The good, the bad and the ugly: 14 World Cup records – in pictures

It’s been four long years, but now the wait is finally over. The 2014 World Cup has kicked off and we’re already gripped by football fever. To get you even more pumped for the footballing feast gracing our screens, we’ve gathered the good, the bad and the ugly World Cup records. Want to know the fastest sending off or who scored the most goals in a single game, read on!

Most appearances and most World Cup wins

01 - Most Appearances and Most Wins
Perhaps unsurprisingly, Brazil hold the record for taking part in the most World Cup tournaments with 19 appearances. They also have the most wins, with five World Cup victories under their golden belts.

Most World Cup wins for a single player

world cup records

Out of Brazil’s five World Cup victories, Pelé earned the record for the most wins a tournament wins a player has achieved, playing with Brazil in 1958, 1962 and 1970. Whoever would have guessed.

Fastest ever World Cup goal

Turkish player Hakan ?ükür scored in 11 seconds vs South Korea in 2002. You can see how he blazed to super speed glory here.

Most matches by a single player and most tournaments played by a single player

Most matched by a single player and Most Tournaments Played By A Single Player

Germany’s Lothar Matthäus has played 25 world cup matches between 1982 and 1998. He’s also tied with Antonio Carbajal for having taken part in the most tournaments also between 82 and 98.

Most goals in a single World Cup tournament

French player Just Fontaine scored 13 goals in the 1958 World Cup.
French player Just Fontaine did the business an incredible 13 times in the 1958 World Cup. No wonder he’s smiling.

Most tournaments played by a single player


Mexico’s Antonio Carbajal is tied with Lothar Matthäus, having also taken part in five tournaments between 1950 and 1966. Although he wins on the stylish mustache front.

Youngest person ever to play in a World Cup match


At 17 years and 42 days old, Northern Ireland’s Norman Whiteside became the youngest player in a World Cup match when he played against Yugoslavia in 1982.

Oldest player in a World Cup match


Cameroon’s Roger Milla is the oldest player to take part in a World Cup game. At 42 years old and 39 days, he played against Russia in the 1994 World Cup. It was the same game Oleg Salenko scored five goals in a single match. Milla was the player who scored Cameroon’s only goal in that game. Needless to say he was a firm World Cup favourite.

Most goals by a single player

world cup records 6

With almost Terminator like precision, Brazil’s Ronaldo has scored 15 goals across his all his three World Cup appearances, 1998-2006. The record was previously held by Germany’s Gerd Müller with 14 goals, a record unbeaten for 32 years until Ronaldo achieved 15.

Most goals by a single player in a single match

World Cup records

In 1994, Russian player Oleg Salenko scored five goals in a single game vs Cameroon they won 6-1.

Most goals scored in total in a single match

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In 1954, 12 goals were scored in a single match when Austria played against Switzerland, resulting in Austria winning 7-5.

Biggest ever loss in a World Cup match

El Salvador, pictures here, were beaten by Hungary 10-1 in 1982.

El Salvador took World Cup spankings to new levels when they were beaten a whopping 10-1 by Hungary in 1982. If you can bear it, you can watch their humiliation in all it’s painful glory here.

Fastest ever red card in a World Cup match

Jose batista
In 1986, in their match against Scotland, Uruguay’s Sergio Batista lasted just 56 seconds before being sent off against Scotland for this tackle.

Largest number of red cards in World Cup history

01 - Most Appearances and Most Wins

Yes, Brazil, World Cup’s golden boys, are also its red devils having gained a grand total of 11 red cards since the World Cup began in 1930. They also have the player awarded the most ever yellow cards, Cafu, who between 1994 and 2006 was yellow carded 6 times. Go figure.

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4 replies

  1. 2 of these are now wrong, Klose also has 15 goals like ronaldo and Columbia keeper Faryd Mondragon played this week and is older than roger milla

  2. now you also have to add miroslav klose of germany to “most goals by a single player”. also a fun fact to add: ronaldo (brazil) scored his 15th goal in germany (2006) against ghana and klose (germany) scored his 15th goal against ghana in brazil (2014).

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