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World Cup 2022 group stage stat pack: Messi & Ronaldo’s unwanted records, England shine & more

Here are all the impressive stats from the 2022 World Cup group stage.

All things England

England were drawn alongside Iran, the USA and Wales in Group B.

The Three Lions were able to secure top their group after beating Iran 6-2, drawing 0-0 with the USA and smashing Wales 3-0.

After qualifying for the last-16, a number of impressive England stats have emerged:

  • Marcus Rashford is the first Manchester United player to score three goals at a major tournament for England since Bobby Charlton at the 1966 World Cup
  • Harry Kane is the first England player to assist three goals at a single men’s World Cup since David Beckham in 2002 (also three).
  • England have finished top of their World Cup group for the first time since 2006, when they were eventually eliminated by Portugal at the quarter-final stage.
  • Marcus Rashford scored three goals for England in 107 minutes, the fastest player to do so at the 2022 World Cup, with Kylian Mbappe needing 180 minutes to reach that tally.
  • Gareth Southgate is the first manager in England’s history to win 10 games at major tournaments.
  • England qualified for the Round of 16 with a goal difference of +7, their highest-ever goal difference in the group stage of a major tournament.

Unwanted records

After losing three games in a row, 2022 World Cup hosts Qatar set an unwanted record plus more unwanted records:

  • Qatar have become the first ever individual host nation to lose as many as three matches at a single World Cup tournament.
  • Since detailed World Cup records began (1966), there are only two instances of a team losing a game despite attempting 700+ passes: Spain vs Japan and Germany vs Japan, both of which took place at this World Cup.
  • Germany have failed to get past the group stage at each of the last two World Cups, after they had made it past the first round in each of the previous 16 tournaments since 1954.
  • Canada have lost all six of their matches at the World Cup – the joint-worst 100% losing record in the competition along with El Salvador.
  • Belgium failed to progress from group stage of a major tournament (World Cup + EURO) for the first time in the 21st century, the 2022 World Cup being their 6th tournament over that period.
  • Lionel Messi is the first player ever to have two penalties saved in the World Cup.
  • Former Manchester United standout has missed six ‘big chances’ to find the net in his last six outings for Portugal.
  • This is the first World Cup tournament to see no side win all three of their group games since 1994.
  • Vincent Aboubakar is the first player to score and be sent off in a World Cup match since Zinedine Zidane vs Italy in the 2006 final.

Record setters

On a more positive note, there were a lot of new records set during the 2022 World Cup group stage.

  • Aleksandar Mitrovic has scored seven goals in his last six games for Serbia in all competitions, with the Fulham striker becoming the first player to score more than once at the World Cup for the nation.
  • Vincent Aboubakar has become the first substitute to both score and assist in a single World Cup game for an African nation.
  • Mohammed Salisu has become the first defender to score for Ghana in World Cup history.
  • Cho Gue-Sung is the first Korea Republic player to score more than once in a World Cup game, while he is the first Asian player to score two headers in a World Cup game.
  • Senegal became the first African nation to beat a South American side at the World Cup since Cameroon v Colombia in 1990, ending a 21-game winless run (D4 L17).
  • Cody Gakpo is the first man in the Netherlands’ history to score in their first three games of a World Cup tournament.
  • With 17.7% of the ball, Japan won a World Cup game with the lowest possession figure in recorded WC history vs Spain.
  • Jamal Musiala completed 12 dribbles against Costa Rica, the most on record for a teenager in World Cup history (1966 onwards).
  • Japan are only the third team in World Cup history to win two different games at a single edition in which they were losing at half-time, after Brazil in 1938 and Germany in 1970.
  • Álvaro Morata has scored nine goals at the World Cup and European Championships since 2016, more than twice as many as any other Spain player in this period.
  • Lionel Messi is the oldest player on record (since 1966) to create 5+ chances and make 5+ dribbles in a World Cup match, with the previous oldest being Diego Maradona against Nigeria in 1994.
  • The four players to have covered the most metres with their ball carries so far at the 2022 World Cup all play for Manchester City: 1,080m – John Stones 1,001m – Nathan Aké 992m – Rodri 883m – Manuel Akanji.
  • Cristiano Ronaldo has attempted exactly 100 shots at World Cup tournaments, the first player to reach this total since full shot data became available.
  • Xherdan Shaqiri is one of three players to score at each of the last three World Cup tournaments – the others are Cristiano Ronaldo and Lionel Messi.
  • Daniel Alves (39 years 210 days) is the oldest player to appear in a World Cup game for Brazil in history.

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Josh Barker

Middlesbrough fan from the North East of England. @JoshBarker979 on Twitter.

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