World Cup Records & Facts

World Cup Qatar

WC 2022 is the first World Cup hosted in the Arab region and the first World Cup that will not be held in May, June or July. The final will be held on the national day of Qatar on December 18th. That will mean a change in the calendar of the Premier League and other major leagues in Europe, as they are normally in full swing in November. Qatar is also the smallest country to ever organize the World Cup.

As for the stadiums, they are air-conditioned because of the extreme temperatures in Qatar. All stadiums have central air conditioning systems. There will be 70,000 lights shining on the World Cup 2022. The stadiums will have 10,880 doors. After the World Cup the upper levels of the stadiums are donated from countries that do not have a very developed sports infrastructure. As per an estimate, Qatar is spending a whopping $200 billion on infrastructure projects which includes the construction of stadiums, highways, hotels, and so on. This will make the Qatar FIFA World Cup one of the most expensive World Cups in the history of the game. The longest distance between stadiums is about 75km. Five of the venues are connected to the Doha Metro and the three others are connected via MetroLink bus services. Doha Metro is one of the world’s most developed metro train systems. Check out all the venues in our World Cup Guide.

Normally, alcohol isn’t part of the culture in Qatar. It is illegal to drink in public. However, there will be an exception during the World Cup. Hotels will sell alcoholic beverages and there will be other areas that have not yet been determined. Organizers seem to be working on fan parks.

Nation records

record for number of final appearances without winning, held by the Netherlands.
9 minutes
that's how long France trailed in the entire 2018 World Cup, eventually winning it.
record for most final appearances held by Germany. They won the final 4 times.
record for most final losses also held by Germany. They won it 50% of the times they were in.
record for most World Cup appearances held by Brazil. They also have the most wins.
record for the most goals scored in the history of the World Cup held by Germany.

Player records

The all-time top scorers list looks like this.

  • Miroslav Klose (Germany) 16
  • Ronaldo (Brazil) 15
  • Gerd Müller (Germany) 14
  • Just Fontaine (France) 13
  • Lionel Messi (Argentina) 13
  • Pélé (Brazil) 12
  • Kylian Mbappé (France) 12

The player with the most appearances in the World Cup are:

  • Lionel Messi (Argentina) 26
  • Lothar Matthäus (Germany) 25
  • Miroslav Klose (Germany) 24
  • Paolo Maldini (Italy) 23
  • Cristiano Ronaldo (Portugal) 22
  • Uwe Seeler (Germany) 21
  • Diego Maradona (Argentina) 21
  • Władysław Żmuda (Poland) 21

The feeling of winning the FIFA World Cup as a player is different from that of winning it as a coach. However, there are three men who have had the opportunity to experience both: Brazil’s Mario Zagallo (1958, 1962, and 1970), Germany’s Franz Beckenbauer (1974 and 1990), and France’s Didier Deschamps (1998 and 2018).

Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo appear at their fifth World Cup without ever winning it. They will be looking to change that and add to their legacy in Qatar.

Walter Zenga is the goalkeeper with 5 consecutive clean sheets at a World Cup. The Italian goalkeeper was unbeaten for 518 minutes.

Previous editions

The World Cup was founded in 1930.

The final with the most goals was held in 1950 when Brazil beat Sweden 5-2 to claim the World Cup.

Italy and Brazil are the only two teams to successfully defend their championship and win the World Cup twice in a row. Italy won in 1934 and 1938, while Brazil won in 1958 and 1962.

The record for fewest goals conceded as a champion is shared by France (1998), Italy (2006), and Spain (2010). They conceded only two goals in seven matches.

The average number of goals per World Cup game in 2018 was 2,6 goals.


The record for fewest goals scored as a champion is being held by Spain. In South Africa (2010) Spain scored only 8 goals, in the final Spain won in extra time after a 0-0 draw. Spain was known as the most dominant team in the world back then.

Russia 2018 was an edition likely to set several records in the history of the FIFA World Cup. The oldest player to play in a World Cup, Essam El-Hadary, who participated in Russia 2018 at the age of 45 years and 161 days. The most goals scored in the tournament with 12. And the highest number of penalties called in a single edition with 29.

If you like to read more about the history of the World Cup we have a page focused on that.

Fun facts

1966 World Cup
The World Cup trophy was stolen in 1966 prior to the 1966 FIFA World Cup in England. The trophy was later recovered by a dog named Pickles who was later commended and gained a cult following for his heroism.
Netherlands have always had a player with the name ‘van’ in their line up for the past 14 years.
2010 World Cup
The 2010 World Cup in South Africa was the first to be televised in each and every country around the world. It was even shown in Antarctica and the Arctic Circle.
Two-thirds of the World Cup’s market value comes from Europe.
In the 1950 edition, India was disqualified for wanting to play bare feet. Ironically, this has been the only time they qualified for a World Cup.

Sportmonks has data back to the 2005/2006 season. The World Cup API has all data you need, from historical facts to standings, stats and so on.

You can show all matches in a livescore format, or show the complete schedule including a tournament tree.

Do you want to know how to build your own World Cup Application? We have written a How-to guide to answer all possible questions.