The Nation and the World

Argentina and France Advance to World Cup Final 2022

The 2022 FIFA World Cup is taking place in Qatar from 20 November 2022 to 18 December 2022. Thirty-two teams participated in the tournament, and it is the last World Cup before the increase to 48 countries participating at the next World Cup in 2026. The matches are live streamed on Fox in English and on Telemundo in Spanish. Replays are available on Tubi for free. This is a good service for people who can’t watch them in real time, as Sunny Shi ‘23 remarked, “many games are happening during class time.”

The Semi-finals just happened on December 13th and 14th. France and Argentina will be fighting for the glory of the World Cup winner at the final on Sunday, December 18th. Morocco and Croatia will have the third place play-off on Saturday, December 17th. 

There have been many upsets in the World Cup. In the first match of Group C on 22 November, Saudi Arabia beat Argentina by 2-1. The result shocked many soccer fans since Argentina had been undefeated in its last 36 matches, which was the second-longest streak in the men’s international soccer history until the loss. 

In the group E opener on November 23th, Germany, the four-times World Cup winning team, lost to Japan by 1-2. It was another big upset for Germany in addition to its loss to South Korea at the last World Cup in 2018. After tying with Spain and winning against Costa Rica, Germany was eliminated in the group stage for the second time in World Cup history. 

This World Cup is important to many fans because it is probably the last World Cup for Lionel Messi from Argentina and Cristiano Ronaldo from Portuguese. The Messi-Ronaldo rivalry has been one of the biggest player rivalries in football history. The Qatar World Cup is likely to be the last chance for 37-year-old Ronaldo and 35-year-old Messi. Neymar Jr, a professional football player who plays as a forward for Paris Saint-Germain and the Brazilian National team, has also hinted that this might be the last World Cup in his career.

However, Ronaldo and Neymar are now out of the World Cup since Brazil and Portugal were eliminated in the quarterfinals. On December 9th, the Brazilian National Team played against Croatia, which was in second place in the 2018 World Cup. Neymar gave Brazil the lead by scoring the first goal in the extra time, but the Croatian player Bruno Petkovic equalized in the 117th minute, which led the match to penalty kicks. By making four goals in the penalties, the Croatian team advanced to the semifinals. The result disappointed the Brazilian team and fans since they had a special motivation for this World Cup. Edson Arantes do Nascimento, known as Pelé, is one of the greatest football players of all-times and played for Brazil when they won the World Cup in 1958, 1962, and 1970. The legendary player is battling colon cancer and was hospitalized to treat a respiratory infection. Since it is likely to be the last World Cup he can watch, Brazil wished they could bring home the trophy for Pele. However, their dream fell apart after the loss to Croatia. 

The day after the match between Brazil and Croatia, Portugal was defeated by Morocco, which became the first ever African team to reach the World Cup semifinals. While Ronaldo remained on the bench, Youseff En-Nesyri scored in the first half for Morocco. Without any further goals, Morocco became the third team to advance to the semifinals. 

Image Source: FIFA

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