Argentina loses against Saudi Arabia

Messi’s Argentina face a huge upset in FIFA World Cup; lose to Saudi Arabia

It’s just the third day of the 2022 FIFA World Cup, and we have our first upset. Potential title challengers Argentina have lost to 51-ranked Saudi Arabia. It is a huge loss for the team full of superstars.

Argentina started the match by fielding their best players. Their star man, Lionel Messi, converted a penalty to give them a perfect start. The South American team were looking to kill the game as Lautaro Martinez scored an amazing goal but was ruled out by VAR. 

As soon as the second half progressed, the game saw a different version of Saudi Arabia. The team attacked relentlessly, and the approach paid dividends. Their left winger, Yahya Al-Shehri, scored soon after to level the scoreline. 

To make matters worse, Saudi Arabia’s winger Salem Aldawsari scored a blinder to seal the game. Thereafter, the Argentinians tried their best but couldn’t quite get past the Saudi defence.

The loss will hurt the Argentinians very hard as the South American team are on a mission to win the World Cup trophy for their star player, Lionel Messi and give him a special goodbye.

CR7 and Messi come together for an LV ad

Ronaldo and Messi come together in a Louis Vuitton ad; break the internet!!!

Before the World Cup fever starts, Portugal star Cristiano Ronaldo and Argentina’s sensation Lionel Messi have broken the Internet and sent their fans into a frenzy. The G.O.A.T.s of football have come together for a Louis Vuitton campaign that has become the 3rd most-liked post on Instagram.

 

View this post on Instagram

 

A post shared by Cristiano Ronaldo (@cristiano)

Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo are featured in a new LV campaign that was shared in the early hours of Sunday. It’s a photo of the two of them playing chess on top of a Louis Vuitton suitcase, using the signature squares as spaces for their pieces.

The said post was also shared on Cristiano Ronaldo’s Instagram profile. The post has garnered 30.9 million likes and 411K comments, leaving it in 3rd place in the most-liked Instagram posts.

The number one ranked most-liked Instagram post is by Chris Godfrey, and his Photo of an Egg post that got over 55.8 million likes. Cristiano Ronaldo himself announced to the world through Instagram that he and his girlfriend, Georgina Rodriguez, are expecting twins. The social media post has over 32.6 million likes.

Looking at the pace at which Ronaldo’s latest social media post is garnering likes, it is a matter of time before it becomes the 2nd most-liked Instagram post. Will it go all the way and become the numero uno? Drop your answers in the comment section.

5 record-breaking football transfers of all-time

The summer of 2022 saw football clubs breaking the bank and going for their favourite players. If Manchester City got the likes of Erling Haaland and Julian Alvarez, then Barcelona pulled every possible lever to get Robert Lewandowski, Raphinha, Jules Kounde and a bunch of other guys.

Well, this is not a new thing. During the 2009-10 season, current UEFA Champions League winners Real Madrid had the most epic football transfer season of all time. Los Blancos went all guns blazing in the transfer market that summer. They pillaged eight players away to Santiago Bernabeu, including some really high-profile ones, with net expenditure amounting to a staggering €261 million!

The players they bought included Cristiano Ronaldo, Kaka, Raul Albiol, Xabi Alonso, and Karim Benzema, among others. Although the club bought this bunch of players, they couldn’t click as a team. The team managed to reach the Round of 16 stage in the Champions League but got eliminated by Lyon. Also, their fiercest rivals, Barcelona, managed to pip them in La Liga. 

Thus proving that sometimes money is not enough to win. That is the sad truth in today’s world.

Like the record-breaking transfer of Real Madrid in 2009, there have been times when football clubs have broken the bank to buy their favourite players.

In this article, we will be having a look at the 5 record-breaking transfers of all time that broke the Internet.

 

→ Neymar Jr. (Barcelona to PSG)

This was on the expected lines. The Brazilian sensation Neymar Jr. set the streets in Barcelona on fire with his dribbling and goal-scoring abilities. The trio of Messi-Suarez-Neymar were the reason for sleepless nights for a lot of European teams.

So, when the French club Paris St. Germain decided to rebuild their team, they went all the way to get the Brazilian player. During the 2017 summer, the Brazilian left Camp Nou for PSG in a move worth €222m (£200m), ending an impressive four-year stay with Barcelona. 

This is the biggest transfer ever to happen in the footballing world.

 

→ Kylian Mbappe (AS Monaco to PSG)

The wonder kid from France who set the 2018 World Cup stage on fire with his skills managed to follow in the footsteps of Neymar Jr. by joining PSG. PSG paid Monaco €180m when they bought Kylian Mbappe from their Ligue 1 rivals in 2018 after an initial loan spell.

Taking the concept of making a loan switch permanent to new extremes, PSG made Mbappe the most expensive European player of all time in the summer of 2018.

→ Phillippe Coutinho ( Liverpool to Barcelona)

Spanish giants Barcelona have made some disastrous buys in the recent past that have impacted the club in a very negative way. In the January transfer window of 2018, Barcelona purchased Phillippe Coutinho from Liverpool for a reported fee worth €160m.

However, as time progressed, the midfielder didn’t quite justify his price. Hence, he was sent on a loan to the English club Aston Villa. However, as the English club was impressed by their newest loanee, they decided to buy Coutinho for a fee of €20 million. Barcelona decided to add a sell-on clause of 50% for any future transfer of Phillippe Coutinho.

→ Ousmane Dembele (Borussia Dortmund to Barcelona)

You get it why Barcelona are in shambles right now? The club bought a few players at an astonishing price who didn’t quite justify their price tag. Ousmane Dembele was one among them.

The French footballer was a part of the German football team Borussia Dortmund. He was creating quite the noise with his pitch-perfect football skills. Dembele, 25, joined Barcelona in 2017 from Borussia Dortmund for a fee of €140 million ($165 million). It is one of the biggest transfer fees in football history.

However, it is not a successful one. During his stint with Barcelona, the winger was marred with injuries and spent half of his time on the bench. 

→ Eden Hazard (Chelsea to Real Madrid)

Real Madrid is known for going all the way for the players they want. The recent controversy surrounding Kylian Mbappe is a prime example of that. 

During the 2019 summer, Chelsea star Eden Hazard made a shocking move to Real Madrid in a transfer worth €100 million (£88m/$112m). It was reported the deal was worth €140m (£124m/$146m) with all the incentives.

As was the case with Barcelona superstar Ousmane Dembele, Eden Hazard, too, spent a lot of time in the hospital dealing with injuries. 

Other notable mentions:

 

Player Name Former Club Club that bought him Year of the transfer Transfer Fee
Joao Felix Benfica Atletico Madrid 2019 €126m
Antoine Griezmann Atletico Madrid Barcelona 2019 €120m
Jack Grealish Aston Villa Manchester City 2021 €117m
Romelu Lukaku Inter Milan Chelsea 2021 €115m
Paul Pogba Juventus Manchester United 2016 €105m
Gareth Bale Tottenham Spurs Real Madrid 2013 €100.8m
Cristiano Ronaldo Real Madrid Juventus  2018 €100m
Antony Ajax FC Manchester United 2022 €95m (+€5m)
Cristiano Ronaldo Manchester United Real Madrid 2009 €94m

                                                                                                                                            (stats provided by Goal.com) 

Woah, a lot of money was splurged on buying the footballers. The number is going to shoot up as the years go by. 

Who do you think will be the next “superstar” who will become the most expensive signing eclipsing Neymar’s price tag? Drop the names in the comment section.

The Last Dance: Players who will be playing their final FIFA World Cup

The 2022 FIFA World Cup kicks off in less than a week. All the teams have landed in the Arabic country and started their preparation. The teams are getting acclimatised to the hot and humid conditions of Qatar.

Well, as the team prepares for the Winter World Cup, there are some players who might be playing their final World Cup. Cristiano Ronaldo and Lionel Messi being the most obvious ones. This might be their last chance to get their hands on the coveted FIFA World Cup. So, they will be leaving no stone unturned to win the big prize.

In this article, we’ll look at those players who will be playing their final FIFA World Cup.

Cristiano Ronaldo

The Portugal superstar will be making his 5th consecutive appearance at the most prestigious tournament in the world. Pooled in Group H alongside Uruguay, South Korea, and Ghana, Portugal will hope to give their star man a befitting send-off at the grand stage, and it does not get better than aiming for the ultimate prize.

The Manchester United striker has won every possible trophy there is to win. Only the World Cup trophy is missing from his cabinet. If he manages to go till the end, then it will establish him as one of the G.O.A.T.s.

Lionel Messi

The Argentine superstar will also be making his final appearance in the 2022 FIFA World Cup. One of the world’s finest players, Lionel Messi, hopes for World Cup glory this time. Following his admission that he will retire from international football after the World Cup, several Argentine teammates, including Manchester United’s Lisandro Martinez, swore, “to go to war for Messi to win the World Cup”.

Under the able leadership of Lionel Messi, Argentina are on a hot streak with 24 victories and 11 draws across friendly matches, World Cup 2022 qualifying and, of course, the 2021 Copa América, a trophy they lifted for the 15th time. With such form, things are all set for Lionel Messi to put an end to his World Cup trophy drought.

Neymar Jr.

The Brazilian superstar will be making his final appearance at the World Cup. Neymar is second on Brazil’s all-time top goalscorers list with 74 goals in 119 appearances.

“I think it (2022) will be my last World Cup,” Neymar said. “I am facing it like the last World Cup because I don’t know whether I will be able to, mentally, endure more soccer”, he said in the documentary Neymar & The Line Of Kings, produced by DAZN.

“I will do everything possible to get there very well. I will do all I can to win it with my country and realize my dream, the biggest since my boyhood.”

Luis Suarez

Uruguay’s all-time leading goalscorer will be plying his trade for the last time. The 35-year-old is set to play his fourth World Cup. The superstar will be trying to recreate his magic on the field, like in the 2010 World Cup, where he led his team to fourth place.

Robert Lewandowski

 

Cristiano Ronaldo and Lionel Messi have overshadowed the Poland superstar. The Barcelona main man has quietly kept scoring goals in his club career. At the international level, the former Bayern Munich striker has amassed 76 goals in 134 appearances for Poland but is yet to score at the World Cup.

Edinson Cavani

Uruguay’s most prolific goal scorer, Edinson Cavani, will also be playing his final World Cup. Cavani made his debut in 2008 against Columbia and since then has appeared in 133 games and scored 58 goals.

The striker has appeared in 14 matches and scored five goals in the World Cup.

Luka Modrić

The Real Madrid legend who plies his trade for Croatia will be making his final appearance on the biggest stage. The 37-year-old seems to be getting better with age. The creative midfielder, who led his team to the finals of the 2018 World Cup, will be looking to go all the way and win the trophy for his nation.

Manuel Neuer

The Bayern Munich legend is one of the best goalkeepers the game has ever witnessed. The 36-year-old will be playing his fourth World Cup. He has stood like a rock between the opposing teams and the goalpost.

Thomas Müller

One of the most prolific goal scorers in Germany’s squad, Thomas Müller, will be appearing in his fourth World Cup. The Bayern Munich striker has scored 10 goals in 16 games. Considering this will probably be his final World Cup, he will leave no stone unturned to get his hands on the prestigious trophy.

Other notable mentions: Karim Benzema, Olivier Giroud, Sergio Busquets, Dani Alves, Thiago Silva, Eden Hazard, Jordi Alba, Hugo Lloris, Angel Di Maria, and Pepe, among many others.

These were a few footballers who will be making their final appearance at the FIFA World Cup. Let us know which footballer will be missed the most in their national colours.

Interesting Facts about FIFA World Cup

11 interesting facts about the 2022 FIFA World Cup

This winter, Christmas is going to arrive early for football aficionados. FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022 is knocking just around the corner. The hosts Qatar, will contest Ecuador in the opening match of the tournament on 20th November. The stage is set for the biggest sporting event in the world, as millions of fans will be glued to their television screens for a month straight. 

Controversies, protests, and contentions, the hype built around the upcoming FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022 are mainly due to the tension surrounding it. Having said that, the 2022 World Cup is also going to get emotional for the fans as two of the greatest footballers in the world, Cristiano Ronaldo and Lionel Messi, might be featuring in their last one. There is a lot to discuss the upcoming sporting jamboree. Let’s have a look. 

11 interesting facts about the 2022 FIFA World Cup 

First World Cup to take place in the Middle East 

Amidst all the controversies, Qatar has done something unimaginable. Qatar will become the first Middle-Eastern country to host the FIFA World Cup. Qatar will be only the second Asian country to organize this grand footballing event. Against all the odds, Qatar is ready to set an example for the world. 

Highest visitors count 

The streets of Qatar are expected to be packed throughout the FIFA World Cup. It is reported that over 1 million tourists and fans from around the world are expected to visit Qatar during the 2022 FIFA World Cup. Over 1,300+ flights are expected to land in Qatar every day over two months. Qatar is already famous for being a tourist spot, and it’s just going to get bigger. 

The most expensive World Cup to date 

Qatar has reportedly spent over £138 billion (17.60 Lakh Crore INR) to build the infrastructure to conduct the 2022 FIFA World Cup. The infrastructure includes stadiums, hotels, highways, and other facilities. Russia hosted the second costliest World Cup after Qatar, and they spent only £14.2 billion, followed by Brazil (£11.6 billion). 

Qatar’s insane World Cup cost is due to the money spent on building seven brand-new stadiums. To get a wider perspective, South Africa invested a total of $3.5 billion while hosting the World Cup in 2010. 

The lowest number of stadiums

FIFA World Cup 2022 will only be played in 8 stadiums. This is the lowest number of stadiums recorded in the history of the World Cup. However, 7 of the 8 stadiums are newly built just to hold the Qatar World Cup. 8 or more matches will be played in each of the eight stadiums. 

Lusail Stadium is the largest stadium among the eight, which will be hosting over 80,000 fans. Al Bayt Stadium will be hosting over 60,000 fans, while the rest of the stadiums have the capacity of holding 40,000 people or so.

 

The eight stadiums are: 

  1. Lusail Stadium | Capacity: 80,000 seats 
  2. Al Bayt Stadium | Capacity: 60,000 seats 
  3. Al Janoub Stadium | Capacity: 40,000 seats 
  4. Ahmad Bin Ali Stadium | Capacity: 40,000 seats 
  5. Khalifa International Stadium | Capacity: 40,000 seats 
  6. Education City Stadium | Capacity: 40,000 seats 
  7. Stadium 974 | Capacity: 40,000 seats 
  8. Al Thumama Stadium | Capacity: 40,000 seats 

Smallest Country to host the FIFA World Cup 

Qatar will become the smallest country to host the FIFA World Cup by land and also by population of the country. Qatar measures only 11,571 km². Qatar is smaller than most of the states in the USA. The population of Qatar was around 29.3 lakhs in 2021. All eight stadiums are interconnected via the Doha Metro line. 

Uruguay is the next smallest country after Qatar to ever host a FIFA World Cup. Uruguay has a population of around 34.9 lakhs (2021) and is spread across 176,215 km². Uruguay hosted and clinched the first-ever FIFA World Cup in 1930. Qatar this time? No? Ok!. 

First ever FIFA World Cup to be played in the Winter 

FIFA World Cups are mostly played during the summer between June and July. However, Qatar World Cup will be taken place during the winter. The reason is pretty obvious, Qatar’s scathing summer. The temperature in Qatar reaches up to 50℃. The FIFA authorities showed some mercy over the players and shifted the entire tournament to winter. The winter temperature in Qatar loiters between 4℃ to 29℃. 

Alcohol-friendly fan zones 

Access to alcohol is certainly not easy in Qatar, as it is a Muslim-dominated country. However, the hosts have considered the feelings of their beerologist travelling fans, especially the English, and have decided to put up multiple alcohol-friendly “fan zones”. 

Alcohol won’t be available in any of the stadiums. However, fans can consume their drink in the said spots. The prices of the alcohol sold in the “fan zone” will be comparatively lesser than the usual price of alcohol in Qatar. 

Air-conditioned Stadiums 

Qatar will keep no stone unturned to make the 2022 FIFA World Cup a memorable one. Despite the tournament being set in the winter, Qatar has made its stadiums fully air-conditioned. The sub-tropical climate can make a switch anytime, and Qatar has no

intentions of taking any risk. The cooling of a single stadium will require the strength of around 44,000 air conditioners per game. 

Magnificent!. Certain environmentalists will say otherwise, though! 

Costliest Match Tickets in World Cup history 

Watching a FIFA World Cup match in Qatar is not going to come cheap. Qatar has a simple way of recovering its gargantuan investment: how? by increasing the price of match tickets. The best tickets for the 2022 World Cup finals are going to cost around £1,179 (1,09,368 INR). The same ticket was priced at around £807 (74,797 INR) in the finals of the 2018 Russia World Cup. 

The cheapest tickets for the 2022 World Cup finals will be around £513.34 (47,592 INR). The tickets for the group matches will cost around £58.64 (5,436 INR) for the travelling fans. However, the citizens of Qatar can buy the group stage tickets for £8 (741 INR). The opening match of the Qatar World Cup between Qatar and Ecuador will cost around £302 (27,985 INR). 

The Protest 

Countries around the world are protesting against Qatar hosting the 2022 World Cup. There are many claims that Qatar has broken most of the human rights norms in the process of getting ready for the 2022 World Cup. A recent report claimed that more than 6,500 migrant workers from countries like India, Bangladesh, Pakistan, Sri Lanka, and Nepal had died in Qatar since 2010, the year when Qatar won the rights to host the 2022 FIFA World Cup. Many recognized players have also protested against Qatar on and off the field. 

The Last Dance 

The end for which not a single fan of the sport can ever be prepared. Cristiano Ronaldo and Lionel Messi: the pioneers of modern-day football, might be featuring in their last-ever football World Cup. While the 35-year-old Argentine has already made it public, Ronaldo is yet to comment on his future. 

FIFA World Cup remains the only thing neither of these two demi-gods has won in their prosperous careers. It’s their last dance, their last shot to conquer the dream. Will they? Can they? Destiny awaits.

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