Monday 19 December 2022, 10:00

Triumphant Argentina conclude unprecedented FIFA World Cup

  • Record-setting numbers for highest-scoring tournament ever

  • Lionel Messi awarded Golden Ball, Kylian Mbappé gets the Golden Boot

  • Football united the world

Victorious Argentina held aloft the hallowed FIFA World Cup trophy last night before a packed house of 88,966 inside a resplendent Lusail Stadium, drawing the curtain on an epic, unforgettable and unprecedented tournament. Goals. Drama. Legacy-altering performances. This one had them all. The final between holders France and inspired Argentina, with the South Americans backed by their huge contingent of fervent supporters, also produced a showdown between the tournament’s star players, Kylian Mbappé and Lionel Messi.

Here are some facts and figures from this remarkable FIFA World Cup.

• Argentine captain Messi hoisted the coveted winner’s trophy for the first time in his storied career, while notching his record 26th FIFA World Cup appearance and winning the Adidas Golden Ball Award along the way. • Mbappé became only the second player to score a hat-trick in the FIFA World Cup Final, where he also held his nerve to convert his spot kick in the decisive penalty shootout, finishing as the tournament’s top scorer with 8 goals, to take home the Adidas Golden Boot. • His second-half volley to level the scores at 2-2 was clocked at 123.34 km/h, making it the most powerful scoring shot in the tournament. • The six-goal final helped make it the highest-scoring FIFA World Cup ever. A total of 172 goals were scored, eclipsing the previous tournament record of 171 goals, achieved in 1998 and 2014.

Global interest also told the story of how football successfully united the world:

• Attendance for the final match pushed the cumulative total for this FIFA World Cup over 3.4 million spectators, with an average attendance capacity of 96.3%. • The top visiting nations to Qatar were: Saudi Arabia, India, USA, UK, and Mexico. • Al Bidda Park in Doha saw more than 1.8 million fans enjoy the live broadcasts of games and the vibrant entertainment on offer at the FIFA Fan Festival. • The first FIFA World Cup in the Middle East introduced much of the world to the local culture and demonstrated the passion for football held by fans in the region. • For the first time ever, countries from five different continents qualified for the knockout stage, with Morocco becoming the first ever African or Arab nation to make it as far as the semi-finals. • A record 420,000 volunteer applications were received, of which 20,000 were chosen including 3,000 international volunteers from 150 different nations to help support and deliver all facets of the tournament. 

In the end, as impressive as they are, it’s not ALL about the numbers. For example, numbers will always struggle to convey the drama of a Kylian Mbappé run into the box, or the significance of a game-breaking Messi pass. For those who had the privilege of being inside Lusail Stadium, or who watched the FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022 final on television, the memories will live on for a long, long time. The good news: 2023 will feature an action-packed calendar of FIFA events too! For now, the final word, goes to FIFA President Gianni Infantino: “The best final ever.”