Qatar World Cup: Historical records held by Group B teams
The FIFA World Cup is set to take off soon. The month-long event features 32 nations divided into eight groups (A-H). Group B features some of the most exciting names - England, Wales, USA, and Iran. Former champions England will face Iran in the Group B opener on November 21. Ahead of the same, we look at the historical records of Group B teams.
Can England end the wait?
As stated, England got hold of the World Cup in 1966, which remains their best result in the WC. They are set to feature in their 16th World Cup. England have played 69 matches and willed themselves to 29 wins and 21 draws, besides suffering 19 losses. They have scored 91 goals, the seventh-most by a nation in WC, after Spain (99).
70th World Cup match for England
England will play their 70th World Cup match when they kick off their campaign against Iran. They will become only the fifth side to breach the landmark, after Brazil (109), Germany (109), Italy (83), and Argentina (81).
Kane can achieve these records for England
Harry Kane can become England's highest scorer in FIFA World Cup history. The Tottenham forward needs five goals to surpass former England star Gary Lineker (10) to achieve this mark. Kane, who has scored 51 goals for England in all competitions, needs three more to surpass Wayne Rooney's tally of 53 to become his nation's top-scorer ever.
Contrasting records for England in WC
England have been eliminated eight times in the quarter-finals of the FIFA World Cup. It's the most by any nation in the coveted event (1950, 1954, 1962, 1970, 1982, 1986, 2002, 2006). At the same time, they are one of the six nations with the best finish in the tournament. The Three Lions hosted the event in 1966 and emerged as the eventual winner.
Shilton's record as most-capped English player hard to break
Former England goalkeeper Peter Shilton holds the record for the most appearances for his nation in the competition's history (17). He featured in three WCs (1982, 1986, 1990). Terry Butcher, Bobby Charlton, Ashley Cole, and Bobby Moore have the joint-second-most appearances for England (14).
What do the numbers say about the USA?
USA's best WC finish came in the inaugural edition in 1930, when they reached the semi-finals only to suffer a 1-6 drubbing from Argentina. They have played 33 games in the tournament (W8 L19 D6). USA are set to partake in their 12th WC. Landon Donovan (12) is USA's most-capped player in WC (2002, 2006, 2010). The forward is also their record goal-scorer (5).
Youngest-ever to captain in WC
Former USA goalkeeper Tony Meola holds the record for being the youngest captain in WC history. He attained the feat aged 21 years and 109 days against Czechoslovakia (June 10, 1990).
It's been a long wait for Wales
England's arch-rivals, Wales, will be making only their second World Cup appearance. Their last appearance dates back to 1958 when they concluded their run in the quarter-finals. It remains their best finish in the World Cup. Besides, Wales' 64-year gap between appearances is the longest by any nation in WC history. Overall, the Dragons command a 1-1 W/L record across five matches (D3).
Record holders for Wales in WC
Ivor Allchurch, Dave Bowen, Mel Charles, Cliff Jones, Mel Hopkins, Jack Kelsey, and Stuart Williams hold the record for joint-most appearances for Wales in WC. Meanwhile, Allchurch remains their leading goal-scorer (2).
Iran are in the fray as well
Iran will mark their sixth World Cup appearance. Team Melli have mustered a 2-9 win-loss record in the tournament (D4) across 15 matches. Iran haven't gone past the group stage in each of their five WC appearances (1978, 1998, 2006, 2014, 2018). Mehdi Mahdavikia, Andranik Teymourian, Alireza Jahanbakhsh, and Ehsan Hajsafi have all made six appearances in the tournament, joint-most for Iran.