A World Cup like no other
The 2022 World Cup final, which ended in a dramatic victory for Argentina in the dreaded penalty shootout, produced the most fitting end to what has been a thrilling tournament. Despite all the excitement – and the controversies – in the lead up to the World Cup in Qatar, no one could have expected the tournament to pan out this well. So, first and foremost, the organisers deserve kudos for doing a superb job. The Qatari authorities and people also deserve appreciation for hosting the tournament so graciously, and for opening up their doors to the entire world in such a welcoming manner.
Like all football World Cups, this one, too, captured the imagination of the whole world – and we have to say that the players did not disappoint fans' expectations. In fact, given the quality of the matches, and the football played by all teams, fans around the world have been more than satisfied by the grit, determination, and overall performance that were on display. The spirit shown by players from different teams, both in victory and defeat, has been fantastic to watch. And that is what football should be all about.
Throughout the tournament, fans were on the edge of their seats, as teams that were not as highly touted, such as Morocco, Croatia and others, pulled off a number of awe-inspiring upsets against some of the traditionally strong teams. But ultimately, it was the two footballing giants, Argentina and France, that made it through to the final. And what a final it was. Already being described by some as one of the greatest football matches of all time, it produced some of the best footballing moments in recent history. The two superstars in opposing teams, Lionel Messi and Kylian Mbappe, surely saved their best for last. But ultimately, it was Messi's Argentina that edged out Kylian Mbappe's France in the most dramatic fashion.
But the French players deserve to hold their heads up high, even in defeat, as they pulled off not one but two inspiring comebacks to push the Argentine team to its limits. However, in a fairy-tale ending, Argentina proved that they were destined to be the victors of this World Cup. And that has surely brought much joy to thousands of Bangladeshis, who have been among the most passionate supporters of the South American nation in the world.
From Morocco's great run to become the first African team to ever make it to a World Cup semi-final, to Portugal's Cristiano Ronaldo becoming the first man to score at five FIFA World Cups, to Saudi Arabia breaking Argentina's 36 match unbeaten streak in one of the biggest World Cup upsets of all time, to Mbappe becoming only the second player ever to score a hat-trick in a World Cup final, to Lionel Messi breaking Gabriel Batistuta's record to become Argentina's all-time leading goal scorer on route to ultimately lifting the trophy, there is no doubt that the real winners of the tournament have been the billions of fans around the world.