61 days to go: Record-breaker Matthaus

The 2018 FIFA World Cup Russia™ is getting closer – 61 days to go!

In two months' time – on 14 June, to be precise – the 21st FIFA World Cup™ kicks off at Moscow's Luzhniki Stadium, as the hosts take on Saudi Arabia.​

That leaves us plenty of time to enjoy a countdown. Between now and the start of the World Cup, we will take a closer look at a different statistic from the history of the tournament each day.​

61 In the year 1961 – on 21 March 1961, to be precise – Lothar Matthaus came into the world in Erlangen, Germany. On that day, nobody could imagine that Loddar would grow up to become one of the World Cup’s greatest and most successful heroes.

The now 57-year-old made a total of 25 World Cup appearances, the highest figure in the history of the competition. He played at every tournament from 1982 to 1998, making him one of only two players to feature at five World Cup finals, together with Mexican goalkeeper Antonio Carbajal (1950 to 1966).

Although Gianluigi Buffon also travelled to Brazil for his fifth World Cup in 2014, the Italian shotstopper was unable to emulate Matthaus and Carbajal’s record after remaining an unused substitute at his first tournament in France in 1998. The Best FIFA Goalkeeper 2017 and his Squadra Azzurra team-mates failed to qualify for Russia 2018.