The four-yearly World Cup ended in style in Qatar, with Lionel Messi’s Argentina narrowly defeating Kylian Mbappé’s France in a PK match in what was probably the most intense championship match ever. Although there were always winners and losers in the tournament, it was a great opportunity for the best teams in the world to interact with each other and leave behind a lot of exciting stories.
Let’s take a look back at some of the most memorable moments from this year’s Qatar World Cup. Top 10 of the most exciting moments from the World Cup Qatar 2022.
The most expensive and extravagant World Cup ever
This year’s Qatar World Cup is full of controversies, including the deliberate postponement of the tournament to winter to avoid the heat of the Middle East summers, the bribery scandal, the corruption scandals, and the embarrassment of the squeezed labor force, and basically the whole tournament started with a lot of questions.
At a cost of about $230 billion, Qatar has practically built a city in the desert for the World Cup. The total cost of the last 4 World Cups combined was less than 1/4 of Qatar’s. The vast majority of the cost was in the construction of the hardware, as they had to build 8 stadiums from scratch, and the subsequent use of these stadiums after the tournament is a cause for concern.
Last year’s host country Russia was sanctioned directly for war
The 2018 World Cup was held in Russia, and the host country, Russia, which was already a strong country, made it to the last 8 before losing to Croatia in a PK match, and was subjected to overwhelming international sanctions and denunciations due to the Russia-Ukraine war in 2022.
FIFA originally banned Russian players from playing for the country, only in the name of a neutral country and at a neutral venue, and no flags, national anthems or other symbols were allowed to appear anywhere. However, the other countries participating in the World Cup European Qualifying Tournament stated that they strictly refused to play against Russia, which had started the war. Finally FIFA announced a direct ban on Russia’s participation in the World Cup, which is undoubtedly the biggest loss for players and fans.
Japan’s cleanliness and etiquette are highly praised
If you watched the World Cup this year, you must have been impressed by the way Japanese fans cheered. Instead of carrying cheering sticks, glow sticks, etc., they carried big blue garbage bags. In addition to being very eye-catching, the most important thing is that they can help pick up the trash after the game. The Japanese fans have long been known internationally for this behavior, and even the players themselves have kept the lounge spotless, impressing the international community with all their actions.
Japan finished first in the group
Japan was grouped together with Germany, Spain and Costa Rica in this year’s World Cup group. In the match against Germany, Japan scored two goals in just 8 minutes in the second half, despite being down by one point at the end of the first half, and was able to win with only 26% possession of the ball.
In the most crucial match of Spain, Japan also scored two goals in a row after being down by one point, including a miraculous goal by Kaoru Mitoma that was just 1.88mm out of bounds. Although they lost the PK match against Croatia in the Round of 16, the spirit of fighting was already very touching.
Korea advances to the Round of 16
South Korea’s grouping with Portugal, Uruguay and Ghana was a very bumpy road to qualify. They drew with Uruguay in the group stage, and then lost 2:3 against Ghana in the end. Facing Portugal, Korea had the pressure of not losing. Under the condition that the outside world was not optimistic at all, Korea was able to overtake the score in the injury time and squeeze into the second place in the group to eliminate Uruguay by the advantage of more total goals scored. Finally, they lost to Brazil in the round of 16.
Brazil and Portugal were knocked out
Brazil and Portugal have always been regarded as the favorites to win the championship, but both of them were eliminated in the final 8 stage, especially Cristiano Ronaldo’s tears after the match against Morocco broke the hearts of many fans. Brazil’s leading player Neymar was also disappointed with his performance.
This year’s Cristiano Ronaldo became the first player ever to score in five consecutive World Cups, but after being substituted midway through the match against Korea and then arguing with his coach, he sat on the bench for the entire match against Switzerland, and then came on as a substitute in Morocco until the 57th minute, failing to restore the team’s momentum.
Croatia : King of Penalty Shootout
Croatia has always been a country that is known for its PK game. This time, the strength of the team was even more obvious. Although they are not strong on the offensive side, their strong defensive ability and fast counterattack opportunities are rarely crossed by their opponents.
Croatia first beat Japan with 3:1 penalty kicks in the Round of 16, and then crushed Brazil’s dream of winning the title with 4:2 penalty kicks in the Round of 8. Goalkeeper Dominik Livaković was a wall of strength, even blocking four goals in two crucial PK games, making him an overnight sensation. Although the team lost to Argentina, the result of reaching the quarterfinals for the second consecutive year has impressed the international community.
Morocco became the most glorious light of Africa
Morocco is the dark horse of this year’s tournament. In the traditional soccer powerhouse of Europe and South America, Morocco has become the hope of all African countries. In addition to being the group champion, Morocco also beat Spain and Portugal to finish in 4th place. After the match, the players thanked the fans on their knees in the stadium with gratitude, which was one of the best stories of the tournament.
Morocco set many World Cup records this year, including being the first African team to win a PK tournament and the first African and Arab team to advance to the quarterfinals. For the Moroccans, the last time they reached the Round of 16 of the World Cup was in 1986, and the only time in their history they have reached a tournament other than the group stage, so it is easy to imagine how emotional this year will be for the Moroccans.
France is just one step away from defending the title
France is the strongest team in this year’s World Cup, having broken many curse. With the glory of being the reigning champion, France started the group stage with a bang, only losing to Tunisia with a non-starter. Since then, France has been winning almost steadily.
Mbappe’s performance continued to be outstanding, with his strong ball skills and great speed, he always put great pressure on the opponent, and his aggressive courage and unafraid generalship was even more evident in the final. He even scored a hat-trick in the final, and France was about to lose, but Mbappe scored two goals in a row to tie the game at 80 and 81 minutes. France was behind again in the extended match, but Mbappe scored a penalty to equalize the game. The two deficits and two ties kept fans around the world on the edge of their seats. Finally, with a total of 8 goals, he became the winner of the Golden Boot.
Argentina wins title, Messi rounds up last piece of puzzle in life
Lionel Messi is one of the greatest players of our time in every way, and is known as the Diego Maradona of our time. 35-year-old Messi has won numerous awards in his soccer career, and has finally taken home the missing piece of the World Cup title. The Qatar World Cup is also the second time Messi has won the World Cup Golden Ball after the 2014 World Cup in Brazil.
Compared to France, Argentina has had a bumpy ride. Not only did they lose to Saudi Arabia in their first match, but they were also on the brink of elimination against the Netherlands, and the slaughter with France was even more frightening. But Lionel Messi has always been able to step up to the plate at the most crucial moments, giving his teammates morale and boosting the team’s spirits.
This is the second time since 1986 that Argentina has won the trophy. Winning the World Cup again after 36 years makes for the perfect ending.