Juan Pablo Varsky analyzes the details of the new Argentine title in Doha 10:43
(CNN Spanish) --
(CNN Spanish) --
No newspaper article that attempts to summarize what the Qatar 2022 World Cup was like can ignore the final film that none of the best Hollywood scriptwriters could have written.
The coronation of Argentina in an epic final against France will remain in the memory of all football lovers, and even those who look at it from the side, for being the most dramatic and even improbable in history.
For many reasons, the World Cup that has just ended is one of the best in memory, at least in the "modern era."
It was the first to be played in the Arab world, in a country with little soccer tradition.
It was also the World Cup of great surprises (Morocco, for the better; Germany, again, for the worse), the one that screamed the most goals (172, one more than Brazil 2014 and France 1998) and, of course, had the most dramatic definition. of those that have been registered since the tournament was held.
Argentina defeats France and is world champion.
La Scaloneta and Messi won the World Cup in an epic final!
Qatar 2022 also saw unprecedented growth for Africa, which had a semi-finalist for the first time in its history, as well as two teams that made it past the group stage.
On the other hand, Concacaf seemed to take a step back, waiting for what will be the 2026 World Cup, which will be jointly organized by the United States, Mexico and Canada.
an epic ending
The final in which Argentina became champion against France will be remembered as the most emotional and dramatic in the history of the World Cups.
Both teams showed why they are the best in the world and justified having reached the definition.
They were 75 minutes in which Argentina was vastly superior, taking two goals ahead and reducing those who until this Sunday were the current champions to a version rarely seen in recent times.
However, just as Argentina has Messi, France has Kylian Mbappé, and in the blink of an eye, the PSG forward put the Europeans 2-2, giving way to a sequence of situations that transformed the definition into a true movie that mixed several genres: drama, horror, action and romance.
This is how Argentina's victory was experienced throughout the country 6:14
When it seemed that the perfect script was closing with the third Argentine goal scored by Lionel Messi in the second extra time, and the Lusail stadium emulated La Bombonera in Buenos Aires, the young Parisian wonder appeared again: he grabbed a rebound after a shot from corner, his shot hit the arm of defender Gonzalo Montiel inside the area and a penalty that Kylian, with a lot of category, exchanged for a goal.
And, of course, the movie continued, because the last minute had two plays that could have changed the history of the final: first, goalkeeper Emiliano Martínez became a giant to cover up a tremendous one-on-one against Muani and, on the counterattack, Lautaro Martínez he headed on the edge of the six-yard box outside, when he was alone to give Argentina the fourth goal.
Later, the penalties gave Argentina the eternal cry choked for 36 years.
And just a little over two years after the death of Diego Armando Maradona.
Messi's World Cup... and Mbappé's
Qatar 2022 was, as he himself took it upon himself to say on several occasions, surely Lionel Messi's last World Cup.
And wow, the Flea took it seriously.
Beyond the champion's title (the only one the Argentine lacked of all the competitions he played, both at club and national team level), Messi won the award for best player.
And in Qatar he kept several records: he is the player with the most appearances in World Cups (26);
the one who was captain in the competition the most times (20) and one of the eight footballers to have played five World Cups.
As if that were not enough, with his 7 goals, he reached 13 cries and surpassed Gabriel Batistuta (10) as the top Argentine scorer.
Of course, with Messi there is always more: he surpassed the Italian Paolo Maldini as the player with the most minutes played in World Cups (2,314);
he is the first player to score at least one goal in every World Cup qualifier and the only one to provide assists in five World Cups.
Analysis: Messi wins his World Cup 2:52
And while all the lights stay with the Argentine, just one step below was Kylian Mbappé, who is determined to take over the reign of football once Messi says enough is enough.
The Frenchman scored three goals in the final and was the top scorer at the World Cup in Qatar with eight goals, at just 23 years of age.
Only one footballer had scored a hat-trick in a world final: England's Geoff Hurst in the 1966 final, in which England clinched their only title by beating Germany 4-2 in extra time.
The World Cup of goals, added time and VAR
Beyond all the controversies leading up to the contest, mainly due to the human rights situation in Qatar, the competition itself will go down in the history of the best in the tournament.
The last World Cup with 32 teams (the next one will have 48 participants), reached the record for goals, with 172, one more than those that had been scored in Brazil 2014 and France 1998. Of course, on average, it was far from Switzerland 1954 , when 140 goals were scored but in just 26 games.
Perhaps one of the explanations for the number of goals is given by two elements that were characteristic of the competition: the number of minutes added per game and the participation of the VAR, mainly when taking penalties.
This will be the 2026 World Cup in the United States, Mexico and Canada: the next World Cup in numbers
Most of the games exceeded 100 minutes of play, and several goals were scored in that additional time.
For example, in the quarterfinal match between Argentina and the Netherlands, the Spanish referee Mateu Lahoz added 10 minutes in the second half.
And when that time was over, the Europeans found a dramatic equality that led the match to extra time and, later, to penalties.
The big surprises of the World Cup
When the years go by and there is talk of the World Cup in Qatar, no one will be able to forget the historic performance of Morocco, which became the first team from the African continent to reach the semifinals.
But the great World Cup in Africa was not given only by Morocco: all the teams from the continent won a match in their group for the first time in history and two teams made it past the group stage (Senegal lost in the round of 16 against England by 3- 0).
Why Morocco's success at the World Cup is no coincidence
Undoubtedly, another of the pleasant surprises of the tournament was Japan: the draw placed them in Group E with no less than two world champions, Germany and Spain.
However, the Asians came out strong, beating both teams and taking the zone, leaving Spain in second place and causing Germany's second consecutive elimination in the group stage.
In the round of 16, they put Croatia in real trouble: they were ahead for a good part of the game and ended up losing on penalties.
Credit: Buddha Mendes/Getty Images
Separate paragraph for the Croats: after their victory against Morocco in the match for third place, they were on the podium for the second consecutive World Cup, and led by the endless Luka Modric, they showed that they are determined to remain among the elite of world football.
Concacaf, a step back
Undoubtedly, the results in Qatar were not as expected for the Concacaf representatives, who took a step back in terms of their performances.
The United States was the only team that could advance to the round of 16, but they said goodbye in that instance after losing to the Netherlands.
Mexico, which at the hands of Argentine Gerardo Martino sought to end the "curse of the fifth game", was eliminated in the group stage for the first time since 1978.
Canada, which had caused a surprise in the qualifying rounds by finishing first, left the World Cup with three defeats, while Costa Rica suffered the biggest win of the tournament (against Spain, 7-0) and, although its image improved somewhat with the victory against Japan, was thrashed again by Germany and finished as the team with the most goals against in the tournament (11).
Neymar, O King of Brazil
Although Qatar 2022 represented a new disappointment for Brazil, who lost on penalties in the quarterfinals against Croatia, Neymar left his name in the history of the verdeamarela: with the two goals he scored in the tournament, he reached 77 with the jersey of Brazil and caught up with none other than Pelé as the top scorers in history for that team.
The final statistics
Below we show you the main statistics left by the World Cup in Qatar that ended this Sunday.
World Cup Qatar 2022