The 2018 World Cup will have 48 matches in Russia this year with the group stage starting on June 14th with the first match is between Russia vs. Saudi Arabia and runs through June 28th. Germany is the defending champions from the 2014 World Cup and Mario Gotze became a legend with his game-winning goal in extra time.
The World Cup is often a stage for breakout players or for the greatest players in the world to solidify their status in the game. So, which players have had the best World Cup performances ever? Here are the top five:
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5) Walter Zenga, Italy - 1990
A record that may never be duplicated, Zenga and Italy went 517 minutes without allowing a goal in the World Cup, including five straight clean sheets to start the tournament. Italy ultimately lost to Argentina in a shootout in the semifinals but still managed to get third by winning the consolation match against England. In total, Zenga and the Italians gave up two goals the entire tournament.
4) Geoff Hurst, England - 1966
Hurst was the star of England's lone World Cup title in 1966, scoring a hat trick in their 4-2 win over West Germany in the final - including two in extra time. It's still the only hat trick ever recorded in the World Cup Final, which is good enough for inclusion on this list.
3) Pele, Brazil - 1958
Pele had several incredible World Cup performances during his legendary career, but 1958 was when he really burst onto the scene. At just 17 years old, Pele led Brazil to the title with six goals in the tournament while becoming the youngest player in World Cup history to score in the event, record a hat trick, play in the final, and score in the final.
2) Just Fontaine, France - 1958
While Pele was the breakout star of the World Cup in 1958 and Brazil won the title, Fontaine racked up a record 13 goals in the even, a mark that may never get broken. He scored in six consecutive games for France, including four straight with at least two goals and back-to-back hat tricks. However, he didn't win the Golden Ball Award.
1) Diego Maradona, Argentina - 1986
Maradona is best known for carrying Argentina to their only World Cup title in 1986. He played every minute of every game, recorded five goals and five assists, and dominated every phase of the game as much as any one player can. Unsurprisingly, he won the Golden Ball as the best player in the event that year.Back to the Soccer Newsfeed