There are plenty of individuals heading to Russia this week hoping to come back with a piece of history to their name
If you’re anything like us at Mirror Football HQ , you’re currently sat with a nervous twitch.
You keep glancing at your watch and checking the date, excited by the prospect of having every day for the next month filled with football.
Heck, even the thought of Morocco vs Iran is giving us the shivers at the moment, such is the craving for the World Cup to come around.
Thankfully, there’s just a matter of days to wait.
So to get us in the spirits – and to occupy us before we go stir-crazy thinking of the joy of Costa Rica vs Serbia over a midday meal deal – we took a look at the records which are set to be broken.
World Cup 2018
1. Most goals
Thomas Muller (Germany)
After being given a favourable group draw, this record is very much on for Thomas Muller.
The forward needed six goals to surpass his countryman Miroslav Klose at the top of the all-time World Cup goalcoring charts.
Muller has 11 as it stands, with Klose sitting on 16.
There is another tidy record which Muller is after: becoming the first man to score four or more goals in three World Cup finals. That one eluded the likes of Pele and Ronaldo.
2. Most clean sheets
Manuel Neuer (Germany)
Another record, another German.
Goalkeeper Manuel Neuer’s starting spot is anything but confirmed at the World Cup this summer, having only just recovered from injury and Marc-Andre ter Stegen impressing for Barcelona.
But if he does get the nod, Neuer needs four clean sheets to take the overall title of most competition clean sheets.
He currently sits on seven, with England’s Peter Shilton and France’s Fabian Barthez level on 10 at the top of the pile.
3. Most wins as manager
Joachim Low (Germany)
We’re getting the Germans out of the way early.
A third record and a third German on the list, but Joachim Low has his work cut out if he wants this title.
He is seven wins short of Helmut Schon’s record 16 victories at the World Cup finals, meaning he will have to win every single game this summer to take the title.
Even if he doesn’t take it, Low could be back in four years‘ time to have another go after signing a new deal with his country.
4. Oldest player to feature in a game
Essam El-Hadary (Egypt)
There’s life in the old dog yet.
Giving hope to every middle-aged five-a-side footballer in the world is Egypt goalkeeper Essam El-Hadary, who enters the tournament at 45 years old.
He played a vital part in his country’s run to the final at the last Africa Cup of Nations, but is very much considered a back-up heading into this tournament.
Come on, Egypt. Give him a cameo!
5. Most cards in World Cup history
Rafa Marquez (Mexico) or Tim Cahill (Australia)
Mexico defender Rafa Marquez needs just one card, either yellow or red, to become the most carded player in the history of the competition.
He currently sits level with Zinedine Zidane on six cards.
Australia’s Tim Cahill could also claim this record, as he enters the competition only one card behind Marquez.
6. Most appearances as captain
Rafa Marquez (Mexico)
Forget the ill-discipline, Marquez could walk away with a much more coveted record following this summer’s World Cup.
If he captains Mexico in all three of their group stage games, the 39-year-old will surpass Diego Maradona as the record appearance maker as captain at World Cup finals.
Maradona wore the armband 16 times, while Marquez has done on 14 occasions heading to Russia.
7. Most goals scored as captain
Lionel Messi (Argentina)
You can’t have a piece about record breaking without Lionel Messi, can you?
Messi will be leading out Argentina in Russia, as they look to go one step further than the disappointment of finishing runners up in 2014.
He scored four times during that World Cup, in which he wore the captain’s armband throughout, meaning that he needs three more to pass Diego Maradona as the best goalscoring captain in finals history.
8. First man to win Golden Ball at consecutive World Cups
Lionel Messi (Argentina)
Yes, it’s Lionel Messi once again.
Ok, this one is a little bit more loose, but it absolutely conceivably could happen, given the individual brilliance of Messi.
No player has ever won the Golden Ball, awarded to the best player at the World Cup finals, and gone onto retain it four years later.
Messi is still his country’s main man – and a deep run could easily see him take the title again.
9. First man to score in every match in two consecutive World Cups
James Rodriguez (Colombia)
Part of the reason Colombia were so successful at the World Cup in 2014 was because of the goalscoring exploits of James Rodriguez.
Ultimately, his performances earned him is transfer from Monaco to Real Madrid.
He found the net in all five of Colombia’s games in Brazil and will be looking to repeat the feat in Russia, continuing one of the most remarkable records in the tournament’s history alive.
10. Oldest combined age of managers facing off
Oscar Tabarez (Uruguay) and Fernando Santos (Portugal)
Get your calculators at the ready for this one.
If Uruguay and Portugal both qualify for the knockout stages in alternate group positions (i.e Uruguay win Group A and Portugal finish second in Group B), then the two sides will face off in the Round of 16.
That means that managers Oscar Tabarez and Fernando Santos would become the oldest duo to face off.
At 135 years and three months, Tabarez and Santos would surpass the combined age of Tabarez and Roy Hodgson (134 years and two months) from the World Cup four years ago.