Letters to the Editor
THE EDITOR: The curtain came down Sunday on the 2022 Qatar World Cup. So here are my thoughts after the final.
France is the third defending champion to lose a World Cup final after Argentina in 1990 and Brazil in 1998.
Kylian Mbappe is the first player to score a hattrick in a losing effort in a final.
Argentina is the fourth consecutive team to win the World Cup after drawing first blood in the final – after Spain in 2010, Germany in 2014 and France in 2018.
It is also the second team in history to win the World Cup after losing its opening game – after Spain in 2010.
With its third win in six championship finals, Argentina’s win-loss ratio is now 50/50; similar to France’s – two wins from four finals – and Germany’s – four wins in eight finals.
Argentina is the second team to win a World Cup played in an Asian country – 20 years after Brazil’s historic fifth World Cup triumph in Korea/Japan 2002.
Argentina is also the second team to win a World Cup after beating Croatia in the semifinals after France first did it as hosts in 1998.
This was Argentina’s first World Cup triumph which did not come on the South American continent. Its previous wins came in Mexico in 1986 and at home in 1978.
Its win in Qatar is probably the most memorable of the three.
With three international titles in the past year – the Copa America, the Finalisima and the previously elusive World Cup – Lionel Messi has a strong claim for being the greatest of all time.
Brazilian fans and the great Pele himself may think otherwise.
Messi’s defeated rival in this year’s final, Mbappe, may still potentially surpass both Messi’s and Pele’s achievements in World Cups to come.
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