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Qatar wins ‘best World Cup of the century’ in BBC poll by landslide

The 18 December final at Lusail Stadium had all the ingredients of a classic as Argentina prevailed against France on a penalty shoot-out.

Argentina's captain and forward #10 Lionel Messi holds the FIFA World Cup Trophy following the trophy ceremony after Argentina won the Qatar 2022 World Cup final football match between Argentina and France at Lusail Stadium in Lusail, north of Doha on December 18, 2022. (Photo by Anne-Christine POUJOULAT / AFP)

A recent BBC Sport poll looking back at the six World Cup competitions staged this century, sees the recent Qatar 2022 tournament dominating the leaderboard by 78% by football fans in being hailed as ‘the best of the century’.

FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022
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Trailing Qatar was the 2002 World Cup staged in Japan and South Korea receiving 6% of the vote. The 2014 Brazil tournament secured 5% leading both Germany 2006 and the 2018 tournament in Russia which both secured 4% of the overall vote.

The final game which saw Lionel Messi finally winning international football’s greatest prize after Argentina edged out France 4-2 on penalties after a thrilling 3-3 draw in Sunday’s final at Lusail Stadium offered drama of the highest quality as France bounced back from trailing 2-0 for the bulk of the game. Extra time offered one goal a-piece extra with a penalty shoot-out ultimately deciding the winner.

The final was a fitting end to a competition that had been overshadowed by controversy since Qatar won the right to host the tournament in 2010 with polemic surrounding the Gulf state’s issues with workers rights and draconian laws affecting tghe LGBTQ community.

Gulf goal fest

The first ever World Cup staged in the Arab World was a mini-goal fest with 172 goals being scored during the tournament establishing a new record in this history of the Fifa organised competition.

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Spain recorded the biggest win at Qatar 2022 with a 7-0 thrashing of Costa Rica in their opening group match followed by Portugal’s 6-1 win over Switzerland in the round of 16 and England’s 6-2 drubbing of Iran in the group stage.