For many players, having the opportunity to play in a World Cup is the ultimate dream.
Since they only appear once every four years, it means that a player needs to be at the peak of their powers for almost a decade if they want to participate in multiple editions of the tournament.
However, there are a select few who have managed to defy the odds and play in four or more World Cups, including Lionel Messi.
sports news looks at the players who have played in the most World Cups, and which players will join a select few in the 2022 final in Qatar.
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Who played in the most World Cups?
Four players have appeared on five different World Cup teams, three of which have played in all five tournaments.
The legendary German midfielder Lothar Matthaus He played in World Cups from 1982 to 1998, which included winning the 1990 edition.
from Mexico Raphael Marquez Y Antonio Carbajal He also played in five successive World Cups, albeit many years apart.
italian goalkeeper Gianluigi Buffon he has also been to five tournaments, although he has only played in four of them, not playing in 1998.
Players who have appeared in five World Cups
|Player||Country||team up||played in||tournaments|
|Antonio Carbajal||Mexico||5||5||1950, 1954, 1958, 1962, 1966|
|Raphael Marquez||Mexico||5||5||2002, 2006, 2010, 2014, 2018|
|Lothar Matthaus||Germany||5||5||1982, 1986, 1990, 1994, 1998|
|Gianluigi Buffon||Italy||5||4||1998, 2002, 2006, 2010, 2014|
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How many World Cups has Lionel Messi played?
Lionel Messi has played in four World Cups for Argentina, beginning with the first in 2006 as a 19-year-old, where he became the youngest Argentine to play and score in the tournament.
He also led his country to the 2014 World Cup final in Brazil, where they lost 1-0 after extra time to Germany in heartbreaking fashion. Messi was named player of the tournament despite Mario Gotze’s goal denying them the trophy.
The 2022 World Cup will see Messi join the small group of players who have played in five World Cups.
With many believing that Argentina will win the final in Qatar, many see it as Messi’s best and last chance to win football’s top prize.
Lionel Messi’s World Cup record
|Edition||games played||goals scored||removed stage|
|2018||4||1||round of 16|
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Argentine records held by Messi
Messi holds the records for the Argentine player with the most caps, as well as being the top scorer in the nation’s history.
Messi has scored 91 goals in 165 appearances for the Albiceleste, 35 more than second-highest scorer Gabriel Batistuta.
He is also third in all-time World Cup appearances for Argentina with 19 games played, though he will also break that record if he plays in all three group stage games in Qatar. He is only behind Javier Mascherano (20) and Diego Maradona (21).