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To appear at a World Cup finals for your country is an honour, to appear as many times as the people in our article is a miracle.

First, your team has to qualify for the finals, no mean feat, ask Italy, after that, you have to be picked for the squad, then picked for the team while steering clear of injuries and making sure your country gets to the latter stages. In multiple World Cups!

Unsurprisingly there are some legendary names here, and two blokes from Poland.


Lothar Matthaus – 25 Appearances

A German Stalwart for decades, Matthaus was happy in defence or midfield and even chipped in with a few goals.

A veteran of five World Cups, Matthaus played in three finals winning one in 1990.

Miroslav Klose – 24 Appearances

Prolific Klose seemed to save his best form for The World Cup. He is the all time top scorer for Germany and holds the record for the most goals scored at the World Cup for any team.

He also holds the record for most headers and is one of only three people to score five or more at two World Cups.

Paulo Maldini – 23 Appearances

King of the classy defender, Maldini was rarely beaten during his career, which included an incredible twenty three World Cup games.

First name on the teamsheet for most all time World Cup fantasy teams, Maldini was classy on and off the pitch. Possibly the greatest defender ever, certainly one of the best players never to win the tournament.

Diego Maradona – 21 Appearances

With all the problems Maradona had during his career, it is somewhat surprising to see him on this list when you take in to account the injuries and suspensions.

A World Cup winner and scorer of possibly the best and worst goals ever in a World Cup match (both in the same game), Maradona is a legend and probably the most talented human ever to touch a football.

Uwe Seeler – 21 Appearances

Not the most well known German footballer, Uwe Seeler actually captained West Germany in the 1966 World Cup final, unlucky Uwe, unlucky.

Wladyslaw Zmuda – 21 Appearances

The 1st of our Polish blokes, Wladyslaw Zmuda benefited from two 3rd placed finishes to rack up a superb twenty one appearances. Zmuda was even named as the best young player at the 1974 finals. He was of course much more than just a Polish bloke, a fantastic player and a legend for Poland.

Cafu – 20 Appearances

Cafu invented the modern day marauding full back and nobody has done it better since.

He played twenty times in the World Cup for Brazil, winning the 1994 and 2002 tournaments along the way.

Strong but agile, Cafu was feared by both attackers and defenders in equal measure.

Phillip Lahm – 20 Appearances

World Cup winner Lahm is another marauding full back that chipped in with a few spectacular goals along the way.

Lahm was equally at home in midfield or on either side of the defence, a classy versatile mainstay of the Germany team for a decade.

Bastian Schweinsteiger – 20 Appearances

Schweinsteiger is one of only three players to score five or more goals in different tournaments.

He played in three finals eventually winning one in 2014.

Grzegorz Lato – 20 Appearances

Lato is one of only a few players ever to excel at three different tournaments. Another beneficiary of Poland’s excellent spell in the 70s and early 80s, Lato always gave his best and was superb in the 1974 finals winning the golden boot with 7 goals.