A Crazy World Cup


The FIFA World Cup 2022 in Qatar has already been a crazy one! We watched Germany crash out of the group, Richarlson’s scissor goal, USA’s tie against ‘The Three Lions’, Messi losing to Saudi Arabia, unbelievable amounts of extra time, and more! Also, for the first time in World Cup history, the hosts, Qatar, lost all three of their games and didn’t make it past the group stage! 

There’s a lot to talk about for this World Cup, but I would like to talk about the Winner’s Curse. For those of you who don’t know what that is, it’s when the winner of a previous World Cup gets grouped in the next World Cup. Starting in 1998, after France became World Champions, they quickly lost their title in the next World Cup, not making it out of their group. The same thing happened every World Cup until this one. France, who had started the curse, ended it this year. After winning in 2018, they were able to top their group, comfortably making it into the Round of 16, and finally breaking the curse.

Next, I would like to talk about the biggest upsets that happened during this World Cup’s group stage. Just on the third day of this World Cup, Messi’s Argentina, who looked to be favorites, was defeated by a stunning Saudi Arabia side. Fortunately, they were still able to top their group, but it isn’t the same for every team that had a big upset. For example, Germany lost to Japan, 2-1, and got grouped! Another team that looked to be favorites, not only lost but got grouped! Some would argue that it was because of a hard group including Spain and Costa Rica, but I think it was just defending mishaps in their first game. Japan then went on to top the group after beating Spain 2-1. There were many others like South Korea knocking out Uruguay after tying them and beating Portugal. Or Morocco defeating Belgium, knocking them out, and even Brazil losing to Cameroon! All of these are surprising, but what I think was the most surprising result of this World Cup group stage was Spain’s 7-0 win against Costa Rica. Costa Rica has always been a strong underdog, beating Italy in the 2014 World Cup, but to see them lose that badly just made me feel bad. 

This is the first World Cup to take place in a Middle Eastern country. Due to its placement in Qatar, there are some restrictions due to their local beliefs. For example, there is no alcohol served in the stadiums, which upset many fans. By the way, Budwieser is the main sponsor of the World Cup, so it was a bit awkward. This rule resulted in Ecuadorian fans yelling “WE WANT BEER!” during their games. Qatar also asked FIFA to ban the ‘One Love’ captain’s armband, symbolizing LGBTQ+. Any captain who would disobey this rule would automatically have a yellow card and even be fined. Iran also had a lot of controversies. With the ongoing Iranian government breaching women’s rights, the Iran team decided not to sing the national anthem, resulting in kidnapping threats by their government if they didn’t sing their anthem the next game. Before their game against the USA, the American squad decided to post a tweet on social media of their flag and the Iran flag. The catch is that they replaced the Islamic sign in the middle with the word Iran. This instantly angered the Iranian government, who asked FIFA to disqualify the USA team. Fortunately, it didn’t go through, resulting in the USA making it to the Round of 16. 

In conclusion, this World Cup has already been crazy, and we have just started the Round of 16 (of course by the time this article is published, it would have been two days before the Final, but for now, this is all I got). With many of the favorites being knocked out or looking uncertain, who do you think is going to win the World Cup?


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