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FIFA World Cup: Who has played the most games

2022 Dec 06, 18:40,
Photo: Pinterest

The FIFA World Cup is the pinnacle of the sport, and it has hosted many of the world's most outstanding footballers. The appearance records at major tournaments are usually aligned with the players and nations who have won the most. Let's take a look at the players who have played the most games in the biggest tournament in World Cup.

Paolo Maldini | 23 match appearances

Paolo Maldini has the most World Cup appearances but has never won the title, having played in four tournaments for Italy and appearing in 23 games. 'The Captain' finished third in his own country at Italia '90 and was a losing finalist at the 1994 event in the United States.

Photo: ANI
Photo: ANI

Miroslav Klose | 24 match appearances

German Miroslav Klose who also tops the all-time scorer's list across the 21 editions of the men's FIFA World Cup held so far (16 goals). Klose holds the record for most FIFA World Cup goals in history, having scored 16 times in 24 appearances across four editions (2002, 2006, 2010 and 2014).

Photo: ANI
Photo: ANI

Lothar Matthaus | 25 match appearances

So it's no surprise that Lothar Matthaus, who lifted the title and featured in two finals, leads the list of most World Cup tournament games played. He appeared in 25 games.

The midfielder is also the most-capped German player of all time with 150 appearances for his nation, 83 of them for West Germany before the country's reunification.

Photo: ANI
Photo: ANI

Lionel Messi | 23* match appearances

Lionel Messi has passed Diego Maradona at the Qatar 2022 event, and Cristiano Ronaldo is likely to follow suit.

Messi could even take the record for most appearances. The Argentina wizard sits on 23 so far, which could become 26 if he plays in all four knockout phase matches his nation would contest if they reach the final or playoff for third/fourth place. 

Photo: ANI
Photo: ANI

Diego Maradona | 21 match appearances

Argentina legend Diego Maradona scored eight goals in 21 FIFA World Cup matches, played across three editions (1982, 1986 and 1994). Five of these came to Mexico in 1986, where Maradona famously helped his nation win World Cup.


FIFA World Cup players biggest tournament Lothar Matthaus Miroslav Klose Paolo Maldini Lionel Messi Diego Maradona
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