At the 2022 FIFA World Cup in Qatar, Argentina superstar Lionel Messi matched one-time tournament winner Lothar Matthaus’ record for the most appearances made by a player at the World Cup.

Messi equaled the record after he started his side’s semi-final match against Croatia in the 2022 edition. The Argentina legend will overtake Matthaus when he leads out the country for the final on Sunday, December 18.

Diego Maradona is another trophy-lifter to have made it to 21 matches, but both Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo passed him at the Qatar 2022 tournament.

Also read: Fans slam BBC, Jio for not showing FIFA World Cup 2022 closing ceremony at Lusail Stadium

Here is the list of most capped players in FIFA World Cup history:

Lothar Matthaus – 25 matches

Now a football analyst, Lothar Matthaus is a former professional player and manager for Germany. He won the Ballon d’Or after leading West Germany to victory in the 1990 FIFA World Cup. He is still the only German to have won the inaugural FIFA World Player of the Year award in 1991. 

Lionel Messi – 25 matches

Ligue 1 forward for Paris Saint-Germain and captain of Argentina’s national team, Lionel Messi is an Argentine professional football player. Messi is recognized as one of the best players of all time and has won a record seven Ballon d’Or – widely considered the highest honor in world football.

Miroslav Klose – 24 matches

Miroslav Klose, the head coach of Austrian Bundesliga club Rheindorf Altach, is a German professional football manager and former player. Klose, a striker, has the record for the most goals scored in FIFA World Cups for Germany.

Also read: Who is Ozuna? Net worth, family, FIFA World Cup closing ceremony performance, all you need to know

Paolo Maldini – 23 matches

Pablo Maldini predominantly played left defender and center back for AC Milan and the Italy national team. He also represented the Italy national team. Maldini is widely recognized as one of history’s finest defenders.

Cristiano Ronaldo – 22 matches

Cristiano Ronaldo is a forward who plays professional football for Portugal and serves as its team captain. He is currently without a club after leaving Manchester United over an interview with British talk-show host Piers Morgan. Ronaldo has won five Ballon d’Or awards and is widely recognized as one of the best players of all time.

Diego Maradona – 21 matches

Diego Maradona played for and later managed the national football team of Argentina. He was one of the two joint winners of the FIFA Player of the 20th Century award and is widely recognized as one of the finest players in the history of the game.

Also read: Lionel Messi fans cheer at Lusail Stadium as Argentina take on France in FIFA World Cup 2022 final: Watch

Uwe Seeler – 21 matches

Uwe Seeler was a German football player and later an official. He scored a lot of goals for Hamburger SV as a striker and played in 72 matches for West Germany. He is recognized by many as one of the best footballers in German history.

Wladyslaw Zmuda – 21 matches

Former professional football player Wladyslaw Zmuda from Poland played defense for Slask Wroclaw, Widzew Lodz, Hellas Verona, New York Cosmos, and US Cremonese. He played in four FIFA World Cups, featuring in 21 matches, and had a total of 91 caps for the Poland national team.

Javier Mascherano – 20 matches

Javier Mascherano is a former footballer from Argentina who played as a central defender and defensive midfielder. He started his career in Liverpool and went on to play with Barcelona for the rest of his career. He is currently the head coach of the Argentina under-20 team.