Countdown to the World Cup final and latest news from Qatar (2023)

Countdown to the World Cup final and latest news from Qatar (1)

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Countdown to the World Cup final and latest news from Qatar (2)

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  1. Bye bye!

    Croatia v Morocco (Saturday, 15:00 GMT); Argentina v France (Sunday, 15:00 GMT)

    We are done for today. As always, thanks for joining us.

    Here's all the top news today:

    FIFA to rethink 2026 format after 'best' World Cup

    FIFA proposes to expand the Club World Cup to 32 teams

    English striker Mead signs a new contract with Arsenal

    Busquets retires from international football

    Morocco 'proud' faces Croatia for third place

    Deschamps - from 'water carrier' to French legend

    And after two days without World Cup action, tomorrow he returns with the match for third place between Croatia and Morocco. Make sure you tune in to this on BBC One and iPlayer.

    Shortly before the big day on Sunday.

    Thank you again and see you next time!

    (Video) Countdown of for 2022 FIFA World Cup in Qatar
  2. 48 hours left...

    Argentina v France (Sunday, 15:00 GMT)

    There are almost exactly 48 hours to go before the start of the 2022 World Cup final. It has all the ingredients to be special.

    Here's a reminder of Argentina and France's performances in the semi-finals...

    video content

    video content

  3. 'Take Infantino's best World Cup commentary with a pinch of salt'

    Argentina v France (Sunday, 15:00 GMT)

    Countdown to the World Cup final and latest news from Qatar (3)

    henry winter

    Times Football Writer-in-Chief

    I wouldn't put that tournament in my top five World Cups and I didn't take part in 1970 or 1982, which were sensational.

    It's the kind of thing that Gianni Infantino says. I remember him rubbing shoulders with Vladimir Putin and saying that Russia was the best World Cup.

    We can take that comment with a pinch of salt.

  4. "I don't think we will see winter tournaments regularly"

    Argentina v France (Sunday, 15:00 GMT)

    Countdown to the World Cup final and latest news from Qatar (4)

    Guillem Balague

    Spanish football journalist on BBC Radio 5 Live

    There are a lot of "if's" in this tournament. The trainers only had a week to prepare it. It has been a conservative World Cup, in which the teams are very fit and very well organized. Those who reached the quarterfinals had less possession of the ball. Teams that don't dominate or put on a show are sharp because we're in the middle of the season.

    From a footballing point of view, do you think it would be better to have a month to prepare for a World Cup and players a little more tired, so there are more mistakes.

    But, it is true, in terms of working conditions, of the players and of the journalists, it has been very good. I am not convinced that everyone is going to want to change the calendar every four years to have a World Cup. I don't think that will happen.

  5. post update

    Argentina v France (Sunday, 15:00 GMT)

    (Video) FIFA World Cup 2022: Qatar faces challenges as countdown looms

    Countdown to the World Cup final and latest news from Qatar (5)

    henry winter

    Times Football Writer-in-Chief

    I really enjoyed this tournament when the fans and football took over.

    There were about 40,000 Argentinian fans outside my apartment that I brought here last night, and they were singing this song about Diego Maradona looking down from the sky and wishing Lionel Messi would win the World Cup.

    The fans are special here.

  6. The Argentine fans felt that something special was going to happen

    Countdown to the World Cup final and latest news from Qatar (6)

    gary lineker

    Former England striker

    It's been important: Argentina, Brazil, Morocco, Tunisia, Saudi Arabia - they've brought a kind of, what would you say, real football feeling inside the stadium.

    I've seen a lot of games where it's like watching an opera or something, which is fine.

    It has been a very different World Cup in that sense, but the Argentine fans have been incredible.

    It's a long way. I just think they felt something special was going to happen. They gave something that the tournament would really lack if they hadn't come.

  7. Participate - Your favorite moment

    Join in: tweet #bbcfootball, text 81111 (UK only - standard rates apply) or WhatsApp 03301231826

    SMS message: My favorite moment was Hakimi's penalty against Spain. All about him for a piece of Moroccan soccer history, and nonchalantly does a Panenka. Absolutely amazing and crazy at the same time. by anon

    My favorite moment was Hakimi's penalty against Spain. All about him for a piece of Moroccan soccer history, and nonchalantly does a Panenka. Absolutely amazing and crazy at the same time.

    video content

  8. Former Serbian defender Mihaljovic dies at 53

    Sinisa Mihaljovic, a former defender for Serbia, Lazio and Inter Milan, has died at the age of 53, three years after she was diagnosed with leukemia.

    He helped Red Star Belgrade win the European Cup in 1991.

    After a successful playing career, he went on to manage several clubs in Italy, including AC Milan, and was still on the bench for three months with Bologna.

  9. 'They stay in their rooms'

    Argentina vs France (Saturday, 15:00 GMT)

    Countdown to the World Cup final and latest news from Qatar (7)

    ReutersCopyright: Reuters

    A little more about the virus in the French camp that caused Dalot Upamecano and Adrien Rabiot to miss the semi-final against Morocco and also affected defenders Raphael Varane and Ibrahima Konate.

    Forward Randal Kolo Muani earlier said the team was taking precautions.

    “Those who are sick stay in their rooms,” he said. "They are being cared for by doctors and we are enforcing social distancing.

    "We are very strict with that."

    His fellow striker Ousmane Dembele said: "We are not afraid of this virus. Dayot and Adrien felt a bit of a stomach ache, I made them a ginger and honey tea and they felt better. I hope everyone is ready for the final."

    "Dayot has improved and I think everyone will be ready. We are taking precautions. The first day Dayot stayed in his room and we brought him food and he came back with everyone the next day."

  10. (Video) 4 AMERICANS, 7 DAYS, QATAR FOR THE WORLD CUP - WHAT DOHA WAS REALLY LIKE #worldcup #worldcup2022

    Will your club sign a World Cup star?

    Countdown to the World Cup final and latest news from Qatar (8)

    fake imagesCopyright: Getty Images

    Liverpoolwould have to pay €150 million (£130 million) forBorussia Dortmundand England midfielder Jude Bellingham, 19, and around €100 million (£87 million) forbenficaand the Argentine midfielder Enzo Fernández, 21.(Sports World - in Spanish)

    While that,do the manchester cityfuture transfer plans involve trying to sign Bellingham andArsenaland the English winger Bukayo Saka, 21.(90 minutes)

    The agency you representfiorentinaMidfielder Sofyan Amrabat, 26, wants the Moroccan international to joinLiverpool.(football news)

    tottenhamare ready to intensify their efforts to try to sign Amrabat, withfiorentinawanting at least £50m to sell him during the January transfer window.(The Republic, via Correio)

    Atletico Madridand Portuguese striker João Félix, 23, who has been offered to Premier League clubs includingArsenalmimanchester unitedI want to play forParis Saint Germain.(Gianluca di Marzio via Soccernews)

    chelseahe also had the chance to sign Felix for £86m and could be an option for the Blues, along withBarcelonaand the Dutch striker Memphis Depay, 28.(pattern at night)

  11. post update

    Perhaps some of those players who have made a name for themselves in recent weeks will be heading to a club near you soon...

  12. World Cup stars

    Countdown to the World Cup final and latest news from Qatar (9)

    Shamoon Hafez

    bbc sport

    Countdown to the World Cup final and latest news from Qatar (10)

    BBCCopyright: BBC

    A dynamic young midfielder helped Morocco make World Cup history by reaching the semi-finals.

    Croatia were led back by the 20-year-old wearing the mask on their way to the semi-finals.

    A young Argentine can win the trophy after Sunday's final against France.

    The shares of an English teenager continued to rise.

    And a Dutchman and a Portuguese, both 20 years old, reached different highs.

    Do you want to know more about the stars of this World Cup? Read the full storyhere

  13. post update

    And Alvarez is just one of the many stars in this tournament...

  14. post update

    Argentina v France (Sunday, 15:00 GMT)

    Four World Cup goals and Julian Alvarez alone cost Manchester City £14.1m earlier this year? That bargain!

  15. 'Messi, don't run. I will do it for you'

    Argentina v France (Sunday, 15:00 GMT)

    Countdown to the World Cup final and latest news from Qatar (11)

    Andy Cryer

    BBC Sport not Qatar

    Countdown to the World Cup final and latest news from Qatar (12)

    fake imagesCopyright: Getty Images

    manchester citysigned Julián Álvarez from River Plate for €17m (£14.1m) in January 2022.

    He agreed a five-and-a-half-year deal with City but remained on loan at the Argentine champions until July.

    He has made 12 Premier League appearances this season, mainly on the bench, and scored three goals.

    Former Argentina and City defender Pablo Zabaleta told BBC Sport Álvarez that "the rate of work is incredible."

    "He's playing alongside Lionel Messi up front and, from the outside, it looks like he's like: 'Messi, don't run. I'll do it for you,'" he added.

    "You need a big heart [to do that]. He started the World Cup on the bench, but then [he had] a chance and he's been brilliant."

    (Video) This Video Ends When QATAR Win the World Cup

    Read more about Alvarezhere

  16. How Álvarez is proving important to Argentina

    Argentina v France (Sunday, 15:00 GMT)

    Countdown to the World Cup final and latest news from Qatar (13)

    Andy Cryer

    BBC Sport not Qatar

    video content

    Argentina captain Lionel Messi called Julián Álvarez "spectacular" and "extraordinary" after the 22-year-old's double against Croatia helped the team reach the World Cup final.

    Manchester City's Álvarez raised his goal tally to four, one behind top scorers Messi and Kylian Mbappé.

    "Nobody imagined that Julián would have the participation and the importance that he showed," Messi said.

    "The help he gave us was absolutely spectacular."

    Read the full storyhere

  17. post update

    Argentina v France (Sunday, 15:00 GMT)

    But not everything is Lionel Messi.

    There is someone else in the Argentina squad who is proving essential for coach Lionel Scaloni...

  18. 'The final is very difficult to summon'

    Argentina v France (Sunday, 15:00 GMT)

    Countdown to the World Cup final and latest news from Qatar (14)

    gary lineker

    Former England striker

    The final is very difficult to define, it can happen anyway. It is in the day.

    Single shots can change and transform a bit of good luck or a shining moment from someone like Lionel Messi or Kylian Mbappé, or even both.

    It's really hard to predict.

    Personally, I'm a big fan of Messi and I don't apologize for that, because he gave me a lot of joy. Whatever happens to him in the final confirmed his status as one of the game's greats.

    His performances have been impressive. Even in his quiet games, he does three or four things that will always take your breath away.

    He is playing with more freedom for having won the Copa América, I think a great weight has been taken off his shoulders. He is playing with the joy that we have seen for many years.

    I would love to see Argentina win for that reason, but France would also be a worthy winner.

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(Video) The World Cup of Penalties ONLY! (Qatar 2022)


What did Messi say after winning the World Cup? ›

"CHAMPIONS OF THE WORLD!!!!!!!" Messi wrote in Spanish on the post. "So many times I dreamed it, so much I wanted it that I still don't fall, I can't believe it......

What Lionel Messi said about World Cup? ›

"The World Cup was calling me. It said to me 'Here I am, come and grab me, now you can touch me'. "I saw it shining there, it stood out in that beautiful stadium and I didn't think about it, I went to kiss it because I passed by it. I needed it."

Did Messi say this is his last World Cup? ›

Lionel Messi has said Qatar 2022 is “his last World Cup” after his performance helped Argentina beat Croatia 3-0 to reach Sunday's final.

What did Messi say about World Cup 2022? ›

“CHAMPIONS OF THE WORLD!!!!!!! So many times I dreamed it, so much I wanted it that I still… can't believe it ... Thank you so much to my family, to all who supported me and also to all those who believed in us,” Messi said in an emotional note after emerging as the winner of the FIFA World Cup 2022.

Who said the best footballer in the world? ›

Lionel Messi remains the undisputed king of the football world, though it would be foolish not to raise an eyebrow as he grows older. As an individual talent and based on almost two decades of cold, objective data and warm, unquantifiable magic, he is the best. Not only the best right now, but the best of all time.

Why does Messi look at the sky when he scores? ›

Lionel Messi has scored over 500 goals in his career.

Almost every time Messi scores he points to the sky, usually on his way back to his own half to prepare for the game to restart and score again. It turns out Messi's celebration is in honour of his grandmother, who passed away before he made it big with Barca.

Who will be in the World Cup final? ›

The final, which takes place on Sunday 18 December, sees two-time champions Argentina face off against reigning title holders France in a match that is already being advertised as a straight shootout between seven-time Ballon d'Or winner Lionel Messi and France's 23-year-old phenom Kylian Mbappe, who could become the ...

Who is better Messi or Ronaldo? ›

Club competition. Ronaldo has scored 701 goals at all club competitions while Messi has 695 – making them the leading goal scorers at club level in football history. But the Portuguese has played 100 more games than Messi, giving the latter a better game per goal average.

Is Messi going to play in the next World Cup? ›

Lionel Messi could play in 2026 World Cup for Argentina - coach Lionel Scaloni. Argentina coach Lionel Scaloni has said he believes Lionel Messi can play at the 2026 World Cup. Messi, 35, led Argentina to glory in Qatar last month and repeatedly said throughout the tournament that it was going to be his last World Cup.

Will Messi retire if he won the World Cup? ›

Lionel Messi has said he will not retire from international football after scoring twice as Argentina lifted the 2022 World Cup in a thrilling penalty shootout victory over France on Sunday.

Is Argentina out of the World Cup 2022? ›

Find out Argentina's results, scores and group standing at the FIFA World Cup 2022. Who scored for the Albiceleste in Qatar? Argentina are world champions for the third time after a heart-stopping final at FIFA World Cup 2022 in Qatar.

What does Ronaldo say about Messi? ›

“He said, 'Messi, but you're asking the wrong question, you're not asking me who is the best player…', because, of course, he has never seen himself play live.

Who is richest football player in the world? ›

Five-time Ballon d'Or winner Cristiano Ronaldo is the richest footballer player in the world right now after signing a contract with Saudi Arabia-based club Al Nassr which will see him pocket €200 million a year from his club alone.

Who is the fastest player in the world? ›

Top ten fastest players in world revealed with Kylian Mbappe clocking staggering 10.6 metres per SECOND. KYLIAN MBAPPE is the fastest footballer in the world. The Paris Saint-Germain speedster has helped the French giants to four Ligue 1 titles - plus a Champions League final.

Who is the greatest player of all time? ›

Lionel Messi has been named the greatest footballer of all time following his World Cup win. The seven-time Ballon d'Or winner effectively completed football by leading Argentina to the 2022 World Cup.

What is Ronaldo's celebration called? ›

Whenever Ronaldo scores, he more often than not pulls out the same celebration each time, which is known as his 'siu' celebration, in which he runs, jumps and then turns with his arms outstretched, before shouting the word 'siuuuu!

Why is Lionel Messi so special? ›

There is no doubt that Messi is one of the greatest soccer players of all time. His natural ability, creativity, teamwork, and work ethic are unmatched, and he has proven time and again that he is a clutch player who delivers in the big moments. He is also an excellent role model, both on and off the field.

What does Ronaldo celebration mean? ›

Ronaldo's trademark goal celebration sees him perform a mid-air pirouette before exclaiming "si!" (sometimes spelled "siu") - which is Spanish for "yes!" - upon landing. It is an expression of delight at scoring.

How many people attended World Cup final 2022? ›

The report registered 1.33 million match ticket-holders and 3.09 million tickets sold across the eight stadiums in Qatar. A Qatari official, who did not wish to be named, confirmed the figures.

What time is the World Cup final Sunday? ›

When is the World Cup final? The final of the 2022 tournament in Qatar will be played on Sunday, Dec. 18 at 10 a.m. ET.

Who is the man of the match in World Cup 2022? ›

Lionel Messi was the best player of the game and was awarded as man of the match. He scored twice in the game and did it once again on penalties to give Argentina the title after a 36-year drought. It was not the only personal award that Messi received after this game.

Who is goat in football? ›

Lionel Messi is widely acknowledged as the GOAT of football in the modern era and is also considered by many to be the greatest player of all time or the GOAT in history.

Which player is better than Ronaldo? ›

Messi went ahead of Ronaldo in the Ballon d'Or stakes when he won his sixth in 2019 and cemented his superior status in that field with his seventh in 2021.

What is Ronaldo's top speed? ›

Cristiano Ronaldo had clocked a speed of 33.95 kilometres per hour against Spain in the FIFA World Cup in Russia, four years ago.

Will Messi play 2026 World Cup yes or no? ›

WHAT THEY SAID: Messi has told Diario Ole when asked if he has another World Cup left in him: “Because of age it'll be difficult to make 2026. I love playing football and while I feel like I'm in good shape and enjoying this, I'm going to keep at it.

What is Messi net worth? ›

620 million US

Will Messi return to Barcelona in 2023? ›

However, Messi - who joined PSG in 2021- will reportedly return to Barcelona when his contract in the French capital expires next summer. According to Argentine reporter Veronica Brunati, Messi will return to Barcelona on July 1, 2023 after just two years at Paris Saint-Germain.

Who are the favorites to win the World Cup this year? ›

World Cup Odds 2022: France, Argentina Favorites for FIFA World Cup Qatar.

How long will Messi stay in PSG? ›

Pending renewal discussions, Messi could decide to leave PSG in the coming summer. The Argentine star signed a three-year contract back in the summer of 2021, but the third year was a player option, which he could decline to make him a free agent in the summer of 2023.

What team will Messi play for in World Cup 2022? ›

Lionel Messi

Is Portugal out of the World Cup 2022? ›

Cristiano Ronaldo's Portugal squad has been eliminated from the 2022 FIFA World Cup in a shocking upset to Morocco. Why it matters: Portugal's 1-0 loss knocked the squad out of the tournament in what might have been Ronaldo's final World Cup.

Is Brazil out of the World Cup 2022? ›

Alisson has said Brazil depart the 2022 World Cup in Qatar with “no regrets” despite their shock penalty shootout defeat by Croatia in the quarter-finals.

Is France out of the World Cup 2022? ›

France just failed to retain their title at the FIFA World Cup 2022 in Qatar. In a dramatic final, Kylian Mbappe scored a hat-trick but ended up on the losing side.

Who is the most skillful player between Messi and Ronaldo? ›

Messi is more of a well-rounded footballer than Ronaldo as his playmaking skills are pretty much on par with his goalscoring ability. In 805 appearances across all competitions in his club career, Messi has picked up 315 assists. Meanwhile, Ronaldo has provided 231 assists in 929 appearances across all competitions.

Who is the best player in the world between Messi and Ronaldo? ›

Ronaldo does boast more of FIFA's new 'The Best' awards and has been crowned UEFA Player of the Year on more occasions, but Messi has won more league Player of the Year accolades.

Who is the best dribbler in world? ›

One of the greatest ever to grace the sport, Lionel Messi has made a massive impact on any team he has donned the jersey for and his dribbling skill is the major reason for it. Whether playing for the Argentina national football team or Paris Saint-Germain (PSG), Messi produces brilliance in every match.

What did Messi say in his farewell speech? ›

I want to say to everyone at this house, for the luck that I've had to live so many experiences here at this club, so many beautiful things have happened, also some bad things, but all of this helped me to grow, help me to improve, and make me the person that I am today.

Did Messi say he would play for free? ›

We knew he had a big offer. “What I did hope was that he would have a change of heart, that he'd say: 'I'll play for free'. My understanding is that La Liga would have accepted it, but we couldn't ask a player of Messi's stature to do that.” This would have been an unprecedented move.

What does Messi's shirt say? ›

GOAT stands for the 'greatest of all time', which Lionel Messi probably is in football. Barcelona previously referred to him as such, and they were far from being unique in doing so.

Which legends congratulated Messi? ›

Having won three World Cup trophies for Brazil, football legend Pele has congratulated Argentina captain Lionel Messi for winning his first World Cup.

What did Ronaldo say about Messi? ›

"My girlfriend is from Argentina. So good. What I am going to say about Messi? A great guy who does great things for football.”

Who said Messi is the best? ›

10 shirt in an interview with Marca published Wednesday. According to the Spanish publication, Ronaldinho stated that Messi is the greatest player the sport has to offer: "He is the best in the world, and there's nothing more to be said."

How much is Messi fan? ›

Soccer players with the most Facebook fans as of January 2023 (in millions)
CharacteristicFacebook fans in millions
Cristiano Ronaldo122.28
Lionel Messi90.16
Neymar Jr.59.86
David Beckham51.69
6 more rows
Jan 25, 2023

Why couldn t Messi stay for free? ›

As it turned out, it was neither of those things. Barca, in €1.35 billion of debt following years of overspending and the financial ramifications of the COVID-19 pandemic, simply could not afford to give Messi a new contract and had to let him go to French side Paris Saint-Germain on a free transfer.

What was Messi signing fee? ›

Messi joined PSG in the summer of 2021 in perhaps the most high-profile transfer of modern times. The seven-times Ballon d'Or winner left on a free transfer and agreed a contract reported to be worth £94m over three years.

Who is the king of soccer of all time? ›

However, if there was one player to be labelled the same it would be Brazilian legend Pele. With 1,279 goals in 1,363 games, Pele is undoubtedly the king of football. Welcome 2023 with a new fest – the Zero Se Hero Gold Fest from 31 December 2022 to 29th January 2023, hosted by MPL – India's Biggest Gaming Platform.

Who is the goat of football now? ›

Lionel Messi is widely acknowledged as the GOAT of football in the modern era and is also considered by many to be the greatest player of all time or the GOAT in history.

Why does PSG say goat? ›

The PSG Club put the word GOAT on their New Jersey shirt in honor of the world's best player, Lionel Messi ... Because Lionel Messi is playing at PSG now, it means that the word GOAT is on the label on PSG's new Jersey now to tell the whole world that other players at PSG are now being led by The Goat of Lionel Messi.

Who is the best friend of Messi? ›

World Cup winner Messi to celebrate Christmas with family and BFF Uruguay striker Luis Suarez.

Who is Messi's idol? ›

Happy Birthday to Leo Messi's Idol - Pablo Aimar.

Which legend think Ronaldo is better than Messi? ›

Brazilian legend Pele claims that Cristiano Ronaldo is the best player in the world ahead of Lionel Messi, but insists that he himself remains the greatest of all time.


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