The FIFA World Cup 2022 is about to kick off in Qatar in a few weeks’ time as the 32 of the best football nations in the world look to fight it out for the most prestigious prize in world football.
With experienced veterans like Lionel Messi, Cristiano Ronaldo, and Harry Kane on display, football fans will be excited to see which team comes out on top on December 18 2022 when the final takes place at the Lusail Stadium.
In the meantime, let’s take a look at the five players with the most World Cup appearances to their name and how they fared in their respective careers.
1. Lothar Matthaus – 25 matches
Matthaus is considered by many ones of the greatest German midfielders of all time. He was an excellent box-to-box midfielder and represented Germany in five different World Cup tournaments. The German legend ended up making 25 appearances in the grandest stage of world football and remains the most experienced player in the competition.
2. Miroslav Klose – 24 matches
Klose remains the all-time leading goal-scorer in World Cup history after scoring 16 times in 24 matches in his career. He won the golden boot in the 2006 FIFA World Cup. His last appearance in the competition came in 2014 when he helped Germany win the World Cup in Brazil.
3. Paolo Maldini – 23 matches
Maldini is regarded by a lot of pundits as one of the best defenders to ever grace the beautiful game. He is an Italian legend who made 23 appearances in various World Cups and holds the record for having played the most minutes in a single World Cup tournament (2216 minutes).
4. Uwe Seeler – 21 matches
Seeler is a former German striker who ended up playing in 21 matches across four different World Cup competitions. He participated in the 1958, 1962, 1966, and 1970 editions of the FIFA World Cup and did not win a single tournament he took part in during his career.
5. Diego Maradona – 21 matches
Maradona is arguably the greatest player of all time. He is known for his outstanding playmaking and goal-scoring ability and managed to secure 21 appearances in World Cup football. The South American legend helped Argentina win the 1986 World Cup and will go down in history as one of the best performers on the biggest stage of world football. He will always be remembered for his memorable goal versus England in the 1984 World Cup which is referred to as the “Hand of God”.
Other experienced World campaigners include names of Wladyslaw Zmuda (21 matches), Cafu (20 matches), Bastian Schweinsteiger (20 matches), Philipp Lahm (20 matches) and Grzegorz Lato (20 matches).