Qatar hosted one of the most successful FIFA World Cups in history, attracting fans from all over the world and, to top it all off, Lionel Messi lifted the trophy at the end. Before the start of the tournament, Qatar faced widespread criticism, with several migrant workers losing their lives while working on stadium construction sites. Hassan Al-Thawadi, a senior Qatar World Cup official, said more than 400 migrant workers had died in workplace accidents in the Gulf state in the years leading up to the tournament.
However, fans turned out in droves to support their favorite teams at the World Cup. Teams from Arab nations enjoyed huge support as fans from different parts of the world came to Qatar to support Argentina as it was Messi’s last World Cup.
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Here are the best moments from the 2022 FIFA World Cup:
Saudi Arabia surprised Argentina
The tournament began with Qatar clashing with Ecuador, but it was the fifth match of the edition that Saudi Arabia stunned South American giants Argentina with a 1-2 victory. Saudi Arabia shocked the football world as Albiceleste entered the World Cup on a 36 match winning streak. Messi scored the first goal of the game in the first half, but the Argentine defenders suffered from a lack of concentration in the first 10 minutes of the second half and the Saudis took full advantage of this by scoring two quick goals. Several fans started to doubt Messi and Argentina after the loss, but they returned to the title story with a bang.
Japan outclasses the European giants
Before the tournament, most fans wanted Germany and Spain out of Group E, but Asian Japan had other plans and lit up Qatar with their sensational performances. Hajime Moriyasu’s men didn’t play the best football but were extremely effective in defending against Spain and Germany to outclass them. Moriyasu formed a compact defensive line which did not allow the European giants to break the deadlock. Japan therefore finished the group stage at the top of the table, while Spain finished as runners-up. Unfortunately, Germany failed to qualify for the round of 16 as La Roja had a better goal difference than them.
Lionel Messi switched to GOD mode in knockout matches
After losing the opening goal against Saudi Arabia, several people started to doubt Messi and Argentina, but they managed to finish top of their group. However, Messi activated GOD mode in the knockout stage and carried Argentina on his shoulders to help them reach the final. He scored a decisive goal against Australia in the round of 16, followed by a sensational assist in the clash against the Netherlands, considered by many to be the best of the tournament. He scored from the penalty spot in the quarter-finals and then celebrated in front of Dutch coach Loius Van Gaal who made comments about the PSG striker that he didn’t like. The seven-time Ballon d’Or winner didn’t stop there, scoring once again and providing an assist in the semi-final against Croatia.
The stakes were very high in the final and Messi took his chance again and scored twice as Argentina lifted the trophy after beating France on penalties. Messi became the first player in FIFA World Cup history to score in every single knockout match in a single edition of the tournament. He has also been named player of the match in each of Argentina’s knockout matches.
Atlas lions roar in Qatar
Morocco’s trip to the World Cup in Qatar is one of the best losing stories in the history of the tournament. Walid Regragui’s men joined the Group of Death in Qatar while Belgium, Croatia and Canada were also part of the same group. Atlas Lions put on a courageous display in the group stage and went unbeaten as they progressed to the knockout stages after dominating the tough group as Belgium’s golden generation failed to progress.
Morocco continued their glorious run in the knockout stage by defeating title favorites Spain in the round of 16. This was followed up with a decisive victory against Portugal in the quarter-finals which proved their previous performances had not been a fluke. They lost the semi-final to 2018 champions France, but it wasn’t a one-sided match either as Morocco dominated possession with 62%, but the French block was too strong for them.
Before the tournament started, fans knew Achraf Hakimi and Hakim Ziyech from the Moroccan team, but as their journey ended, players like Azzedine Ounahi, Sofyan Amrabat, Youssef En-Nesyri and Yassine Bounou became names as household as their valor market. massively increased.
Messi-Mbappé show at the World Cup final
The seven-time Ballon d’Or winner scored a brace, while French star and Messi’s club-mate Kylian Mbappé scored a hat-trick in a thrilling World Cup final which ended 3-3 after an extension at the stadium Lusail. It was a final in which Argentina completely dominated the first 79 minutes of the game with a 2-0 lead, but a foul by Nicholas Otamendi inside the box changed the game completely when Mbappe scored the his first goal from the penalty spot. Within 97 seconds, Mbapped scored a world-class goal to level the score.
Messi worked his magic in the 108th minute of extra time to score Argentina’s third goal, but Mbappé canceled out the goal again with a 118th-minute penalty to make it an all-time thrilling game in the history of the Cup final. FIFA world.
Emiliano Martinez wins for Messi and Argentina
Emiliano Martinez made arguably the most crucial saves of his football career in the 123rd minute of the Qatar Mundial final. In the final minute of the game, Randal Kolo Muani was 1v1 ahead of Martinez and shot in an attempt to defend the French championship, but the Aston Villa goalkeeper stretched his legs and the ball hit his left foot. while the Argentinian fans heaved a huge sigh of relief.
The game went to a penalty shoot-out where Martinez got back up and saved Kingsley Coman’s shot, while Aurélien Tchouaméni missed as Argentina beat France 4-2 in shots on goal. Gonzalo Montiel kept his nerve and scored the winning kick for Argentina as they clinch their third World Cup as Messi fulfilled his childhood dream of getting his hands on the coveted trophy.
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