Argentina were declared champions three times in Qatar, and Lionel Messi finally won the FIFA World Cup on his fifth attempt, a spectacle that Argentine fans have dreamed of since the ‘ten’ broke away from Barcelona. If there is still a lot of opposition to be considered the best football player in history, Rosario’s opposition reduced the discussions.
Backed by the confidence of the team and the development on the field, Lionel Messi gave his best arguments, facing the adversities he showed in the seven matches he reached the top.
The defeat in the first match against Saudi Arabia, which is one of the biggest surprises in the history of the World Cup, formed a complex scenario that Argentina escaped by defeating Mexico and allowed them to find certainty: Messi is the key to goals, Enzo Fernandez e. Alexis McAllister takes on roles in midfield, Julian Alvarez in attack and reads Lionel Scaloni to make tactical adjustments depending on opponents and circumstances.
Argentina, Messi and the Title in Qatar 2022
It was the confirmation of the classification against Poland and, thanks to that, the Argentine team got the first place in the group and avoided France in the round of 16. Australia posed problems for him, imposing Emiliano Martinez’s first “miracle” in the last moments. The Netherlands took them as far as possible, in the quarter-finals, in a match that dominated with two goals in favor and Wout Weghorst equalized in the final minutes. Possibly the hottest of the 64 matches ever played in Qatar, it featured styles of play. A change of plan by Louis van Gaal imposed penalties but did not take into account that the South Americans still had the “Depo” card.
On the horizon came Croatia, who won in the semi-finals with an unexpected runner-up. The final against France was different, one of the best in memory. Once again, the opposition came back with two goals of their own, plus they managed to equalize with another goal in extra time and would have won had it not been for a creative save by ‘Depo’ Martinez against Randall Kolo Mwani.
After the last push came the euphoria and that image that Lionel Messi never stopped looking for in his album of legends. The World Cup is in his hands, and he is 35 years old, and he is the competition’s Ballon d’Or. He didn’t need to show anything else, but he chose not to give up and completed the show.
Kylian Mbappé was born in the World Cup
It’s impressive to see what Kylian Mbappé can achieve when his career is over if he continues on the road he took during his early years as a professional.
At the age of 23, he played in his second World Cup final and, far from being overshadowed by the stage, became only the second footballer to score a hat-trick on a stage of monstrous size.
Kylian Mbappé threw himself behind France (who were without Karim Benzema due to injury) and became Qatar’s top scorer with eight goals, although he is already in a position to snatch Miroslav Klose’s absolute record.
Didier Deschamps’ bet on Qatar was similar to the bet he made four years ago on Russia. Collective pragmatism and the freedom of individual exposure, with Antoine Griezmann at the helm and Kylian Mbappé decisive.
In the Round of 16, they easily beat Poland before facing England in one of the closest World Cup encounters. France faced Morocco in the semi-finals, and it was a big revelation, but there was no room for surprises. This time he dethroned Argentina and Lionel Messi in the hope that he will recover in 2026, of course, at the hands of Mbappé.
Brazil, the “Six Six” that did not arrive
Brazil’s feeling was that it had lost a great chance to win the world title after two decades, in addition to doubting that it would continue to count on Neymar for its next attempt at ‘sex’.
At the age of 30, Neymar still had more chapters to write with his ‘canarinha’ at the World Cup, but the collapse of the Paris Saint-Germain player when he fell in the quarterfinals on penalties against Croatia is nothing short of optimistic in Pelé’s field, who will not be able to see his team lift the cup for the sixth time.
Brazil signed a tour match against South Korea in which they showed the full potential of their attack line, but rocky Croatia, supported by goalkeeper Dominik Levakovic, annulled their advantages to miss a new opportunity.
It remains to keep working and making the most of a generation that has a great future with or without Neymar. It will depend on the fact that in 2026 there will not be six World Cups in a row without winning the title, which would be the biggest drought in history for Brazil.
Qatar 2022, the last World Cup in the current format and the 32 participating teams, also brought tears to Cristiano Ronaldo, who ended up as a substitute in Portugal. Germany were again eliminated for the second consecutive time in the group stage, and the group of referees was led by Stephanie Frappart of France, who topped the men’s World Cup for the first time.
As well as Uruguay’s indignation and despair at the defeat in the first round, the maximum penalty for Harry Kane, undisputed leader of England, but missed the main penalty against France, which was weak. The longevity of Luka Modric, the elegance in comforting Neymar and Rodrygo, in addition to the applause for Morocco, finally managed to install an African team among the four best in the world.
Qatar 2022, a world record
The numbers had their space and intend to be permanent at least for a long time. The person who led these records was Lionel Messi. For the fifth time, the Club of Players of the Cup, the owner of the most games, most minutes, the first player to give five assists in a version, most appearances as captain, the highest scorer in Argentina and a long list that goes on.
Cristiano Ronaldo also had his own space, albeit less important. The first footballer to score five times at the World Cup and equal the number of the most capped player he has played for his team.
The numbers also judged Qatar as the worst host and Argentina against. The match with the most yellow cards was the Netherlands, Hugo Lloris the goalkeeper with the most goals in the World Cup or Dominic Levakovic the penalty saver equaling the record.