Until Tuesday, German legend Lothar Matthaus was the most capped World Cup player in history. Now, he will share that honor with Lionel Messi, who he can beat if Argentina reach the final.
Matthaus’ record of 25 games played on the biggest stage has stood unchallenged since 1998, but Lionel Messi could be on the verge of greater history.
Messi’s World Cup journey began, curiously, in Germany 2006, where the Albiceleste were knocked out by the hosts. Now in his fifth World Cup, he is hoping for a second final and a chance to go all the way.
With four goals, two assists and three MVP awards so far, this is Messi’s best World Cup yet.
Putting Messi to one side, the other top players at the World Cup are Matthaus (25 caps), Miroslav Klose (24) and Paolo Maldini (23). It took Klose and Maldini just four innings to amass those numbers.
Matthaus made his appearances from 1982 to 1998, lifting the trophy in 1990. But surprisingly, he is not the player with the most minutes in World Cup history, with that honor going to Maldini.