The images of Lionel Messi lifting aloft the most precious trophy in world sport was the crowning moment in a tournament – and final – that will be remembered forever. Every one of the 88,966 fans packed into Lusail Stadium on 18 December 2022 will be able to say that they were present not only at arguably the greatest FIFA World Cup™ final to have ever been played, but also at one of the greatest games ever.
In a tournament of firsts, the 22nd edition of the FIFA World Cup™ took place in the Arab and Muslim world. It was the first in which fans could attend multiple games in a single day, and the first in which fans of 32 nations were able to all gather in a single place. It was fitting that it should end with a final like no other.
The tournament culminated in a match filled with unexpected twists and turns, heartbreak and emotion, as the best players in the world went toe-to-toe for 120 minutes in a pulsating 3-3 draw. In the end, only penalties could separate Didier Deschamps’ France team from Lionel Scaloni’s Argentina. By the time Gonzalo Montiel stepped up to take the decisive penalty, the tournament had already cemented its place in history as the greatest-ever FIFA World Cup.
In addition to the FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022™, the year also saw a wide range of FIFA tournaments, activities and initiatives delivered.
In February, Chelsea were crowned FIFA Club World Cup™ champions for the first time in their history after beating Brazil’s Palmeiras at the Mohammed bin Zayed Stadium in Abu Dhabi.
The future of the women’s game in Spain is bright, with the country completing a memorable double in 2022. In August, led by Pedro López, they were crowned FIFA U-20 Women’s World Cup™ champions in Costa Rica. Two months later, Kenio Gonzalo’s side matched the feat by winning the FIFA U-17 Women’s World Cup India 2022™.
The Blue Stars/FIFA Youth Cup also returned, the Host Cities for the FIFA World Cup 2026™ were confirmed and FIFA+, a free streaming service that shows live matches, on-demand shows, documentaries and full match replays from various FIFA competitions, launched to widespread acclaim.