The Messi-ah brings his people to the promised land. Image: NPR

A few thoughts following the end of the FIFA World Cup 2022

Alex Anyfantis
12 min readDec 20, 2022


The good, the bad, the ugly and the legendary of the event that transpired for the last 28 days in the small nation of the Arab Gulf and had the eyes of the entire world — or most of the world — transfixed on it, waiting to see which would be the next story to come out from the pitches of the blood-stained golden stadiums.

Wow. It’s finally over. It’s difficult to believe that we no longer have to wake up at ungodly hours of the morning (hello, Australia calling!), walking around like zombies for the rest of the day as we try to go about our routines in the best of our abilities. And the funny thing is, we did this voluntarily, day-after-day, for weeks!

That’s what you would call the “World Cup effect”. Football-crazed fanatics, not wanting to miss a single moment of even the most seemingly boring matches (Qatar-Ecuador, amirite?) were heavily sleep-deprived for the past month.

That’s all come to an end rather abruptly, yet in the most incredible way imaginable as arguably the greatest World Cup of all time seemed to save the best for last: a final between teams of Europe and Latin America with six goals, two of which were scored in extra time, that was decided in a penalty shoot-out.

It felt so good to be true that some even thought that it was, coming up with the rather far fetched scenario that it had all been cooked up by FIFA beforehand.

Two days after the end of the World Cup in Qatar, with the memories still fresh in our minds, it seems like a perfect moment to take a step back and look at everything we experienced these past few days, not just during the tournament but even leading up to it, to see what’s worth holding onto, what we should do away with and what needs tweaking for the benefit of the sport.

The good

The great people working at Opta help paint a pretty good picture.

  • There were 172 goals scored at the 2022 World Cup, a new all-time competition record, surpassing the 171 scored in both 1998 and 2014.
  • There were five penalty shootouts at the 2022 World Cup, the most of any single edition in the history of the competition.
  • This was the first time three teams representing Asia…



Alex Anyfantis

Media graduate, professional journalist and self-proclaimed Final Fantasy fanboy. Interests (and die-hard passions) include gaming and sports (mainly football).