Qatar 2022’s best and worst

Qatar 2022 is over, with Argentina earning their third World Cup in history against France in the final. It has been a long tournament, full of twists and turns and unexpected disappointments. From the group stage to Montiel’s penalty, we’ve seen teams and individuals shine and fail. Precisely for this reason, taking a step back, we will try to summarize the best and worst of this competition with our analysis of the 2022 World Cup.


The Best

  • Lionel Messi 10: It was his World Cup, where he did nothing wrong. He dragged Argentina to the third World Cup while under pressure from those who continued to consider him an incomplete player, below Maradona’s talent. And instead now we have seen him raise that cup to the sky, complete with photos similar to those taken of Diego after the 1986 success. Messi won with the Albiceleste, raising his performance level game after game. A brace in the final, to which he also added the goal scored on penalties: impeccable. Argentina-France catapulted him into the Olympus of players who have won everything. Maybe this will be enough to silence the comparisons between him and Maradona, or maybe not. The important thing, however, remains having seen them play.


  • Morocco 9: It was undoubtedly the surprise of this World Cup. A strong, fun team capable of eliminating Spain and Portugal thanks to a mix of established players and others who have made their name this month. It finishes the tournament in fourth position, making history as the first African team to reach the semi-final and, consequently, the 3rd place playoff.


  • Kylian Mbappé 9: If the 2022 World Cup completed Messi’s career by allowing him to win the most important trophy missing from his resume, it also established Mbappé as the world’s best player right now. Born in 1998, he already won that trophy 4 years ago and was about to take it back by dragging France alone. In the World Cup final, he scored a hat-trick, also scoring the fourth goal on penalties—three goals that also gave him the title of top scorer of the tournament. The new year is yet to come, but we already have the very first contender for the 2023 Ballon d’Or.


  • Japan 7.5: If Morocco hadn’t been there, the surprise of the World Cup would have been them. They played an incredible World Cup, placing first in a group that included Germany and Spain. Coach Moriyasu plays his cards well, upsetting other teams tactically with spot-on substitutions. Doan and Mitoma shine during the tournament with their team, which nearly eliminates Croatia in the round of 16. Even this time, however, the Blue Samurai failed to reach the quarterfinals. However, it remains the best World Cup in their history. We will see what they will be able to do in 2026.


  • Luis Enrique 6.5: He is not impeccable in the middle of the field (and he paid for it), but outside the green rectangle he offers very high-quality content. During the month of the World Cup, the Spanish coach decides to open a Twitch channel to go live streaming, where he answers the most diverse questions. It is a revolution in football communication, also done lightly. He amuses his viewers (always many) and does good for scientific research, donating all the proceeds from these live broadcasts.


The worst of Qatar 2022

  • Brazil 5.5: They exalt themselves, score, and dance until the second round. Everything seems to be going the right way: Richarlison is in shape, and Neymar is decisive again despite the injury. But then, in the end, Croatia’s consistency and determination took them out of the top four teams in the tournament. All in all, more was expected from a team that had very high potential on the pitch.


  • Southgate 5: Take the last sentence written for Brazil and repeat it endlessly for England. Ok, they met the finalists (who were also the reigning world champions at the time) in the quarterfinals, but the feeling is that as soon as the difficulty bar rises, Southgate’s lineup tends to crumble. He has raised a lineup of young talents, but the feeling of incompleteness remains. The Three Lions were also unlucky, but the manager probably bears some responsibility for all of this.


  • Germany 4.5: Out for the second time in a row in the group stage. They lost their debut against Japan, despite making a comeback in a game where they could have taken more chances. It was not a good debut at the World Cup for Flick.


  • Cristiano Ronaldo 4.5: The World Cup could have been his redemption, but the feeling is that Qatar 2022 has overshadowed it even more. From hero to substitute, all within a few games. CR7 during the tournament attracted, as always, a lot of attention to himself. This time, however, it was more for what he did off the pitch.


  • Belgium 4: The adventure of the generational super team ends here; now they have to rebuild. Belgium could have been much more in recent years, thanks to a series of sensational talents. Instead, with Hazard’s farewell, a circle closes in which everyone has been disappointed, from Lukaku (perhaps the one with the most responsibility) to Martinez. De Bruyne, however, probably still has another World Cup ahead of him. Who will be with him?