The 2022 FIFA World Cup has been one that has lived up to its billing in terms of the football that has been played, as it has continued to deliver a number of moments befitting of such an occasion.
This year’s edition of the competition is one that has been unique in more ways than one, with an example being the fact that it is the first to be played in the Middle East, as well as being the only edition to have taken place in the middle of a European winter.
One Country has appeared at their first World Cup
Indeed, the 2022 FIFA World Cup was also unique to the country of Qatar, as it was also the very first time that their football team was able to participate in the competition; something that many from the nation will be hoping becomes a regular occurrence.
While it has been a tournament to remember for many reasons, the nation will perhaps want to forget about their maiden showing at the event when it comes to what happened on the pitch. They were unable to record a single point from their three Group A matches, while they also only managed to score one goal, which came in the second match against Senegal.
In truth, they had never ever been near to qualifying for the FIFA World Cup in the past, and this edition perhaps showed them how far they are away from competing with the nations that are more established, but with future editions of the competition set to feature more teams, there is every chance that we may see them play a little more often.
The same could potentially be said of the likes of Wales and Canada, with both featuring in their first tournament for decades. We know we will definitely see Canada in four years as they share joint hosting responsibilities with the US and Mexico, while it would not be a shock if we were also to see Wales play in that competition, too.
Shock results have made the 2022 FIFA World Cup special
At the time of writing and ahead of the quarterfinal matches to have taken place over the weekend, one of the many highlights of the 2022 FIFA World Cup is the fact that there have been a number of shocking results, with many of them have been incredibly difficult to predict.
Everything started with the 2-1 defeat that Argentina had experienced at the hands of Saudi Arabia, as Lionel Messi and co were shocked in their opening group game, although they clearly managed to recover as they made it to the quarterfinals.
Since that game, though, we have seen upsets throughout the Group Stage that have included both Germany and Spain being defeated by Japan, Belgium being beaten by Morocco, France being defeated by Tunisia, and Cameroon has beaten Brazil.
Perhaps the biggest shock of the Group Stage was the fact that Belgium and Germany were both sent home early after being eliminated. Indeed, these two were rather shocking as fans would have had these two teams done as pre-tournament favorites as sportsbooks provided these two nations amongst the favorites with the biggest chance to win the World Cup in the betting odds to lift the title at the end of the competition. Of course, there are teams that are still involved in the quarterfinals that were popular with many ahead of the start of the 2022 FIFA World Cup, however, there is no denying Belgium (No. 2 ranked team) and serial winners Germany were leading contenders.
The shocks and surprises have not ended there, though, as the Round of 16 saw Morocco continue in their efforts to create history as they defeated Spain in a penalty shootout. With a number of top teams in the last eight, the Africans are the only team that can still cause a shock as they play Portugal in the QF. With that in mind, what can we expect to see in the later stages?
Quality still left in the final stages of the 2022 FIFA World Cup
Naturally, there is still plenty of quality left in the competition at the moment, with each of the four quarterfinals still providing fans with the ability to witness some of the best football possible this winter.
The matches between Brazil and Croatia, and the Netherlands and Argentina see two of the best in Europe going up against the two dominant forces in South American football; both of which had not suffered a defeat in qualification for the tournament before experiencing a shock upset in the Group Stage.
Of course, the ties of the round are played on Saturday, with many intrigued by what Morocco could potentially do against Portugal, however, all eyes are likely going to be on the game that will see two of Europe’s footballing heavyweights battle it out for a place in the last four. Both England and France will meet in what could be a quality encounter, with some of the world’s biggest superstars to be playing the game currently looking to be the difference.
Has the 2022 FIFA World Cup been a success?
Some might question whether the FIFA World Cup 2022 has been a success, with the tournament having attracted various streams of criticism for a variety of different reasons ever since it was awarded hosting rights back in 2010.
However, with the quality of football to have taken place on the field and the number of memorable moments created via the use of shock results, it is rather difficult to suggest it has been anything other than success from a football viewpoint.
Admittedly, there have been questions over the attendance for certain games to have been played in the earlier stages of the competition, but in terms of the action on the pitch, it would be hard to say this was a tournament that had not managed to deliver thus far.