Qatar world cup 2022: was it worth the wait?


Photo provided by: Brian Nobie

Senegal vs. England Quarterfinal at the 2022 World Cup, where England won 3-0

Nairie De Gregory, Staff Reporter

Less than a month ago the 2022 World Cup in Qatar came to a close with Argentina lifting the Cup in front of millions around the globe. It is no secret that this World Cup has been filled with controversy between the bribery for Qatar to host the World Cup, being held in the winter due to high temperature in the summers, and the unjust labor conditions for those working in the tournament; but boy did this tournament deliver. 

This tournament was filled with upsets. From Saudi Arabia beating Argentina (2-1), Australia beating Denmark, and South Korea defeating Portugal (2-1). But the most shocking upset was Japan beating both Germany and Spain, qualifying for the round of 16, shattering Germany’s dream of making it back into the round of 16 after failing to qualify back in 2018.Another big upset was Croatia knocking (favorites) Brazil out of the World Cup in penalties. However Japan was not the only team to upset favorites. Morocco had a stellar tournament, going on a Cinderella run, finishing fourth overall, and becoming the first African country to reach the semi-finals at a World Cup and it was extremely well deserved. 

I’m a French fan and I was really rooting for them to be back-to-back Champions this tournament. And they were so close to making it happen! Les bleus made it all the way to finals and came second. Overall, this tournament was extremely successful for them; first off they broke the curse that the previous world champion couldn’t make it to the round of 16. Spoiler, France not only made it through to the round of 16 but all the way to the final! I mean Kylian Mbappé was amazing in this tournament, he was a playmaker and a goal scorer (winning the golden boot). Also this French team was riddled with injury coming into this tournament with so many players from the 2018 winning team were out of commission. Even France’s star striker Karim Benzema (and 2022 Ballon d’Or winner) got injured during training in Qatar. But even through all the hardships France still prevailed and exceeded expectations for the tournament. 

Finally let’s talk about the final. Arguably one of the greatest world cup finals to ever have been played. France vs. Argentina. More popularly known as Mbappé vs. Messi. The world was about to find out. The game started off with Argentina leading the way with 2-0 going into the 80th minute. But then France was awarded a penalty and here was when things got shaken up. Mbappé put it right past the Argentine keeper. Then minutes later Mbappé scores again and sends the game into overtime. In overtime, Messi scored making it 3-2 but then Mbappe scored again taking the game into penalties. This is where France failed to score 2 of their 5 P.K’s and so Argentina were crowned the new champions. Now this final kept me and everyone else watching on the edge of their seats. This game was thrilling, exciting, included a massive comeback, and a happy ending. I mean as much as I wanted to see France win there was a part of me that wanted Messi to lift up the trophy for himself. This final was different in the fact that everyone was happy about the winner, because it included one of the greatest players of all time. In a way it wasn’t Argentina’s World Cup but rather Messi’s World Cup. I did not want Argentina to win, but I did want Messi to win. I believe that this final and its outcome was written in destiny. But this game regardless of its outcome was absolutely amazing. I was screaming through it all and you couldn’t even turn your head during it or you’d surely miss something. 

All in all the World Cup exceeded so many expectations, including my own. I mean I was freaking out in the group stages due to the amount of upsets that had been happening, but that’s a part of the fun. I don’t agree with the way Qatar handled a lot of things for the World Cup, especially the treatment of their workers, but they did put on a fantastic tournament with a historic finish that made everyone’s heart light up and will be ingrained in history forever.