By Ghulam Haider
A poll conducted by BBC Sport has concluded the FIFA World Cup 2022 in Qatar as the ‘best World Cup this century’.
Up against the 2002 to 2018 versions of football’s biggest tournament, the 22nd version of the World Cup had won majority of the votes with 78%. Meanwhile the other versions won votes in the range of 3% (2010 in South Africa) and 6% (2002 Japan/South Korea).
The poll highlighted the memorable events of the FIFA World Cup in Qatar, which was abundant in huge upsets and jaw-dropping shocks from the get-go.
BBC also highlighted Lionel Messi finally bringing home the victory to Argentina by beating France in a nail-biting 3-3 Final at Lusail Stadium on December 18, coinciding with Qatar National Day. Although France stood at second place, Kylian Mbappe had added another feather to his cap by becoming the second player after Sir Geoff Hurst to score a hat-trick in the final.
Indeed, Qatar is considered as a “World Cup of shocks”, with Morocco’s outstanding run in the tournament as it became the first Arab and African team to reach the semi-finals.
The Samurai Blue’s stunning wins over Germany and Spain also suggest Japan’s brighter future and stronger comeback to the tournament.
Moreover, the most jaw-dropping win of them all, was when Saudi Arabia defeated eventual champions Argentina, sparking a “Where is Messi?” trend which sent social media into a frenzy across the globe.
Memorable moments were also made beyond the field of Qatar’s stadiums as the country lived up to expectations as the first World Cup in the Arab world and Middle East. Since its conclusion, it has continued to garner praise for its safety, with no major security incidents or crimes.
More than 1.4 million fans from across the globe visited the country for the FIFA World Cup 2022. Fans in Qatar revelled in the compact nature of the event with many thousands attending more than one match per day – the first time this has been possible in the modern history of the tournament.