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The players with the most appearances at the World Cup

Italian goalkeeper Gianluigi Buffon appeared in five World Cups. (AP)
Italian goalkeeper Gianluigi Buffon appeared in five World Cups. (AP)

At the elite level, every football player trains and plays - day in and day out - with one aim: to stand out to the point of being noticed by the national team’s manager.

Friendly to friendly, competition to competition, the ultimate ambition remains to participate in a World Cup.

But do you know which players have appeared in one the most times?

Below is a ranking with the name of the country, the player, the number of times they were in the squad, the number of World Cups they played in and the year of the World Cups for which they were in the squad.

July 1966:  Antonio Carbajal, the Mexican goalkeeper, showing his injured left hand during a training session in Hertfordshire.  (Photo by Hulton Archive/Getty Images)
Antonio Carbajal, the Mexican goalkeeper, pictured in 1966. (Photo by Hulton Archive/Getty Images)

– Mexico, Antonio Carbajal - In squad: 5 / Played: 5 (1950, 1954, 1958, 1962, 1966)

– Germany, Lothar Matthaus - In squad: 5 / Played: 5 (1982, 1986, 1990, 1994, 1998)

– Mexico, Rafael Marquez - In squad: 5 / Played: 5 (2002, 2006, 2010, 2014, 2018)

– Italy, Gianluigi Buffon - In squad: 5 / Played: 4 (1998, 2002, 2006, 2010, 2014)

– Brazil, Nilton Santos - In squad: 4 / Played: 3 (1950, 1954, 1958, 1962)

Brazilian footballer Edson Arantes do Nascimento, more famously knows as Pele, pictured after his arrival in Birmingham. February 1972. (Photo by Birmingham Post and Mail Archive/Mirrorpix/Getty Images)
Brazilian footballer Edson Arantes do Nascimento, more famously knows as Pele. (Photo by Birmingham Post and Mail Archive/Mirrorpix/Getty Images)

– Mexico, Andres Guardado - In squad: 4 / Played: 4 (2006, 2010, 2014, 2018)

– Brazil, Djalma Santos - In squad: 4 / Played: 4 (1954, 1958, 1962, 1966)

– Brazil, Pele - In squad: 4 / Played: 4 (1958, 1962, 1966, 1970)

– Germany, Karl-Heinz Schnellinger - In squad: 4 / Played: 4 (1958, 1962, 1966, 1970)

– Germany, Uwe Seeler - In squad: 4 / Played: 4 (1958, 1962, 1966, 1970)

– Uruguay, Pedro Rocha - In squad: 4 / Played: 4 (1962, 1966, 1970, 1974)

– Italy, Gianni Rivera - In squad: 4 / Played: 4 (1962, 1966, 1970, 1974)

– Poland, Wladyslaw Zmuda - In squad: 4 / Played: 4 (1974, 1978, 1982, 1986)

Argentine professional football player Diego Armando Maradona (1960 - 2020) holds the World Cup trophy after Argentina defeated West Germany 3-2 during the 1986 FIFA World Cup Final match at the Azteca Stadium in  Mexico City, Mexico, 29th June 1986. (Photo by Bongarts/Getty Images)
Diego Armando Maradona during the 1986 FIFA World Cup Final match at the Azteca Stadium in Mexico City. (Photo by Bongarts/Getty Images)

– Argentina, Diego Maradona - In squad: 4 / Played: 4 (1982, 1986, 1990, 1994)

– Italy, Giuseppe Bergomi - In squad: 4 / Played: 4 (1982, 1986, 1990, 1998)

– Belgium, Enzo Scifo - In squad: 4 / Played: 4 (1986, 1990, 1994, 1998)

– Belgium, Franky Van Der Elst - In squad: 4 / Played: 4 (1986, 1990, 1994, 1998)

– Spain, Andoni Zubizarreta - In squad: 4 / Played: 4 (1986, 1990, 1994, 1998)

– South Korea, Hong Myung-Bo - In squad: 4 / Played: 4 (1990, 1994, 1998, 2002)

– Italy, Paolo Maldini - In squad: 4 / Played: 4 (1990, 1994, 1998, 2002)

– Spain, Sergio Ramos - In squad: 4 / Played: 4 (2006, 2010, 2014, 2018)

– Spain, Andres Iniesta - In squad: 4 / Played: 4 (2006, 2010, 2014, 2018)

Munich, GERMANY:  Saudi Arabia forward Sami al-Jaber celebrates his goal against Tunisia in their first round Group H World Cup football match at Munich's World Cup Stadium, 14 June 2006. The match ended in a 2-2 draw.       AFP PHOTO / VALERY HACHE  (Photo credit should read VALERY HACHE/AFP via Getty Images)
Saudi Arabia forward Sami al-Jaber in 2006. (VALERY HACHE/AFP via Getty Images)

– Saudi Arabia, Sami Al-Jaber - In squad: 4 / Played: 4 (1994, 1998, 2002, 2006)

– Brazil, Cafu - In squad: 4 / Played: 4 (1994, 1998, 2002, 2006)

– Cameroon, Rigobert Song - In squad: 4 / Played: 4 (1994, 1998, 2002, 2010)

– Italy, Fabio Cannavaro - In squad: 4 / Played: 4 (1998, 2002, 2006, 2010)

– France, Thierry Henry - In squad: 4 / Played: 4 (1998, 2002, 2006, 2010)

– Paraguay, Denis Caniza - In squad: 4 / Played: 4 (1998, 2002, 2006, 2010)

– Germany, Miroslav Klose - In squad: 4 / Played: 4 (2002, 2006, 2010, 2014)

– Spain, Iker Casillas - In squad: 4 / Played: 4 (2002, 2006, 2010, 2014)

– Spain, Xavi Hernandez - In squad: 4 / Played: 4 (2002, 2006, 2010, 2014)

Cameroon's Samuel Eto'o is disapointed at he final whistle after losing against Germany  (Photo by Neal Simpson/EMPICS via Getty Images)
Samuel Eto'o. (Photo by Neal Simpson/EMPICS via Getty Images)

– Cameroon, Samuel Eto’o - In squad: 4 / Played: 4 (1998, 2002, 2010, 2014)

– United States, DaMarcus Beasley - In squad: 4 / Played: 4 (2002, 2006, 2010, 2014)

– Australia, Tim Cahill - In squad: 4 / Played: 4 (2006, 2010, 2014, 2018)

– Argentina, Javier Mascherano - In squad: 4 / Played: 4 (2006, 2010, 2014, 2018)

– Argentina, Lionel Messi - In squad: 4 / Played: 4 (2006, 2010, 2014, 2018)

– Portugal, Cristiano Ronaldo - In squad: 4 / Played: 4 (2006, 2010, 2014, 2018)

Portugal's Eusebio (l) chats with USSR goalkeeper Lev Yashin (r) before the match   (Photo by PA Images via Getty Images)
Portugal's Eusebio (l) with USSR goalkeeper Lev Yashin. (Photo by PA Images via Getty Images)

– Mexico, Guillermo Ochoa - In squad: 4 / Played: 2 (2006, 2010, 2014, 2018)

– Brazil, Carlos Jose Castilho - In squad: 4 / Played: 1 (1950, 1954, 1958, 1962)

– England, Bobby Charlton - In squad: 4 / Played: 3 (1958, 1962, 1966, 1970)

– Soviet Union, Lev Yashin - In squad: 4 / Played: 3 (1958, 1962, 1966, 1970)