World Cup finals 2022 is upon us and starting very soon. Four teams out of 32 are set to be crowned and ranked for who are going to win the finals. We are looking forward to the weekend and how much affect the matches are going to play out. Legacy of some elite players are on the line. Nations as a whole are on the line. Lastly, are we going to see the last of some players who are at the top of the game for a long time.
At The Stats Ball we are going to mainly dive into the final World Cup match on Sunday between France vs Argentina. As Croatia vs Morocco are going to be play for third place and to be clear it is not an important match for both nations for results. The match is signifant, but not because of the outcome. But because of the story line the match is going to produce.
When is the World Cup Finals
The short answer is that the World Cup Finals 2022 is on Saturday the 17 December 2022 between Croatia Vs Morocco, playing for third place. The finals match of which nation is going to be crowned the best is on Sunday the 18 December 2022.
We got that out of the way, let begin with Croatia vs Morocco.
Croatia Vs Morocco Analysis
Croatia have done an amazing job getting into consecutive world cup semi-finals. Four years ago in Russia, Croatia beat England to set-up the finals between France, which they lost. For a nation that gained independence around 20 years ago. This is an amazing feat, with a population for only 4.2 million. They have done an amazing job having the best midfielders in the world, and a legend in the world of football: Luka Modric.
Is this going to be Luka Modric final world cup appearance? Is he going to say farewell to his nationality team and retire after this world cup in Qatar. They are no stories out yet. But with the age of 37, Luka Modric time has come towards an end. But a fantastic end of a player that have showed his class, technique, and killer pass in midfield.
On the other hand, Morocco did their nation proud, did the continent of Africa proud, and brough smiles to the Arab world. Morocco is the first team from Africa to reach the semi-final of the world cup. They are the first team with Arab culture and decent to reach the semi-finals as well. They should be very proud of themselves, and play football with a smile on their face. If you ask their fans, the outcome is not as important as the emotions, the joy, the happiness, and the togetherness Morocco brough to the World Cup.
Even for Croatia, getting third is nice. However watching Luka Modric wear the iconic number 10 once again, is going to be pure joy watching for the fans and for neutral football fans alike.
France vs Argentina: Qatar World Cup 2022
The finals on Sunday is producing so many story lines, statistic and football players legacy on the line. France vs Argentina is going to be different this time than the last time they meet. Let dig into some history of between the two teams before going into the same details and storyline.
History of France Vs Argentina
In their 12 encounters with Argentina overall, France has only prevailed three times. Argentina won two of their three prior encounters in the World Cup. Four of the previous five games have been won by Argentina, while the most recent match was won by France, who eliminated the South American team from the 2018 World Cup in the Round of 16.
Argentina has a six-win overall record, whereas France has three victories and three draws.
|Jun. 30, 2018||2018 FIFA World Cup||France 4-3 Argentina|
|Feb. 11, 2009||International Friendly||France 0-2 Argentina|
|Feb. 7, 2007||International Friendly||France 0-1 Argentina|
|Feb. 26, 1986||International Friendly||France 2-0 Argentina|
|Jun. 6, 1978||1978 FIFA World Cup||Argentina 2-1 France|
This week, their was a journalist from Argentina who said a wonderful statement to Lionel Messi. It was very emotional and you can see it in Messi eyes as well. The short version of her statement "is that you make Argentina very proud. Win or lose the world cup does not matter, as you make Argentina very happy. Kids wear your shirt, real or fake, they look up to you. Thank you".
I mean amazing quote from a journalist.
Messi, 35, announced on Wednesday that the final on Sunday will be his final World Cup appearance. With five goals, he and Kylian Mbappe of France are the joint tournament leaders. After 1978 and 1986, if Argentina wins the World Cup, it will be their third victory overall. It is their sixth championship.
Argentina in World Cup 2022
Only one other team in World Cup history overcame a loss in their opening game to win the championship; that team was Spain in 2010, which lost 1-0 to Switzerland to start Group H play before going on to win every knockout match by the same margin, including the championship game. Argentina's tournament debut ended in a shocking 2-1 loss to Saudi Arabia. Of course with the help Lionel Messi to save Argentina the second match of the group stage.
Strong defense: Argentina ranks third in the competition in predicted goals allowed with just 2.4, trailing only Brazil and Mexico. The lowest number of shots on goal per game (1.3) faced in the competition.
France: Best Team in 21st Century
On the other hand, France is consider to be the best football team in the 21st century. France made the finals fours ago and won. They have the experience on their side, the feeling of being there, and done it, and lost it as well. You can ask their coach, when he went through France football worst decade. France made the final appearance 3 times, compare with Argentina 2, and Germany 2 times.
The form that Giroud is in, Mbappe running havoc on the left wing, and Griezmann causing problem as a number 10, it is going to be very interesting. France does play a pragmatic approach with their game. The game will be won and lost in midfield.
Qatar World Cup: Messi Vs Mbappe
Two teammates from PSG are set to be rivals and after the 90 minutes ended or if going to penalaties, it can be very interesting subject. As after a week they are back together with PSG to win the holy grail of club football: The Champions League. Let's not forgot about the soft power Qatar is gaining from the tournament. As PSG is owned by Qatar and both players even Neymar is on PSG.
However for Sunday, the moment can be divide into two things. The first is will Messi win the World Cup, the cup he deserve, but he and Argentina will have to play a rock solid defense.
Secondly, will the finals World Cup 2022 be the passing of the torch to the new generation that looked up to Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo with Mbappe leading the way at the age of 23?
Amazing story lines, amazing matches happening very soon. Tell us in the comments below of your thought and prediction of the matches.