Thursday 30 December 2021, 08:00

2021: A World Cup appetiser and tournaments on multiple surfaces

  • Five FIFA tournaments were played in 2021

  • First FIFA Arab Cup™ whetted appetites for next year’s World Cup

  • looks back on these exciting competitions

The quest for Olympic medals, spectacular action on the sand, magical futsal moments and a historic triumph at the inaugural FIFA Arab Cup.

There was no shortage of action and excitement at FIFA’s events in 2021 so, as the year comes to a close, recalls how the top honours were decided at the five tournaments.

Champions: Canada

Canada won the country’s first gold medal in women's football in Tokyo thanks to a 3-2 victory over Sweden in a penalty shootout. The Scandinavians, meanwhile, claimed their second consecutive silver, having lost to Germany in the 2016 decider.

Champions: Brazil

Brazil became the fifth team in history to win back-to-back Men's Olympic Football Tournaments with a dramatic final victory over Spain in extra time. Substitute Malcom provided the spark by scoring the winning goal in the 108th minute.

Five years earlier, Neymar emerged as the hero with the decisive penalty in their shootout triumph over Germany to give A Seleção their maiden Olympic football gold in front of their own fans.

RFU secure third world title on sand

Champions: RFU

The hosts secured top honours in style, defeating Japan 5-2 in the final to claim the FIFA Beach Soccer World Cup 2021™. It was the country’s third world title following triumphs in 2011 and 2013.

O Magico crowns career with Portugal’s maiden world title FIFA Futsal World Cup Lithuania 2021™

Champions: Portugal

Seven assists, two goals and, finally, a fitting and lasting recompense: the title of world champion. In the twilight of his career, Ricardinho achieved in Lithuania what he himself described as a "the cherry on the cake".

Portugal took the title by defeating reigning champions Argentina in the final, in the process becoming the fourth team to win the World Cup after Brazil, Spain and La Albiceleste themselves.

Fennecs flourish as Qatar puts on a show FIFA Arab Cup 2021™

Champions: Algeria

A year before the start of the FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022™, Algeria claimed the inaugural FIFA Arab Cup title in a thrilling final against Tunisia.

All the tournament fixtures were played at the magnificent stadiums that will host next year’s World Cup.