The 2022 FIFA World Cup kicked off on Sunday, November 20, 2022 in Qatar, and has already brought with it its own share of news, controversies, and surprises. This world soccer (football) event happens only once every four years, where countries bring together the best of the best players from their nations in hopes of winning the coveted World Cup.
Hosted by Qatar, the 2022 FIFA World Cup has been controversial going all the way back to 2010 when Qatar won the bid to host the 2022 World Cup. In Qatar, the rights of women are heavily restricted and being LGBTQ+ is against the law. Furthermore, in the space of 12 years, Qatar had to build entirely new facilities and a new city, Lusail, to accommodate over a million of fans that would be traveling to attend the World Cup. Qatar used a primarily migrant workforce with poor working conditions to achieve this over $200 billion rapid development.
The past three FIFA World Cups saw France, Germany, and Spain win the Cup in 2018, 2014, and 2010 respectively. This year, the Brazil national football team is favored to win it all by many experts. Brazil has won more World Cups than any other nation and features a strong defense as well as powerhouse offensive players like Neymar, Vinicius Jr., and Richarlson. France and Spain are also once again strong contenders to win it all. France sports threatening forwards like Kylian Mbappe and Karim Benzema, both of whom saved France from elimination in the 2018 semi-finals against Spain. The Spanish team, on the other hand, features young rising stars like forward Ferran Torres and midfielder Pedri, with the hopes of reinvigorating Spain’s World Cup endeavors after a devastating loss to France in the 2018 semi-finals.
Soccer icons Lionel Messi and Christiano Ronaldo, both of whom played in four previous World Cups for Argentina and Portugal respectively, have both suggested that this will be their last World Cup. The two came together to mark the significance of this World Cup, Messi and Ronaldo partnered with Louis Vuitton to release this already iconic image of the two footballers playing chess, the pieces on the board positioned to be a stalemate, representing the two’s long standing rivalry as to who the better player is. Millions of fans across the globe hope to see both players exit their World Cup career on a high note.