Qatar 2022 World Cup after 12 years, slashed schedules, and a whirlwind of geopolitics; after death, ghosts, and misery; after armbands, raw power, and the Davos in the desert ambiance; after 64 games of the Qatar 2022 World Cup, the Lusail Stadium delivered a completely sports surprise.
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This was the best World Cup final in FIFA history. Argentina also won their third Qatar 2022 World Cup after defeating France on penalties after a tense 3-3 draw. More tellingly, it was a sort of delayed coronation for the best player of the era, if not the age, the mooching 35-year-old mobile brain Lionel Messi, a thousand games into his incredible career.
Qatar 2022 World Cup
This was an emotional rollercoaster, a game that seemed to have been won at least four times in the 120 minutes until it was eventually won with the tournament’s last kick. There was a twist even here. This Qatar 2022 World Cup final was meant to be a clash of geniuses, a Messi-Kylian Mbappé dynastic arm wrestling. It did in a variety of ways. Mbappé scored a hat-trick in a men’s World Cup final for the first time since Geoff Hurst in 1966, but France still lost.
Messi was buried in the center circle beneath a cluster of blue and white as Gonzalo Montiel’s winning kick billowed the goal, a sweetly gentle moment before the night shattered into a wave of static. But the game also came down to good old-fashioned malandro gamesmanship, as embodied by Argentina’s goalkeeper Emiliano Martnez, who chucked the ball away, advanced on the French kickers, almost screwed himself into the ground after each unsuccessful kick, and had to be shoved back by the referee at one point.
He eventually pulled free and went away, waving both hands, alone in the commotion save for a passing cameraman who recognized his own money picture. In the end, it’s only natural that Messi should celebrate a World Cup in the same manner he won it: by going around alone.
In so many ways, this was a Messi narrative on Qatar 2022 World Cupf. Messi scored seven goals and was named the Golden Ball winner at Qatar 2022. He played alongside some of the world’s best players. He accomplished all of this while being 35 years old and semi-injured. This is not typical. It will eventually push the boundaries of believability.
In addition, he is a part of the larger tale of this $7 billion athletic spectacular. The emir of Qatar, who also happens to be Messi’s employer, presented him with a robe to wear as he accepted the World Cup trophy.
You get what you paid for, and Qatar had a flawless final tonight. You have to appreciate the thoroughness, a plan that says we will not only pay for the Qatar 2022 World Cup, but also for the players most likely to be on the podium at the end: Messi and Mbappé, paid ambassadors of Qatar Sports Investments via stratospheric contracts with Paris Saint-Germain. This is the real deal: completely encrypted end-to-end sportswashing. It’s an extraordinary act of willpower.
But Messi’s victory in this controversial and physically grueling Qatar 2022 World Cup is not without irony. There will always be two Qatar 2022 World Cup. First, there is the one Qatar created out of human waste, the one that has held up a mirror not merely to the depravity of big sport, but to a global labor market that forces migrant workers into profitable near-captivity; a system Qatar did not design, but has simply represented with manic hypercompetence.
Then there’s the other Qatar 2022 World Cup, the one that gives pleasure, drama, and a sense of community, and which Messi’s skill has elevated into one of sports’ great tales. He was flawless throughout the game. The colors were spot on from the start. The deep French blue, Argentina’s Albiceleste, the lime-green grass, and the cool white stadium lights. In recent weeks, much has been made of the first five minutes of any Messi performance. Messi watches for those five minutes.
He did it right here. He searches, pans, walks, and scouts his opponents. And Messi’s stroll isn’t quite walking. It is contemplating. His quick eye movement, his spinning disc as he crunches the code, is walking. Messi averages three miles each game. He is not doing this to improve his steps. Argentina were more fluid than at any moment up to this point, with Angel Di Mara offering another point of incision on the left. It was an odd sensation. Messi became almost too interested. This is billed as the Qatar 2022 World Cup of Moments. Don’t squander it. Keep it secure. Allow it to blossom.