Tuesday 05 April 2022, 11:00

Records under threat at Qatar 2022

  • Lionel Messi could break the competition’s appearance record at Qatar 2022

  • Brazil and Germany are both out to set a new benchmark for matches played

  • Cristiano Ronaldo out to become first player to score at five World Cups

The FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022™ will provide several players and national teams with an opportunity to set new tournament records.

We look at ten landmark tournament statistics, several of which could be rewritten this November and December.


No team has received as many World Cup yellow cards as Argentina (123) or reds as Brazil (11) since cards were introduced at the tournament. Third on the sending-off list with nine, Uruguay will hope to avoid reaching double figures in Qatar.


Brazil and Germany have both played a tournament-high 109 matches at the FIFA World Cup™, a record one of them could take outright at Qatar 2022. Argentina will move above Italy and into third place in this particular list when they play Poland in their final Group C match, their 84th at world finals. If they win all three of their group games, La Albiceleste will take their tally of World Cup wins to 46, moving them one ahead of the Italians and into third place behind Brazil on 73 and Germany on 67.

 Bernard of Brazil challenges Sami Khedira of Germany


England will play their 70th World Cup match when they kick off their campaign against IR Iran, putting them fifth on the list. Netherlands will move past Sweden and into the top ten when they take on Ecuador, their 51st game at the world finals.


Mexico have lost a tournament-record 27 matches at the world finals and have played more games (57) than any other among all the countries that have yet to win the competition. El Tri are also two goals away from conceding 100 in the tournament, the third-highest number behind Germany on 125 and Brazil on 105.

 Guillermo Ochoa of Mexico reacts to Pepe of Portugal scoirng his sides first goal


Only 11 players have played 20 matches or more at the world finals. Like Messi, who is one away from reaching that mark, Ronaldo can join this select group at Qatar 2022 if he makes three appearances with Portugal.


Two more appearances will put Lionel Messi level with Diego Maradona’s Argentinian record of 21 at World Cup finals. If Messi and Argentina reach the Final at Qatar 2022 and he plays in all seven matches, he will join Lothar Matthaus on a tournament-record 26 appearances.


Didier Deschamps has coached France in 12 world finals matches, more than any other coach among the 29 that have already qualified for Qatar 2022. One more win will give him ten overall, a figure only six other coaches have achieved in the history of the tournament: Helmut Schon, Luiz Felipe Scolari, Mario Zagallo, Joachim Low, Carlos Alberto Parreira and Oscar Tabarez.

Didier Deschamps, Manager of France celebrates with the World Cup trophy


Eight of the coaches of the 29 teams that have qualified for Qatar 2022 so far are not nationals of the countries they represent. At the 21 previous World Cups, the winners were all coached by someone of the same nationality as the team.


Cristiano Ronaldo has scored goals at four separate World Cups, a feat also achieved by Pele, Uwe Seeler and Miroslav Klose. If the Portuguese star scores in Qatar, he will be out on his own as the only player to score at five.


At the last three tournaments, the defending champions have gone out in the group phase: Italy at South Africa 2010, Spain at Brazil 2014, and Germany at Russia 2018.