It’s not easy to become world champion, becoming one without having played even one minute of the competition is even more so. But the cases are there, there are 101 in history in 21 editions of the World Cup. In this 2022 edition, there are two players from theArgentina, Geronimo Rollers and Frank Armaniand two of the France, Alphonse Areola and Karim Benzemawho are preparing to add themselves to the list.
Areola: Can be world champion twice without playing
Even more complicated is to become world champion twice without ever having taken the field. This record could go to the French Areola, already in Russia 2018 relegated to the role of perennial reserve, but winner of the World Cup. It would still be a shared record.
The same thing happened to Guido Masetti, former Roma player, who became world champion in 1934 and 1938 with Italy without ever playing. The goalkeeper Carlos José Castilho, from Fluminense, lifted the cup to the skies in 1958 and 1962 with Brazil without making his debut in either league. Same thing for one of his national teammates, Jose Maciabetter known as Pepper. This is the only outfield player who has won two World Cups without a single minute on the pitch. Pepe in 1962 should have been the undisputed owner of the Selecao, but he was injured a few days before the start of the competition.
World champions from reserves: 33 are goalkeepers
There are 33 goalkeepers who have played zero minutes and have become world champions. Today you can add Armani, Rulli and Areola. We also find illustrious names such as Peruzzi and Leao. There are 32 defenders, including the Argentine Passarella18 midfielders and 18 forwards, including a certain Ronaldo Nazario who, in 1994, was part of Brazil’s list but was only 17 years old.
A record belongs to Brazil who won the title in Chile 1962. The coach Aymore Morerira he used only 12 of the 22 components of the squad. Ten of them didn’t even play a minute of that victorious World Cup.