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Three Impressive Records from the 2022 FIFA World Cup

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By Jonathan Lewis | 21st Dec 2022

The four-week footballing extravaganza known as the FIFA World Cup came to an end on December 18th, and an epic tournament was given a fitting send-off. Lionel Messi – who stole the show in Qatar with seven goals, three assists, and a second Golden Ball award – finally had his crowning moment on the international stage. He netted two goals in a pulsating final against France, with Argentina eventually winning on penalties following a 3-3 draw after extra time.

Heading into 2022’s installment of the World Cup, Messi and his Albiceleste teammates were much fancied. OddsChecker, which compares football odds and offers, had made their great rivals Brazil the favourites for glory in the desert. But Argentina had just defeated the Selecao – on away territory no less – the previous summer to lift their first Copa America title in 28 years. And coming off the back of that victory, many thought they could repeat the feat in the Arabian Gulf this winter. In the end, those people were proven right.

The World Cup 2022 will go down in history as Messi’s tournament, and rightfully so. But there have been a number of interesting records matched or broken in Qatar this winter. Let’s take a look at three of them.

Highest-scoring World Cup of all time 

The first record that Qatar 2022 has broken is that the tournament will go down as the highest-scoring FIFA World Cup in history. A total of 172 goals were scored across 64 matches this winter, one more than the 171 scored in Brazil in 2014 and at France ‘98. Qatar’s tally was helped by a six-goal thriller in the final, as well as a number of drubbings handed out throughout the event.

England thumped Iran 6-2 on the second day of the tournament, Spain hammered Costa Rica 7-0 just a few days later, and Croatia beat Canada by four goals to one during their second group game. There were also a number of thrashings handed out during the knockout stages. Portugal’s 6-1 demolition of Switzerland and Brazil’s 4-1 victory over South Korea immediately spring to mind.

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The World Cup with the most goalless draws 

The fact that the latest installment of the World Cup will go down as the highest scoring of all time is even more impressive considering the fact that the tournament also now shares the record for the number of goalless draws in the competition’s history. In the first week alone, there were four 0-0 statements. To put that into perspective, we had to wait 12 days for the first and only bore draw in Russia four years ago.

During the first week of the tournament, it looked as though this year’s World Cup would go down in history as a relatively drab affair. Luckily for fans and for the event organisers, the competition got better as it went on, and there was only one 0-0 draw in the entire knockout stage. That honour went to Morocco’s second-round victory over Spain, in which they defeated the 2010 champions on penalties.

Kylian Mbappe becomes all-time leading scorer in World Cup finals 

At just 24 years of age, Kylian Mbappe has already done it all. At just 19, he became a World Champion. Four years later, he has added a silver medal to his gold, as well as picked up the Golden Boot award following a staggering eight goals this winter.

He is already the sixth leading goalscorer in FIFA World Cup history, tied with Pele on 12 goals. He is just four goals shy of Miroslav Klose’s record of 16, and it would take a brave punter to bet against the Paris Saint Germain man breaking that record in North and Central America in 2026.

One record that the goalscoring machine has already broken is that he now has the most goals scored in World Cup finals. His brilliant hat trick in the defeat to Argentina, added to his goal against Croatia in Moscow four years ago, now puts him at the top of the list on four goals, one in front of Geoff Hurst, Pele, Zinedine Zidane, and Vavá.

Johnathan Lewis is an MFF sports writer

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