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48-team World Cup: Good idea or bad idea?

World Cup
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Diego Maradona vs. Lionel Messi

In Argentina's 1986 World Cup title run, Diego Maradona scored or assisted on 10 of Argentina's 14 goals. This year, Messi has scored or assisted on five of Argentina's eight goals. Maradona also faced Germany (West Germany at the time) in the Final but did not score in the match.

DIEGO MARADONA - 1982, 1986, 1990, 1994

WC games - 21
WC goals - 8 (8 assists)
Touches - 1468 (183.5 touches/goal)
Min. played - 2007 (250.9 min/goal)
Shots on goal - 26 (44.1% on target)
Shot avg. dist. - 21.7 yards (0 goals outside box)
Total shots - 59 (30.8% on goal)

LIONEL MESSI - 2006, 2010, 2014

WC games - 14
WC goals - 5 (3 Assists)
Touches - 958 (191.6 touches/goal)
Min. played - 1170 (234.0 min/goal)
Shots on goal - 22 (44% on target)
Shot avg. dist. - 22.2 yards (3 goals outside box)
Total shots - 50 (22.7% on goal)

Average World Cup goal distance

Maradona and Messi have done their World Cup scoring in very different ways.
Maradona and Messi have done their World Cup scoring in very different ways.

Argentina World Cup performances - Maradona '86 vs. Messi '14

Goals: Maradona (5) - Messi (5)
Assists: Maradona (4) - Messi (1)
Team goals: Maradona (14) - Messi (8)
Percentage of team goals: Maradona (71.4%) - Messi (63%)
World Cup titles: Maradona (1) - Messi (TBD)

All-time caps

1. Javier Zanetti - 145
2. Roberto Ayala - 115
3. Diego Simeone - 106
4. Javier Mascherano - 104
5. Oscar Ruggeri - 97
6. Lionel Messi - 92
7. Diego Maradona - 91
8. Ariel Ortega - 87
9. Gabriel Batistuta - 78
10. Juan Pablo Sorin - 76