - after all where's the opinion and argument in that?! Though every player in the list - with the exception of one - has scored thirty or more goals at International level, many different criteria were used to decide the final resting places of the best of them all; quality of opposition, goalscoring averages, tournament performance, quality of team-mates even and longevity of scoring record, as well as the numerical total itself. In addition, strikers must have to have scored a large number of their total goals during the 90's and 00's - those who started in the 80's would not be automatically dismissed, as long as they continued their prolific form into the next decade.
So read on, and find out if England's leading marksmen out-perform Spain's or if Africa have more representatives than America; if your favourite club player makes the grade or if they are chillingly axed from the entire list, with league form and reputation no guarantee of so much as beating the offerings from the likes of Zambia or Honduras.