One cannot deny that The World Cup is the most popular sporting event all over the globe. The football World cup takes place every four years, and more than half of the world’s population sticks to their screens and enjoys the game. Even during the final match of the 2018 World Cup, over 1.12 billion people were watching it. For people and children who have grown up idolizing soccer stars from around the globe, the World Cup is a month for their excitement at its peak.
Over the years, many matches were played where the players and team had played well, but some players have performed extraordinarily well during the World cup. Let us look at the best Football World Cup performances of all time below.
Diego Maradona (Argentina, 1986)
Diego Maradona’s performance at the 1986 World Cup in Mexico is memorable in football history. His performance made Argentina win the World Cup title that year. He made five goals and five assists in that World Cup. His most career-defining game was the quarterfinal against England, where he made two famous goals four minutes apart. His famous ‘Hand of God’ goal in the 51st minute makes Argentina win. After four minutes, he made another goal later named ‘Goal of the Century’, putting Argentina 2-0 up.
Just Fontaine (France, 1958)
In the 1958 World Cup, Just Fontaine scored 13 goals in six games. It was a record at that time. Currently, he holds third place scoring the highest number of goals in a tournament. At that time, he was only 24, and his performance was outstanding during the World Cup in Sweden. Also, he is one of four players to record multiple hat tricks in a single World Cup.
Oliver Kahn (Germany, 2002)
The 2002 World Cup in Germany witnessed the stellar performance of goalkeeper Oliver Kahn. He is a great soccer player and a fantastic goalkeeper. His spectacular performance started when his team required a playoff to qualify. During the final, Brazil won 2-0, but Oliver’s performance won the hearts of football admirers. He was the only goalkeeper to win the Golden Ball in the history of tournaments.
Geoff Hurst (England, 1966)
The World Cup 1966 was extraordinary for England. The nation has hosted and won the tournament. But apart from that, the performance of Geoff Hurst was remarkable. His lone goal was enough to beat Argentina in the quarterfinals and secure their position in the semifinals. He is the only player in the world to score a hat trick in the finals of the World Cup ever. His performance led to England winning over West Germany in the finals. In the finals, when England was down at 1-0, Hurst’s goal made it equal, 1-1 in the first half and 2-2 after 90 minutes. It sent the match to extra time, where Hurst scored two goals, bringing the trophy to the nation and making history with his performance.
Zinedine Zidane (France, 1998)
The 1998 World Cup was bright for France and Zinedine Zidane too. His performance brought the first-ever World Cup title to France. He had scored two goals for France leading to a by 3-0 win over Brazil. His two goals in that match made France win the World Cup for the first time. Both goals are from corner kicks. He was unmatched on that day and also created chances for his teammates.
Sándor Kocsis (Hungary, 1954)
The World Cup of 1954 gave the world the chance to witness a performance by Sándor Kocsis. He had scored 11 goals in five games in 1954. He was the first player to score two hat tricks at the World Cup in 1954. In the quarterfinal and semifinal, he scored two goals in each match.
Walter Zenga (Italy, 1990)
In World Cup 1990, the Italian goalkeeper Walter Zenga set a record for the longest conceded at the competition: 517 minutes, which is still a record. During the semi-final against Argentina, Claudio Caniggia finally scored in the 67th minute of the match. He remained unbeaten for 16 rounds of the tournament and quarterfinals. Till now, no one has beaten his record.
Pelé (Brazil, 1958)
The World Cup of 1958 showed the incredible performance of Pelé. He was only 17 during the World Cup 1958. He scored six goals in the tournament, leading Brazil to win their first World Cup. During the final match, he contributed two goals to secure a 5-2 win. This performance was a glimpse of his bright future in sporting history.
Gerd Müller (West Germany, 1970)
The great German striker, Gerd Müller, had scored back-to-back hat tricks at the 1970 World Cup, resulting in 10 goals. The hat tricks were scored just three days apart. His performance led West Germany to secure third place in that tournament.
These are some of the best performances by famous players in the Football World Cup. Players give their best shot in the World Cup thus creating records in it.