The World Cup is coming to an end. Argentina and France will meet in the final match today.
These are five things you should be aware of during the game.
Although Qatar did not reach the World Cup final, the hosts may have the final they were looking for.
The Sunday Lusail heavyweight match is more than just the sporting dreams of France and Argentina.
It’s more than just the showdown between the No 10s and the stars.
At 35, Lionel Messi is still a contender for the World Cup title for Argentina. Kylian Mbappe, still just 23 years old, is able become a double champion in the world with France.
Qatar can, regardless of the outcome, celebrate its national day with Paris Saint-Germain and Paris Saint-Germain, two of the most prominent beneficiaries of state-funded sports projects. This is a display of status, wealth, and ambition that goes beyond the World Cup.
Qatar invested in PSG during the controversial FIFA vote of 2010.
Continue reading: Qataris may see the World Cup as a job done well, but there is more to be done.
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A men’s team has not defended the World Cup since Pele led Brazil in glory in 1958 and 1962.
France will be back-to-back Champions if Mbappe can do so. He will follow the footsteps of Pele and inherit the throne from Messi or Cristiano Ronaldo.
Mbappe’s five goals and two assists aren’t the only threat to French attackers.
France’s all time leading scorer Olivier Giroud is now the Qatari goal-scorer with four goals. Antoine Griezmann is still not able to score, but he has been moved in a link-up role to help create opportunities.
Messi will play in a 26th World Cup match, a record.
Eight years after he lost his World Cup final, his destiny can be realized by winning his entire set of major trophies.
The South American championship was won by the ex-Barcelona star in 2021, and the senior trophy was not awarded to him.
The FIFA showpiece would bring Messi glory, as he would be able to follow the footsteps of Diego Maradona who lifted the trophy in 1986 after a 36-year wait.
However, the veteran is not the only one who can score goals. Julian Alvarez, a 22-year-old forward for Manchester City, scored four goals in six matches in Qatar.
The final will be held in a place that doesn’t exist 16 years ago when Messi made his Argentina debut.
Lusail was built as the central piece of a metropolis located only 25 minutes north of Doha.
Norman Foster, a British architect, designed the stadium with a capacity exceeding 88,000. This could accommodate more than 25% of Qatar’s population.
It is one of eight venues that Qatar has built or renovated to allow for a month’s football hosting.
The 32 teams competing in Qatar will share $440m of prize money. The winner gets $42m, while the runners-up get $30m.
These disparities will become more apparent next year, when the Women’s World Cup takes place in Australia and New Zealand.
The prize money has doubled to $60m, but it is still only $20m. However, the tournament has grown from 24 to 32 teams.