WORLD CUP 2022
Who are the players with the most appearances at World Cups?
Two legendary German players head the two spots on the all-time list. Joining them at the summit are multiple World Cup champions and finalists.
The World Cup, as the quadrennial football tournament, has always been a pinnacle sports event that has attracted the best players at that given moment.
Excellence is usually estimated in invariably high results over a long period, and the participation records for main tournaments are often aligned with the players and nations who have won the most.
Lothar Matthäus - 25 matches
Therefore, it is no surprise to see Germany’s most capped player of all time, the Longevity King, Lothar Matthäus, heading the list with 25 appearances throughout his career. His World Cup history spanned from the competition held in Spain in 1982 until his last surprising appearance (as a last-minute replacement for the injured sweeper Matthias Sammer) in France in 1998.
He captained his national team to World Cup victory in 1990 and led the team’s scorers table. He was the first German captain to raise the FIFA trophy after Franz Beckenbauer in 1974, who at that moment was the coach of the German team. After that World Cup victory, he was rewarded with the Ballon d’Or. In 1991, he was named the first FIFA World Player of the Year and is the only German to have received the award.
Joined by Antonio Carbajal and Rafael Márquez of Mexico, Matthäus is one of only three players in history to have appeared at five World Cup tournaments, a particular club with Lionel Messi knocking on the door, as the Qatar World Cup will also be the fifth of his career.
Miroslav Klose - 24 matches
Miroslav Klose made his World Cup debut at the 2002 finals in Japan and South Korea on a high note, scoring a hat-trick, only the second in World Cup history with three headers, in Germany’s assertive 8-0 win over Saudi Arabia.
Klose still holds the record for most FIFA World Cup goals, having scored 16 times in 24 appearances across four editions (2002, 2006, 2010, and 2014). He was 36 years old during his last World Cup in Brazil in 2014, scoring twice in that tournament and helping his nation win the trophy.
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