Throughout this article, when we talk about Germany, we take into account the fixtures played by Germany and West Germany.
The most successful selection: Brazil five stars
The mere mention of the World Cup transports us to the land of football, sacred land of the Sócrates, Pelé, Ronaldo or Ronaldinho. And that’s pretty normal. Since the creation of the international competition in 1930, the Seleção (five victories in 1958, 1962, 1970, 1994 and 2002) has been the most successful selection ahead of Italy and Germany (four titles). Defeated in the quarter-finals against Croatia (1-1, 4-2 on tab), Brazil will not embroider a sixth star.
Ronaldinho and Ronaldo in the five-star jersey. (FEVRE/The Team)
The selection with the most defeats in the final: Germany, the lying adage
And if the maxim, pronounced by the illustrious Gary Lineker in 1990, “Football is a sport that is played eleven against eleven, and in the end, Germany wins” was truncated? If we look at the statistics, Germany is the nation that has lost the most World Cup finals. The most recent: in 2002, ahead of Brazil, led by the unstoppable Ronaldo, author of a double. the army orange hot on the heels of the German selection. The Netherlands remain the country that has lost the most finals without winning a single one (3 defeats in 1974, 1978, 2010).
Top scorer: Klose alone in the world
July 8, 2014, Belo Horizonte. Brazil, favorite, receives Germany in the semi-finals of its World Cup. In the noise of Mineirao, Miroslav Klose, the German striker, scored the second goal of the match on a service from Thomas Müller, the first scorer of the match. And becomes the top scorer in the history of the World Cup, with sixteen goals, ahead of his illustrious elder Ronaldo (15 goals), and his compatriot Gerd Müller (14 goals). The legend of Reims, Just Fontaine, remains the player who has scored the most goals in a single edition (13 achievements). Good luck getting it.
Miroslav Klose ahead of Dante during the Brazilian sinking in 2014 (7-1). (S. Boué/The Team)
Most capped player: Matthäus waiting for Messi
German midfielder Lothar Matthäus has long chased after the Grail. Unlucky finalist two editions in a row, the first against Italy in 1982 (1-3), the second against Diego Maradona’s Argentina in 1986 (2-3), he took his revenge against … Argentina in 1990 (1-0). Quarter-finalist in 1994 and 1998, the Bavarian has 25 World Cup matches.
Against Croatia in the semi-finals (3-0), Lionel Messi equaled the German legend. The Pulga played his 25th meeting in the competition. Against the Blues on Sunday, Messi could become the most capped player in the World Cup.
Lothar Matthäus, German midfielder. (LANDRAIN ALAIN / CARON PHILIPPE/The Team)
The team with the most defeats: Mexico, dead last
The next co-host of the World Cup – in 2026 – holds an unflattering record: the number of defeats in the final stages of the World Cup. A mark that he took care to aggravate in Doha. Well in place, the Mexicans suffered the wrath of Lionel Messi on the hour mark, conceding their 28th defeat in their history in the competition. In just 17 editions.
The youngest goalscorer: Pelé, him again
There are countless records broken by the Auriverde striker throughout his career. One of the most significant: his goal against Wales (1-0) at only 17 years and 239 days in 1958. The young Pelé then scored the only goal of the quarter-final. During this edition, the Seleção won the first of its five world championship titles. The king scored twice in the final against Sweden (5-2), becoming at the same time the youngest world champion in history.
Pelé under the colors of Brazil. (A. Lecoq/The Team)
The oldest player to play a match: Essam El-Hadary, goalkeeper for eternity
In our ecosystem dictated by youth, Essam El-Hadary looks like old pharaohs. At the World Cup in Russia in 2018, the Egyptian goalkeeper became the oldest player to play in a World Cup match. At 45 years, 5 months and 10 days. He broke Colombian goalkeeper Faryd Mondragon’s record (43 years and 3 days in 2014).
The fastest goal: Hakan Sükür, at full speed
Not even the time to sit down in front of his television, open the box of pizzas and feel the first frights. At the 2002 World Cup in South Korea, Hakan Sükür, the Turkish striker, scored the fastest goal in competitive history. After… ten seconds and eight tenths, against South Korea for third place. He thus succeeded the Czechoslovakian Vaclav Masek, scorer after fifteen seconds of play against Mexico at the 1962 World Cup in Chile. An eternity for Sükür.