Records that can be broken at the World Cup in Russia

The World Cup is undoubtedly the pinnacle for every soccer fan but the creation of new records adds another layer of intrigue to the biggest sporting event in the world.

Here we examine records that can be broken in Russia.

Record goalscorer – Thomas Muller

The 2014 World Cup saw Germany’s Miroslav Klose become the World Cup’s all-time top scorer with 16 goals. This World Cup may see the record beaten once more.

Thomas Muller has scored 10 goals in the World Cup (five goals in 2010 and five in 2014). He would need to score seven goals in this World Cup to beat the record but if Germany reach the latter stages then he could etch his name into the history books.

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Oldest player – Essam El Hadary

Egypt’s goalkeeper and captain looks set to become the oldest man to ever play in the World Cup at the age of 45-years-old. He will take the record from Colombia goalkeeper Faryd Mondragon, who was 43 years and 3 days old when he came on for Colombia against Japan in the 2014 World Cup.

Hadary is nicknamed ‘The High Dam.’ 21 year old winger Ramadan Sobhi was not born when El Hadary made his Egypt debut in 1996. He produced a stunning save against the Congo that helped Egypt qualify for their first World Cup in 28 years.

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Worst performance by a host nation

The previous worst performance by a host nation was by South Africa in 2010 when they failed to qualify for the round of 16.

They finished with four points which left them third in their group. Russia enter the tournament as the lowest ranked side and come up against a Mo Salah inspired Egypt and Luis Suarez and Edinson Cavani of Uruguay.

Six nations have won the World Cup as hosts but no one is saying that Russia will be number seven. However, progression to the knockout stages will be their target if they want to avoid an unwanted record.

Most meetings between two teams

Three sets of teams hold the record for the most World Cup games played. Brazil and Sweden have met seven times: 1938, 1950, 1958, 1978, 1990 and twice in 1994.

Germany and Yugoslovia/Serbia have faced each other in 1954, 1958, 1962, 1974, 1990, 1998 and 2010. Argentina and Germany have faced each other in 1958, 1966, 1986, 1990, 2006, 2010 and 2014.

Argentina and Germany hold the record for the most meetings between two teams in the final.  All of these teams have qualified for the World Cup so this record may be held outright at the end of the competition.

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World Cup win streak

Brazil have the longest win streak in World Cup history when they went 13 games undefeated between 1958 and 1966.

The reigning champions Germany have currently won seven games in a row at the World Cup, started by their victory in the third place play-off at the 2010 World Cup.

If they reach the final then they will equal Brazil’s unbeaten record and if they win then they will hold the record on their own and equal Brazil’s record of five world titles. That should motivate them.

Most penalty shootouts won

Germany and Argentina hold the record for the most penalty shoot-outs won with four victories each.

Germany won their shoot-outs in 1982 against France, in 1986 against Mexico, 1990 against England and Argentina in 2006. They have never lost on penalties and have failed to convert only one of their penalties in the process.

They have hit the target with all 18 of their penalties in history and have currently scored 15 in a row. Argentina have played in five shootouts, winning four, beating Yugoslavia and Italy in 1990, England in 1998 and Holland in 2014.

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Most penalty shootouts lost

Two teams have lost three penalty shout-outs in the history of the World Cup. Italy and you guessed it: England. Italy lost on penalties in three consecutive World Cups from 1990 to 1998, losing to Argentina, Brazil and France respectively.

They did win the 2006 World Cup on a penalty shootout in the famous final against France. England however have lost all three penalty shootouts they have taken part in, losing to West Germany in 1990, Argentina in 1998 and Portugal in 2006.

With Italy not participating, England could hold this unwanted record on their own if they another one this year.

The first hat-trick by an African player

Surprisingly no African player has ever scored a hat-trick at a World Cup. Mo Salah enjoyed an excellent season while his Liverpool team mate Sadio Mane is another player capable of creating a bit of history for African football.

Abdulrahman Fawzi became the first African footballer to score in the World Cup when he netted twice for Egypt against Hungary in 1934. He was denied a hat-trick when his third goal was ruled out for offside. That was the closest any African player has come to scoring a hat-trick.

Can history be created in Russia?

Author Details

Ivan Smyth

I am a soccer enthusiast and budding journalist. I am interested in the Premier League, SSE Airtricity League and international tournaments. I love voicing my opinions on all things soccer related. If you like my work, follow me on Twitter to discuss the beautiful game.

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