The 2022 World Cup is officially over with Lionel Messi and Argentina crowned the champions at France’s expense on Sunday. Qatar was the most politically-charged World Cup yet and saw plenty of off-the-pitch storylines, as well as plenty on it. England fall short at the quarter-final hurdle, as did favourites Brazil, while there was disaster for FIFA chief Gianni Infantino and an abundance of Roy Keane frustration on ITV. Express Sport runs through the highs and the lows of the tournament.
GOAL OF THE TOURNAMENT
Salem Al-Dawsari of Saudi Arabia skipped around the Argentina area before firing in the screamer that brought the 2022 World Cup to life.
ASSIST OF THE TOURNAMENT
Can go to nobody other than Lionel Messi, who made something of a fool of Josko Gvardiol before teeing up Julian Alvarez perfectly.
SAVE OF THE TOURNAMENT
Wojciech Szczęsny not only saved Salem Al-Dawsari’s penalty in the game between Poland and Saudi Arabia, he touched the follow-up over the bar.
BEST GAME (APART FROM THE FINAL!)
Argentina vs Netherlands. 18 yellow cards and a red, a punch-up at the end, a dramatic comeback and a penalty shoot-out. What was not to like?
BEST CELEBRATION OF THE TOURNAMENT
Curmudgeonly Roy Keane may not have been a fan, but the Brazil dancing turned the World Cup into a Qatar-nival.
WORST CELEBRATION OF THE TOURNAMENT
While Tite joined his Brazil team with some success, Louis Van Gaal ‘dad-dancing’ through the Dutch team hotel was definitely a low moment.
Saudi Arabia beating Argentina turned out to be far from a knockout blow so the honours have to go to Japan’s 2-1 win over Germany.
SECOND BIGGEST UPSET
Cristiano Ronaldo walking through the tunnel in floods of tears after his tournament ended in very different circumstances to which he ever imagined.
PLAYER OF THE TOURNAMENT
It was always going to be decided in the final – Lionel Messi against Kylian Mbappe. Football is all about results, so Messi has to get the nod.
Walid Regragui. The Morocco manager galvanised a bunch of displaced players from all over the world and broke new ground for Africa.
There were a few of these among the fancied teams but Wales’ no-show after 66 years of waiting for World Cup action was unexpected.
The surreal silence of Iran fans not singing their national anthem against England. Despite Infantino’s hideous attempts to gloss over this most awkward of tournaments politically, the spotlight could still be shone on global injustice.
Grinding to a halt on the eight-lane Al Rayyan Road because Express Sport’s Chief Sports Writer had run out of petrol. In Qatar, which is made of the stuff.
“The One and Only” by Chesney Hawkes. The 51-year-old provided the half-time entertainment at England vs Wales – his first stadium performance for 30 years.
Today it is Gianni Infantino’s horribly off-key opening address – so wide of the mark it knocks even Harry Kane’s penalty off top spot.
A heavily-contested category, but in the end Croatia deserve it for the delight with which they greeted their win in the traditionally low-key third/fourth place play-off.
MOST ADO ABOUT NOTHING
With daily injury updates in the build-up to the tournament on James Maddison, it might have been nice if he had got at least a minute on the pitch.