Who will Win the World Cup? Argentina vs. France

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(Graphic by Luka Ardón)

Luka Ardon, Centerspread Editor

The World Cup needs no introduction. The biggest sporting event. The best soccer players playing at the world’s largest stage filled with the passion of playing for their nation. The 2022 World Cup has been held in Qatar and for the very first time in the winter. 

“[It] has been a fun experience watching all of my friend’s rooting for their national teams,” said senior Parham Seyedshakeri.

This year, there were amazing games and results. To name a few, in the group stage Japan upset Spain, which knocked out Germany who needed a Spanish win to advance. Same for South Korea beating Portugal, sending them to the round of 16 and knocking out Uruguay. 

Another surprise was Morocco topping their group which had Croatia and Belgium. However, a disappointment for Mexican fans was when they failed to make it out of the group stage for the first time in 40 years. 

“I really wanted Mexico to move on to the next round, obviously, because I’m Mexican. We ended up losing to Argentina, no surprises there. It came down to Saudi Arabia and we were asking for a lot. But we came up short, “ senior Eli Munoz said. 

The knockout round didn’t fail to entertain either with Morocco’s miracle run to the semifinals, knocking out the European giants Spain and Portugal.

“It was really exciting to watch Morocco make it to the semifinals since they’re the first African team to reach the semifinals; they earned respect from other teams.” Seyedshakeri said.

In the quarterfinals, Croatia knocked out the most successful nation in the World Cup, Brazil, when the game finished with a penalty shootout. And in what people expected to be the best match of the tournament, France beat England 2-1. 

“My favorite game so far was England vs France. It kept me on my toes the whole game with many goals and it was two great teams going against each other. The missed penalty kick by Harry Kane cost them the game but England was very close to tying it and taking it to penalty kicks,” Seyedshakeri said.

This edition of the World Cup has been packed with surprises, miracle runs and heartbreak but it has all led to the final: Argentina vs. France. 

Both are looking for their third World Cup trophy. Argentina is the current champion of South America, winning the 2021 Copa America. On the other hand, France is the current champion of the World, winning the 2018 World Cup. France is looking to be the first nation in 60 years to go back-to-back as winners of the World Cup. 

Argentina and France met in the last World Cup where France beat Argentina in the round of 16. But Argentina has proven in the semifinals that the past doesn’t matter since they beat Croatia 3-0  this year after losing to them in 2018. 

“The moment the final whistle blew, I felt a sense of relief. It was really such a heartfelt moment knowing and believing my country could make it this far. I also felt so much happiness for my inspiration Messi, apart from wanting Argentina to win it. I’ve looked up to Messi all my life. This win brought me so much joy,” senior Lolo Bury said.

On the other side of the bracket, France beat Morocco 2-0 and reached the final two World Cups in a row. 

The two best nations face off on Dec. 18th, as do the two best players this tournament. Mbappe of France is looking to claim a spot in the best players in history with his second World Cup, while Messi is looking to win his first World Cup, adding what will be the most precious award to his large trophy cabinet. 

“To be honest, both are good teams. I think Argentina can definitely win if they play like a team,” Bury said. 

Many want Argentina to win solely for one player: Messi, who many consider the greatest player of all time.

“I want Argentina to win because this is Messi’s last World Cup before he retires. France already won the last World Cup and it wouldn’t be as exciting for soccer fans if they won again because I’m sure a lot of people want Argentina to win,” Seyedshakeri said.