Players With Most World Cups and the Incredible Story of Luis Monti

September 25, 2023

by xfcedi

Players With Most World Cups and the Incredible Story of Luis Monti


The World Cup in fantasy football form was hosted with great success by FootballCoin last year. Recently, the game has also hosted European Championship Qualifiers. Since international fixtures seem to go so well with fantasy football, we thought we’d take a look at the most important players in World Cups. And while Lionel Messi or Lothar Matthäus, players with most World Cups, certainly have their place in history, Luis Monti’s story is just as exciting, albeit lesser known.

Today, we look at the football stars who made a significant dent at World Cup tournaments. We’ll be looking at the ones with the most participation and at the remarkable record of Luis Monti.

Players With the Most World Cups

Lionel Messi can now certainly make the case for being football’s GOAT. Not only did he win the World Cup in 2022, but finally. The Argentinian has also played the most amount of World Cup matches. And there are many fans hopeful that the final in Qatar will not be his final appearance in the world’s most prestigious tournament.

While Messi has played in a stunning five World Cups, Germany’s Lothar Matthäus and Miroslav Klose also earned a spot in the history books. The two players have four appearances each, with 25 and 24 games, respectively. 

Paolo Maldini is another World Cup winner. The Italian also made four tournament appearances and played in 23 matches. He just edges out Cristiano Ronaldo, another player we may yet see in another tournament, should things line up the way that the Portuguese wants them to.

Finally, the great Diego Maradona has played in four tournaments, in 21 matches, and famously won the World Cup in 1986. Controversy over not being called up for the 1978 tournament and the 1994 doping scandal means that the Argentinian could have collected even more matches on the World Cup stage.

1. Argentina Lionel Messi 26 matches (2006, 2010, 2014, 2018, 2022)

2. Germany Lothar Matthäus 25 matches (1982, 1986, 1990, 1994, 1998)

3. Germany Miroslav Klose 24 matches (2002, 2006, 2010, 2014)

4. Italy Paolo Maldini 23 matches (1990, 1994, 1998, 2002)

5. Portugal Cristiano Ronaldo 22 matches (2006, 2010, 2014, 2018, 2022)

6. Argentina Diego Maradona 21 matches (1982, 1986, 1990, 1994)

West Germany Uwe Seeler 21 matches (1958, 1962, 1966, 1970)

Poland Władysław Żmuda 21 matches (1974, 1978, 1982, 1986)

9. Brazil Cafu 20 matches (1994, 1998, 2002, 2006)

Germany Philipp Lahm 20 matches (2006, 2010, 2014)

Poland Grzegorz Lato 20 matches (1974, 1978, 1982)

France Hugo Lloris 20 matches (2010, 2014, 2018, 2022)

Argentina Javier Mascherano 20 matches (2006, 2010, 2014, 2018)

Germany Bastian Schweinsteiger 20 matches (2006, 2010, 2014)

Luis Felipe Monti playing under two flags at the World Cup

In the sultry heart of Buenos Aires, where tango rhythms filled the night, a football maestro emerged. Luis Felipe Monti, born in May 1901, was one of the era’s football greats and the only footballer to play in two World Cup finals with two different teams. 

His journey kicked off with local club Huracán, where in a single season, he clinched his first championship. But the tides of fate and talent soon swept him into the whirlwind of Boca Juniors, where he barely had time to unpack his boots before moving on to his third Buenos Aires love, San Lorenzo.

In the Azulgrana jersey, Monti blossomed into an extraordinary footballer. His robust defending and boundless dynamism earned him the moniker “Doble Ancho,” a nod to the vast expanse of ground he effortlessly covered.

Monti’s versatility allowed him to pivot between center-half and defensive midfielder roles with ease. In possession, he transformed into a deep-lying playmaker, a football maestro sculpting attacks with precision.

Those were the glory days for San Lorenzo. With Monti as their linchpin, they secured back-to-back championships in 1923 and 1924. In the evolving landscape of Argentine football, professionalism loomed, blurring the lines between amateur and pro.

Monti was part of Argentina’s 1930 successful World Cup campaign. Despite playing through injury, the midfielder was a starting player in the 4-2 loss to Uruguay in the inaugural edition of the tournament.

Luis Monti, the footballer and municipal employee, wasn’t wealthy despite his dual income. When an offer from distant lands beckoned, it was an opportunity too enticing to refuse.

The Call of the Azzurri

Argentina beckoned Monti to the national stage in 1924, leading to a South American Championship victory and an Olympic silver. Meanwhile, fellow player Raimundo Orsi, lured by Italy’s riches, set sail for Serie A. In a twist of fate, Monti would follow suit. Italy, with an eye on World Cup glory in 1934, came calling, and Monti heeded the call.

Arriving in Turin, Monti faced an unexpected hurdle. His newfound Italian admirers weren’t impressed by his shape. A month of gruelling training later, he was ready to show Juventus what their investment had bought.

Not only did Monti become a pivotal figure for the Bianconeri, but he was also bestowed with the captain’s armband during a remarkable run of four consecutive Scudetti from 1932 to 1935.

Just a year into his Italian adventure, the final piece of Monti’s national transformation fell into place – he was selected to represent Italy on the football stage.

Under the guidance of Vittorio Pozzo, Monti thrived in the attacking centre-half role of the Metodo system. The 2-3-5 formation drew strength from the half-backs and quick transitions, an orchestra with Monti as the conductor.

World Cup final

This all meant that Monti would get his chance at revenge at the 2nd World Cup edition. Incredibly, he has now represented Italy, his adopted country. Things started well when the European side, featuring Monti as an oriundi, defeated the United States 7-1 in their opening 1934 World Cup game.

But it wasn’t all smooth sailing. Spain posed a formidable challenge in a rugged quarter-final, resulting in a replay where Italy triumphed in controversial circumstances.

The finals were an intense affair, fraught with pressure and political undertones. A telegram from Mussolini himself sent shivers down the players’ spines. Victory was paramount, and defeat was unthinkable.

Amidst the chaos, Monti and his midfield cohorts held the fort, ensuring a level playing field. Ultimately, Italy clinched the title, and a specially commissioned trophy reflected the glory Mussolini demanded.

Monti’s legacy

Luis Felipe Monti’s name echoed through history as the only footballer to play in World Cup finals for two different nations. His journey, set to the rhythms of tango and football, remains a unique chapter in the beautiful game’s storied history.

So, the next time you’re asked about players who’ve danced between nations on football’s grandest stage, remember the story of Luis Monti, the football maestro who moved to his own beat, one that will forever echo through the annals of the beautiful game.



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