World Cup 2022

World Cup 2022

The 2022 FIFA World Cup is the 22nd World Cup, contested by the men’s national team. It is currently taking place in Qatar and started on November 20th and ends on December 18th. Qatar qualified automatically as the host nation, while the other 31 teams had to play World Cup qualifying matches. Italy, the Euro 2022 champions, missed out on this year’s World Cup after failing to qualify. This could also be a historic World Cup and the passing of the guard, with many iconic figures set to retire. Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo will both appear at their fifth World Cup hoping to lift the coveted cup, which neither have won in their careers. 

I am looking forward to the possible last showdown between Messi and Ronaldo. 


The tournament started with 32 teams split into eight groups, each with four teams. Each team played three games in hopes of advancing to the Round of 16. The group stage wrapped up on December 2nd, with more teams bowing out of the World Cup. Now we’re onto the Round Of 16 with teams hoping to earn a place in the Quarter-Finals. During the Round of 16, the Netherlands were the first team to book their place after beating the US; Argentina also advanced after defeating Australia. France, the reigning Champions, earned a place in the quarter-finals after beating Poland. England also advanced after beating Senegal. Croatia advanced after beating Japan on penalties, and Brazil advanced with a win over South Korea. Portugal advanced with a victory over Switzerland, while in a shocking upset, Morocco advanced after beating Spain on penalties. The quarterfinal matches are now set: Netherlands vs. Argentina, Croatia vs. Brazil, England vs. France, and Morocco vs. Portugal. 


2022 World Cup Milestones 

  • Spain’s Gavi becomes the youngest World Cup Scorer since Pele, at 18 years, 110 days.


  • England’s Jude Bellingham is the first player to score a goal and provide an assist at a World Cup before turning 20 years old since Lionel Messi in 2006


  • France’s Kylian Mbappe passes Pele for most World Cup goals scored by a men’s player before turning 24 yrs old (8)


  • Argentina’s Lionel Messi breaks Maradona’s record and becomes the second-highest goal scorer for Argentina in the World Cup.


  • Australia’s Garang Kuol becomes the youngest player to play at the knockout stage of the World Cup since Pele, at 18 years and 79 days.


  • Olivier Giroud overtakes Thierry Henry as France’s all-time scorer.


Stephanie Frappart makes history as the first woman to referee a men’s World Cup match. Stephanie Frappart, Neuza Back, and Karen Diaz became the first all-women refereeing team for a men’s World Cup match during Costa Rica vs. Germany. I am on the girl’s varsity soccer team, and this milestone is the most significant for me. Seeing the female referees in the World Cup sends a message of empowerment for women. To quote Michelle Obama, “There is no limit to what we, as women, can accomplish.” There is no reason why a woman cannot coach, referee, commentate or write about men’s sports as well as, or in some cases, better than their male counterparts. Christina Unkel states, “This is just the beginning of the sport showing a red card to inequality. The train’s left the station. It’s not going back”. 


2022 World Cup definitely had a lot of surprises so far

  • Argentina suffered a shocking defeat in their first group-stage match, losing 2-1 to Saudi Arabia. While this seemed an easy win for Argentina on paper, the game is played on grass. 


  • Japan beat Germany 2-1 in their first group-stage match to complete a comeback. Substitute Ritsu Doan scored in the 75’ minute after being on the pitch for 4 minutes. Takuma Asano also scored in the 83rd minute to seal the comeback for Japan. 


  • On the last day of the group stage, South Korea came from behind to beat Portugal (2-1) and advanced thanks to Hwang Hee-Chan’s goal in the 91’ minute to put South Korea through the Knockout stage. 
  • Spain lost in the Round of 16 to Morocco. The game went to extra time and penalties, with both teams scoring 0 goals. Spain missed all three penalties, while Morocco scored three to win the game. Morocco then qualified for the quarter-finals of the World Cup for the first time. 


I surveyed my teammates from the girl’s varsity soccer team to see which team they thought would win the World Cup. France is the team that the majority of the soccer team thinks will win the World Cup. France are the reigning champions, and with Kylian Mbappe in fine form, they could be the team to win the World Cup. Besides the reigning champions, Brazil and England are other top contenders to win this year’s World Cup. 


What team do you think will win the World Cup?