The 2022 FIFA World Cup just wrapped up in Qatar on the 18th of December (yesterday). It was the first FIFA World Cup tournament that was held in the Arab World and the Muslim World. It was the second tournament to be held in Asia. The first Asian FIFA World Cup was held in South Korea and Japan in 2002.
Here are 20 Facts You Might Not Have Known About the 2022 FIFA World Cup
1. At an estimated cost of $220 billion, it’s currently the most expensive FIFA World Cup tournament in history.
2. It’s the last FIFA World Cup tournament that featured teams from 32 countries. The 2026 FIFA World Cup (which will be hosted by the United States, Mexico and Canada) will feature teams from 64 countries.
3. Qatar lost all three group matches; becoming the first hosts to lose every game, the earliest host nation eliminated and the second host (after South Africa in 2010) not to progress past the first stage.
4. Argentina beat France in the final of the 2022 FIFA World Cup. The match was decided by penalties after the score was drawn at the end of extra time. Both nations scored 3 goals in the final match.
It’s the third time that Argentina win a FIFA World Cup tournament. Brazil still holds the record for winning the most FIFA World Cup tournaments (5 in total).
5. The French striker Kylian Mbappé became the first player to score a hat-trick in a World Cup final since Geoff Hurst in the 1966 FIFA World Cup final in England.
6. Each qualified team received $1.5 million before the competition to cover preparation costs with each team receiving at least $9 million in prize money. This edition’s total prize pool was $440 million, $40 million greater than the prize pool of the previous tournament (which was held in Russia in 2018).
7. Stadium 974 (formerly known as the Ras Abu Aboud Stadium) was dismantled completely after all matches were played at it. It’s the the first temporary stadium to be used in a FIFA World Cup tournament.
8. It’s the first FIFA World Cup Mens tournament to feature female referees.
9. Saudi Arabia caused an upset when they beat Argentina by 2 goals to 1 in the group stages of the tournament. Before the match the last time that Argentina had lost a game was in 2019 (when they played against Brazil). They were on a 35 match winning streak when they lost.
10. Morocco reached the semi-final stage of the 2022 FIFA World Cup. It’s the first time that a team from the Arab World and Africa have managed to do it. On their road to the semi-final (against France) Morocco caused upsets when they beat Belgium (in the group stages) and Portugal (in the quarter final stage).
10. The list of upsets in the 2022 FIFA World Cup also includes Japan beating Germany, Australia beating Denmark, Tunisia beating France and Cameroon beating Brazil.
12. Kylian Mbappé scored the most goals (8 in total) in the 2022 FIFA World Cup tournament. His team (France) scored the most goals in the tournament (16 in total). Tournament winners Argentina scored 15 goals in the tournament. Lionel Messi scored 7 of those goals for Argentina.
13. Croatia had the most saves in the tournament (a total of 24).
14. A record total of 172 goals were scored in 64 matches at the 2022 FIFA World Cup. That’s an average of 2.60 goals per match and 1 goal more that was scored in the 2014 FIFA World Cup (in Brazil) and the 1998 FIFA World Cup (in France).
15. The Argentina vs Mexico, Argentina vs Croatia and Argentina vs France matches at Lusail Stadium drew 88,966 spectators, the largest crowd to watch a men’s World Cup match since 91,194 people attended the 1994 FIFA World Cup Final between Brazil and Italy at the Rose Bowl, and the largest to attend any World Cup match since 90,185 people attended the 1999 FIFA Women’s World Cup Final between the United States and China at the same stadium.
16. Lionel Messi became the first man to score in all four knockout round games of a single FIFA World Cup with his penalty in the 23rd minute of the final (after Di María was brought down by Ousmane Dembélé).
17. Messi is also the first player to be directly involved in 10+ goals at a single World Cup since Diego Maradona in 1986.
18. Cristiano Ronaldo became the first man to score at five FIFA World Cups (2006, 2010, 2014, 2018 and 2022) when he netted home a penalty in Portugal’s 3-2 victory over Group H rivals Ghana.
19. Italy did not manage to qualify for the 2022 FIFA World Cup. It’s the second tournament in a row that the team has not qualified for the event and only the third time in the nation’s history.
20. Croatia beat Morocco by 2 goals to 1 in the third/fourth place match. It’s the second time that Croatia ended in the top 4.
Well, there you have it, 20 Interesting Facts about the 2022 FIFA World Cup. If I’ve left out something interesting, feel free to comment below.
Feel free to share this post with your friends on Social Media.
Watch this space for updates in the Sport category on Interesting Facts.
Scroll down to view related articles to get more facts. If you want to stay in the loop, feel free to subscribe to our newsletter.
If you live in South Africa and you're looking for a live music gig or music festival to attend, feel free to check The SA Gig Guide on our sister site (SA Music Zone).