Picture : Hakim Ziyech and Achraf Hakimi became today against Croatia , with Saudi Arabia captain Mohammed Al-Daeyea, the arab players with the most appearances in FIFA World Cup (10).
The statistics on 2022 World Cup day 22 (17 December)
*Croatia (beating Morocco 2-1) have supported the World Cup tradition. The last 11 games for 3rd place have been won by a European team. The streak began after the 1978 edition when Brazil beat Italy.
*Croatia have finished on the podium in 3 of their 6 World Cup participations (1998, 2018, 2022). In the remaining three, they were always eliminated at the group stage.
*Croatia won a playoff match of a major tournament (World Cup/Euro) in the regular time for the first time since 1998 World Cup when they best Netherlands 2-1 (also for 3rd place). After that, they could not win in the regular time in all 7 such matches at World Cup and all 3 at Euro.
In the playoffs of the current edition, Croatia beat Japan and Brazil on penalty shootouts, and then lost to Argentina in the semifinal.
*Croatia have only lost 2 of their 14 total matches across the last two editions of World Cup, vs France in the 2018 final (2-4) and vs Argentina in the 2022 semifinal (0-3).
*For the 2nd time in a row, the World Cup match for 3rd place was played by the teams from the same group (in 2018, Belgium vs England 2-0).
*A good sign for Argentina: in 6 of the last 7 editions of the World Cup, the team that defeated the third-placed team in the semifinal became the champion. The exception was 2014 editions (Netherlands finished 3rd; Argentina who beat them in the semis, lost the final).
*Ivan Perisic (Croatia) was involved in 11 goals over the last three World Cup editions (6 goals, 5 assists), the most of any other player except Lionel Messi (16).
*Ashraf Hakimi (Morocco) has made the most ball recoveries (27) among all 2022 World Cup players. Closest to him are Mateo Kovacic (Croatia, 24), Luka Modric (Croatia, 16), Jude Bellingham (England, 16) and Sofyan Amrabat (Morocco, 16).
*Luka Modric became the first outfield player at the age of 37+ to make the full set of appearances (7) at a World Cup edition. Previously, only two goalkeepers, Peter Shilton (in 1990) and Dino Zoff (in 1982), have achieved this being so old.
*Josko Gvardiol became the youngest Croatian goal-scorer in the World Cup history (20 years 328 days). Gvardiol surpassed Ivica Olic who scored against Italy in the 2002 edition at the age of 22 years 267 days.