A Clash for the Ages

Argentina defeated France and lifted the World Cup trophy for the first time since 1986.


Lucy Wang and Eli Meisel, Staff members

The 2022 Qatar World Cup started with 32 hopeful teams seeking to win the title for their countries and people. The tournament comes down to two ambitious contenders: France and Argentina, competing for the glory of the World Cup championship. Kylian Mbappé of France managed to score a hat trick in the final against Argentina to help his team reach a 3-3 tie at the end of extra time, and Argentina defeated the reigning champions 4-2 in a penalty shootout, lifting the trophy for the third time in Argentina’s history and the first time since 1986.

With the World Cup win, Messi has now become one of soccer’s greatest stars, just like Pelé
and Diego Maradona. The 2022 World Cup has a fairytale-like ending, with Argentina winning the trophy.

Lionel Messi was finally able to claim the one last prize that has always eluded him and
the one honor that he has craved the most. But the glorious victory did not
come easily; In the past
two World Cups, Argentina experienced a narrow defeat against Germany in the final of 2014 and lost against France in the round of 16 in 2018.

“Messi has put in so much to be
the best that people want him to succeed,” said junior Joshua Hansen.

The World Cup is a very emotional victory for Argentina fans and for Lionel Messi. Messi has a long list of achievements on the club and individual level, he has won La Liga, the Champions League, the Olympics, Club World Cup, and seven Ballon d’Or, but the success with his club seems to balance out with consecutive failures to deliver a major championship for Argentina. Finally, in 2021, Messi led Argentina to win the Copa America 1-0 against Brazil, which was the first major title that Messi won with his national team. Less than a year later, he has now won the World Cup. The 35-year-old lifted the World Cup trophy surrounded by the cries and cheers of hundreds of thousands of fans, and with the whole world watching, he has cemented his place as one of the greatest players to ever played the game.

The performance of Kylian Mbappé also impressed many fans. The 24-year-old French superstar managed to score three goals in the final and dragged France to extra time and then a penalty shoot-out.

“I do think Mbappé is the best player in the world right now,” said the math instructor Grant MacNaughton. “He is unstoppable, and he is only 24, which is insane how much space he has in front of him to continue to grow.”

Students and faculty are making their predictions of the World Cup games in the competition that MacNaughton has started, in which the winner of each stage will receive an award. The student body has been brought together to discuss the games, players, and the spirit of the World Cup event. Freshman Finlay Sutherland wins the group’s stage predictions and an official World Cup soccer ball at a school-wide assembly.

“The reason why I predicted most of the games correctly over other people was the many ties. A lot of people either put win or lose, even though ties are just as common,” said Finlay. “I gained lots of points from the 2-2 draw with Croatia and Belgium, which not many people expected.”

The overall winner of the prediction is senior Sadie Johnson; she receives the replica soccer jersey from the national team of her choice, which chooses England.

“I chose the England jersey be- cause the number one Argentina Jersey was sold out. Secondly, I love Saka, Kane, and Bellingham, who all play for England. Thirdly, because my family originates there.” said Sadie. The 2022 Qatar World Cup will be remembered as one of the most iconic World Cups in the history of this game. “I greatly enjoyed watching the World Cup. I am so so so happy that Argentina won, Messi deserves it,” said Sadie.