World Cup 2022: Who Will Bring the Cup Home?

Valentina Hernandez, Writer

The 2022 FIFA World Cup season kicked off November 20th in Qatar. Fans are gathering by the millions to support their national teams up until December 18th. This year th16ere will be 32 countries competing for the cup.

Since 1930, the FIFA World Cup has been hosted every four years, resulting in twenty-one World Cup tournaments since its commence.

The tournament first begins in the group stage, where teams compete within eight groups of four teams each. Each team faces each other once in a single-headed “Round-Robin” format, and the top two teams of each group qualify for the Round of 16. (First of the knockout stages).

“The most exciting game so far has been the Saudi Arabia vs. Mexico because Saudi Arabia had beat Argentina and many people were doubting Mexico,” Senior Camila Santana said. “Although [Mexico] got eliminated in that round, we still won that game”

The 2022 FIFA World Cup quarterfinals teams are as followed: Croatia, Brazil, Netherlands, Argentina, Morocco, Portugal, England, and France.

During the quarterfinals, eight teams compete in single-elimination style tournaments. The remaining four then move onto semi-finals, third place play-offs, and the final.

“I think Portugal and Brazil will both make it to the finals, if it is not Brazil than France could have a chance,” Senior Fan Emmanuel Gomez said.

This year’s World Cup matches are taking place in eight different stadiums of Qatar’s five host cities (Lusail City, Al Khor, Doha, Al-Rayyan, and Al-Wakrah). The final, which takes place on December 18th, will be played in Lusail Iconic Stadium located in Lusail, Qatar.

Now that the Round of 16 teams have come to an end, many of the quarterfinals’ teams hold the best ranked players. 23-year-old French citizen, Kylian Mbappe, is ranked 1st for the “Best Footballers of Qatar 2022” according to ESPN. Mbappe has scored a total of three goals for his team in the group stage, benefitting them to move forward. In second rank, also from France, is Karim Benzema who plays the forward position. In 3rd place is Belgium Midfielder, Kevin De Bruyne, ‘his ability is so remarkable and abundantly clear,’ said ESPN.

“In my personal opinion, Messi is the best player,” Senior Camila Hernandez said. “Not only is he an amazing player, but he is also an incredible teammate, and it is sad to know this will be his last World Cup.”

A few goal highlights have also been recognized this World Cup. During the Brazil vs. Serbia game, Brazilian player, Richarlison De Andrade, made two goals for his team. The second goal was completed through an acrobatic-like flip, putting Brazil in their groups first place. In the Australia vs. Tunisia game, a goal was scored between Australian player, Craig Goodwin, pass to teammate Mitch Duke, through a header shot. Mexican player, Luis Chavez, managed to score a ‘stunning’ free throw goal during the Mexico vs. Saudi Arabia game.

“The Mexico goals against Saudi Arabia gave everyone hope, especially the free kick goal,” Gomez said.

To other fanatics, it was more exciting when it came to blocking a penalty than watching players score goals.

“When Memo Ochoa blocked Robert Lewandowski’s penalty I thought it was very emotional because Lewandowski is one of the top scorers in Europe, and Ochoa was able to block it,” Santana said.

Fans are still eager to watch who will make it to the final rounds, hoping for their national team to continue to progress through the stages. It is only a matter of weeks until we find out who will take home the 2022 World Cup.