The 2022 FIFA World Cup

Brielle Madrigal and Sofia Basulto

The World Cup has been one of the most popular and prestigious sporting events in the world since its first tournament in 1930. It is the most viewed sporting event in the world, with FIFA predicting that the 2018 World Cup final between France and Croatia was watched by over one billion people. The World Cup brings countries together to appreciate the wonderful sport, while also generating a lot of excitement and rivalry. In Qatar, many nations have already battled it out on the pitch, resulting in some of the most shocking upsets the tournament has seen. In just the second day of matches, one of the highest-rated teams with the legendary Lionel Messi captaining them, Argentina lost 2-1 to Saudi Arabia. This World Cup has been nothing short of unpredictable and is sure to be one to remember. 

It’s been difficult to predict which team will take home the trophy with many favorite teams losing in the early stages of the tournament. Really strong teams like Germany and Belgium, who usually perform really well at the international level, were knocked out in the group stages. “I was really hoping Spain was going to win,” says senior Mayah Mount. “They have such a strong midfield and I was really sad when they lost in penalty kicks.” Spain’s defeat was another example of this tournament’s unpredictability, as they lost to Morocco, the only African country to make it to the quarter-finals in the World Cup’s history. 

Brazil was another fan-favorite team that suffered a crushing defeat to a smaller country. “I really thought Brazil was going to win,” says senior Giselle Urzua. “They were dominating so much in earlier games I really didn’t expect them to lose to Croatia. I felt so bad for Neymar he deserved that win.” Brazil holds the record for most World Cup wins, with a total of 5. However, they will not be making that number 6 this year. “In my heart, I’m hoping Argentina wins,” Urzua states, “But my brain is saying that France is going to win.”

The reigning champions, France, have been dominating the tournament, just like they did in Russia in 2018. Even though many of their key players due to injury, their squad still remains strong. Kylian Mbappe has scored 9 goals in 12 World Cup appearances at just 23 years old. He is showing no signs of slowing down as France enters the semi-finals, hoping to break the World Cup curse and win for the second time in a row. 

“I hope France doesn’t win, it needs to be Messi.” Mount states, “I think Argentina is going to win, if Messi wins his status as the greatest player of all time will be undisputed.” After their shocking loss to Saudi Arabia, Argentina has bounced back with an even greater desire to win. Lionel Messi has put on a stunning performance this World Cup with 5 goals and 3 assists, putting him in the lead for winning the Golden Boot. After beating Croatia in an impressive 3-0 win, Argentina has secured a spot in the final, where they will face the winner of the France vs Morocco game.

So who will win? Will France win for the second time in a row? Will Morocco become the ultimate underdogs and be the first African country to win a World Cup? Or will Lionel Messi finally add a World Cup victory with Argentina to his long list of achievements, solidifying his status as the greatest player of all time?