Doha, Qatar. 64 games, 172 goals and one of the greatest finals in history, the 2022 World Cup is over.
Argentina defeated France in the penalty shootout and became the champion for the third time. Lionel Messi finally got the golden trophy that eluded him for so long.
Here are some highlights and low points of the tournament.
Lionel Messi was awarded the "Golden Ball" for the best player of the tournament. He fared no better at the World Cup, scoring seven goals, providing three assists and being Argentina's man of the match in all seven matches. He surpassed Lothar Matthaus' record and appeared in a record 26 world championships. Messi finally joined Pele and Diego Maradona as the greatest footballer of all time.
The biggest fail of all time
Given his name and profile, as well as the drama he created during his explosive pre-tournament interviews, it couldn't have been a worse tournament for Portuguese superstar Cristiano Ronaldo. Well, he scored a penalty against Ghana to become the first man to score in five different World Cups, but not much else for a player who doesn't currently play for a club. He tried and failed to score with a header against Uruguay, had a bad attitude after being substituted against South Korea, much to the annoyance of his coach, and then sat out qualifiers against Switzerland and Morocco. He broke down in tears after ending his World Cup career with a goal in Portugal's 1-0 defeat of Morocco.
Brazil forward Richarlison had his back to goal as he took a one-touch shot in the air near the penalty spot before leaping off the ground to deliver a spectacular acrobatic shot towards goal. The 2:0 victory over Serbia in the group stage allowed the Brazilians to forget about the injured Neymar for a while.
With 20 seconds remaining in the added time of the final, French striker Randal Colo Mouani beat Argentine goalkeeper Amy Martinez with a clean shot. Victory and the title belonged to France, but Martinez stuck out his left foot to keep the ball out. This save was as important as all of Messi's goals.
Argentina participated in the first two. First, the quarter-final against the Netherlands had it all: the goals, the play, the late drama of a goal in the 11th minute of stoppage time at 2-2, the late penalty shootout, a World Cup record 17 yellow cards. and after one red whistle.flyer. There was even a scene when Lionel Messi interrupted the post-match interview and insulted the Dutch player. "What are you looking at, idiot?" This was followed by the final, which may have just ended at the same Lucille Stadium.
Most disappointing team ever
Belgium came out as the second team and with some of the most famous players in the world. They scored a goal, did not leave their group, and coach Roberto Martinez resigned. For the second consecutive World Cup, Germany finished second in the group stage.
It's a packed field that has seen plenty of World Cup upsets, but the Netherlands stunned Argentina with an audacious free-kick 11 minutes from time to send the quarter-final into extra time in the second half. Instead of shooting from the edge of the box with almost the last pass of the game, Toon played a short pass into the middle of the Kupmyers box, Vaut Weghurst played the ball and held his marker before scoring in extra time.
Morocco for noise, Argentina for pure emotion, and Japan for cleaning their behinds.
At the age of 31, Antoine Griezmann has reinvented himself as a playmaker in France's midfield, having spent his entire career as a striker. He was one of the players of the tournament.
"I felt it was him." – Lionel Messi after his first World Cup victory.
Steve Douglas https://twitter.com/sdouglas80
AP World Cup coverage. https://apnews.com/hub/world-cup and https://twitter.com/AP_Sports.