The 2022 World Cup Comes to an End

Lionel Messi takes the field at the 2022 FIFA World Cup. (Hossein Zohrevand)

Hossein Zohrevand

Lionel Messi takes the field at the 2022 FIFA World Cup. (Hossein Zohrevand)

Ailyn Ortega, Reporter

The commencement of the 2022 FIFA World Cup tournament in Qatar was highly anticipated around the world. With this event happening every four years in different countries, it causes excitement and angst for soccer fans. 

Seeing as the World Cup spanned 21 matches, it was no surprise records were broken. For example, according to Forbes 39-year-old Portuguese player Pepe became the oldest player to score a goal when he did so in the knockout stage against Switzerland. Also Jude Bellingham who is 19 years old and from England became the first player born in the 21st century to score a goal. He did this in the match against Iran.

Not only are there record breaking titles for soccer players in the World Cup, there are numerous firsts this World Cup. For starters, unlike the other past World Cups being predominantly being set in some parts of Europe, South Africa, Asia, North America, and South American, this one being set in the Middle East for the first time has caused controversy due to the lack of a professional soccer league and the strict rules newcomers from different parts of the world need to follow. Additionally, Morocco’s team made history in being the first African country to reach the semi-finals. After a great run they eventually lost to France in the semi-finals, and then to Croatia in the third place game. On top of that, the World Cup experienced its first women referees. According to NPR the world witnessed “three women referees officiate a men’s World Cup match for the first time in the tournament’s history – Stephanie Frappart, Neuza Back and Karen Diaz.”

There was bound to be some debate in the finals on which team will win, or which team will lose. In this case, France and Argentina were highly talked about as they went head-to-head competing for the title as champions of the World Cup. Gabby Baird and Fyona Nielson said that “France will win the World Cup again.” Others argued in favor of Argentina.

With that being said, the final results of the World Cup ended up with Argentina winning, France being the runner up, and Croatia being second runner up winning the Bronze against Morocco.

The final game ended with an award ceremony. Three players from the Argentinian team won awards: Lionel Messi, Emi Martinez and Enzo Fernandez. Keylian Mbappe who is on France’s team also won an award. “Messi received the Golden Ball awarded to the tournament’s best player,” says Olympics. Emi Martinez won the Golden Glove award for best keeper, Keylian Mbappe won the Golden Boot for most goals scored, and Enzo Fernandez won the Best Young Player Award. 

Although this event  just came to a close on December 18, there is already talk about the next World Cup happening in 2026. The next World Cup will be in three different countries: The United States, Mexico, and Canada. Each of these countries will have different host cities, 11 in the United states, three in Mexico, and two in Canada. There will be an increase in the number of teams in the 2026 World Cup tournament and will “be the first to feature 48 nations, up from 32 that competed in the last seven tournaments dating back to 1998 when the number of participants was increased from 24,” informed USSoccer.