The 2022 World Soccer Cup


“Soccer 286” by Maggio7 is licensed under CC BY-SA 2.0.

As of Sunday, Nov. 20, the 2022 World Cup has officially started. The opening ceremony consisted of a highly anticipated performance from Korean Pop star,Jeon Jungkook of BTS, as well as other performances from popular artists. Following the ceremony, the first game kicked off between Ecuador and the home team, Qatar. Ecuador took the win with a 2-0 score. 

The World Cup is a big deal throughout the world since it only happens every 4 years and only 32 nations enter the tournament. Fans in countries like Brazil and Argentina will line the streets with flags raised while shouts can be heard across highly populated cities as every household has the game on. 

The FIFA World Cup first began in 1930 when the president of FIFA at the time, Jules Rimet, established an international men’s tournament. The qualifying matches can start as far back as two years prior to the actual event. For this year’s event, these matches started in June of 2019. The first round consists of all 32 teams broken up into 8 groups of 4 who play against each other to win points. A win is equal to three points, a draw is equal to one point, and a loss equals no points. The two teams with the most points in each group proceed to the first knockout stage. Once the knockout rounds start, one loss for a team means they are out for good. 

The first World Cup was won by Uruguay with Argentina in second place and the U.S. in third. The U.S. Men’s National Team (USMNT) is not considered a powerhouse in the soccer world, and for the past 50 years or so, some people often think that the team just started to participate in the tournament, even though they have been involved since the very beginning. These misunderstandings are understandable because, between the years 1990 to 2014, the USMNT never made it far in the cup. In 2018, the team didn’t even qualify. Fortunately, the team qualified for the 2022 World Cup and was been put into a group with Wales, England, and Iran. They tied with both Wales and England on November 21 and November 25, respectively. On November 28, they managed to win over Iran with a score of 1-0 and are advancing to the knockout stage. Since then, they lost the first knockout round against the Netherlands, losing 3 to 0.

This World Cup has been filled with many surprises across the board. First, Saudi Arabia beat one of the most favored teams in the tournament, Argentina, who has the world-renowned futból player, Messi. Another big surprise was from Japan who took the win over Germany, another powerhouse country in the soccer world. Not many were expecting them to take a loss against Japan. 

One tragedy, which saddened a large population here at Casa Grande, was the elimination of the Mexico team. During their final game, many students were talking about it across campus. In some classes, students and faculty could find teachers playing the game on their televisions at lunch. 

Currently, the final game is set for Dec. 18 at 7 a.m. between Argentina and France. Both teams have worked extremely hard to get to the final round and it will be interesting to see how much their hard work will pay off in the fight for gold. Best of luck to both teams.