The World Cup season is getting more intense as the days go by, now with Germany no longer qualified to play in it, fans are in a pickled situation. Furthermore, the most common talk about the World Cup this year has been clouded by “woke” issues and not of the actual sport itself. 

It is so often that many are interested in who scored the most goals or who has the potential to score more. However, it is not often that one would consider who has played in the World Cup for the longest. 

According to an analyst site, they have listed the players who have participated in the World Cup the most. This would of course span across the near century worth of players who participated in the tournament. 

Who joined the most World Cup matches? 

Number five, Uwe Seeler

World Cup Uwe Seeler
Image of Uwe Seeler in 1968, from Wikipedia.

Uwe Seeler, a German footballer, joined the 1958, 1962, 1966 and 1970 tournaments. He has set a remarkable benchmark to which it is possible that the current players we have today might still follow. 

He has made over 21 appearances over the span of four dedicated World Cup matches. The last game he played for the tournament was called “the match of the century” in 1970. This is where West Germany lost to Italy in a 4-3 semi-final. 

Uwe Seeler has since passed away on 21 July 2022, just a few months ago. He died at the age of 85-years-old. Prior to his death, he was listed in the 100 greatest players alive by Pele. 

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Number four, Diego Maradona 

Diego Maradona, World Cup
Image of Diego Maradona in 1986, from Wikipedia.

Diego Maradona is up there when it comes to one of the most famous footballers who have ever lived. He participated in the 1982, 1986, 1990 and the 1994 World Cup. He participated in the tournament for the span of four World Cups and 21 appearances, similar to Uwe Seeler. 

He will always be remembered as the man who brought Argentina to World Cup success. In 1986, he scored at least 10 goals out of the 14 scored for his country, hence that kind of power moves gave him the title he deserves. 

The former golden boy passed away at 60-years-old back in 2020. Furthermore, he was voted to have scored the “goal of the century,” in 2002 by online voters on His legacy will always be remembered by fans. 

Number three, Paolo Maldini 

Paulo Maldini World Cup
Image of Paulo Maldini (left) in 1994, from Wikipedia.

Paolo Maldini, played for Italy in the 1990, 1994, 1998 and the 2002 World Cup has made 23 appearances. However, he has not won a World Cup in his career. During his first appearance in 1990, he appeared in all of the seven matches for Italy. 

He retired from the tournament in 2002, and he left gracefully as a player who played the most minutes in the World Cup. He is currently 54-years-old and has expressed that he would never join the coaching career. 

Number two, Miroslav Klose

Miroslav Klose World Cup
Image of Miroslav Klose, from Wikipedia.

Miroslav Klose, who is another German on the list who has the record of the most goal scorer for the World Cup. He was well known for his hat-tricks and shocked fans with his 2002 debut where Germany scored 8-0 against Saudi Arabia. 

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He managed to make his record goal in the last World Cup he played in which is the 2014 World Cup. Germany had a remarkable 7-1 score against Brazil. His record 16th goal was scored during this tournament. 

After playing for the World Cup, he started managing Bayern Munich but left the club in 2021. However, it was announced that he would manage the Austrian Bundesliga club Rheindorf Altach. 

Number one, Lothar Matthäus

Lothar_Matthäus_1995 world Cup
Image of Lothar Matthäus in 1995, from Wikipedia.

Lothar Matthäus, the third German player on this list and is known as the longevity king. He participated in the 1982, 1986, 1990, 1994 and 1998 World Cups. This made him participate in the most tournaments ever at a whopping 25 appearances. 

Matthäus led Germany (then West Germany) to World Cup victory in 1990. The captain played every minute of Germany’s successful campaign, finishing as the tournament’s top scorer with four goals.

He is now 61-years-old and has had a career as a columnist and a TV pundit. Even Maradona admitted that Lothar was one of the greatest rivals he ever had during the tournament. 

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