The 2022 World Cup has been nothing short of historic, with records being equaled and surpassed left and right.
The FIFA World Cup Final between Argentina and France was one for the ages, and was arguably one of if not the most exciting match in the tournament’s history.
And it was the perfect cherry on top of what was already a memorable competition.
2022 has spoiled us beyond belief, after we got to witness players making their final appearances, debutants impressing in their first matches, and records being broken again and again. Here are 20 records that we saw in Qatar 2022.
1. Cristiano Ronaldo is the first man to score in 5 World Cups
Very few football players make it to the top football tournament in the world. Much less, five World Cups. And then there is Cristiano Ronaldo, who, after scoring in Portugal’s opening match against Ghana, has become the first man to score in five editions of the tournament.
2. Gavi becomes Spain’s youngest-ever player at a World Cup
When Spanish player Gavi stepped onto the pitch in their match against Costa Rica, he was 18 years and 110 days old, becoming Spain’s youngest player to represent their flag in a major international tournament.
On top of that, with a goal in the 74th minute, he became the youngest player to score in a World Cup since Pele in 1958.
3. Olivier Giroud surpassed Thierry Henry’s record for France
Against Australia, Olivier Giroud‘s goal brought his international record to 51 goals, equalling Thierry Henry’s record for most goals for the men’s national football team of France. In their following matches against Poland and England, he overtook the record by two goals.
4. Qatar became the first World Cup hosts to lose their opening match
History was made within the first match of the entire tournament when Qatar lost to Ecuador, 2-0. Qatar became the first host team in history to lose their opening match, and Ecuador became the first nation to defeat the host in the opening match as well.
5. Qatar is the first host to lose all three group-stage matches
As the group stage went on, Qatar’s team was unable to redeem themselves, as they lost all three elimination matches, making history yet again (though not in a way they would have hoped).
6. Morocco advances into the Round of 16 for the first time since 1986
Defeating Canada 2-1, Morocco has advanced to the Round of 16—their first time making it past the group stage in 36 years.
In addition, with seven points from the group stage, Morocco also became the first African team to finish at the top of a FIFA World Cup group since 1998.
7. Morocco qualifies for the World Cup semifinal for the first time
After topping their group, Morocco continued in the tournament to stun the competition, qualifying for the semifinal of the World Cup — a first for the country. Though they eventually lost to France, they were the first African country to make it this far into the competition.
8. Jamal Musiala recorded the most dribbles for a teenager in a World Cup
In Germany’s last game of the tournament, 19-year-old Jamal Musiala completed 12 dribbles against Costa Rica. With this, he has become the teenager with the most successful dribbles in the tournament’s history.
Despite Germany’s 4-2 win over Costa Rica, however, Die Mannschaft has been eliminated from the tournament. But we will certainly see more from the youngster in the future.
9. Antoine Griezmann hasn’t missed a game since 2017
Antoine Griezmann has been one of France’s most influential players, especially in the 2018 edition where he led the team to the World Cup championship. Now, he holds the most consecutive appearances for France as he hasn’t missed a game since 2017.
10. Lionel Messi competes in his 1000th match
With his new World Cup trophy, everyone now considers Lionel Messi to be the greatest of all time after a storied career. In Qatar 2022, we witnessed him play his 1000th match when Argentina won against Australia.
11. Neymar equals Pelé’s record
Pelé, Brazil’s football legend, now has someone closely chasing after the records he set.
Neymar scored a last minute goal against Croatia that kept them alive for 30 more minutes. Even though they were eventually eliminated after the penalty shootout, Neymar’s goal brought him up to Pelé’s level, equaling him on goals scored for the country.
12. This World Cup has seen the most yellow cards in the tournament
The Portugal vs. Netherlands match in the 2006 World Cup is one that is remembered as “The Battle of Nuremberg” because of the record it set for cards in any FIFA tournament. It had a total of 16 yellows and four reds.
In 2022, the record for most yellow cards was surpassed in the match between the Netherlands and Argentina, where the officials granted a total of 18 yellows.
13. Cristiano Ronaldo equals the record for most international caps
Though he spent much of the latter stages of the World Cup watching from the bench, Cristiano Ronaldo still reached a record for most international appearances for a men’s football player. He equaled Kuwait’s Bader Al-Mutawa’s record of 196, and has the most for any man in Europe.
14. Kylian Mbappe becomes the second man to score a hat-trick at a Final
In 1966, Geoff Hurst became the first player to score a hat-trick in a World Cup final when England beat West Germany. 56 years later, Kylian Mbappe becomes the second player to do so after scoring all of France’s goals (save for the penalties) in the 2022 final.
15. Lionel Messi is the first man to score in all rounds
When Messi scored Argentina’s first goal of the 2022 World Cup final to put them ahead of France, he became the first player to ever score in all stages of the tournament, from the group stage to the final.
16. Mbappe scores the most goals in a World Cup Final in history
Despite not winning the World Cup trophy two years in a row, Kylian Mbape still became the first player in history to score four goals in a World Cup final, including his hat-trick as well as his successful shot in the penalty shootout.
17. Messi is the first man to win 5 Man of the Match awards in one World Cup
He was also the first player in World Cup history to win the Man of the Match award in every stage of the knockout round of the tournament.
18. Messi has the most matches played in World Cup history
Another record for Messi as he becomes the player with the most matches played in World Cup history after competing in 26 throughout his 5 tournament appearances since 2006.
19. Messi becomes the first man to win two Golden Balls
Finally, on top of the coveted World Cup trophy, the Man of the Match awards, Messi was also given the Golden Ball as the best player of the tournament. With this, he becomes the first man to win two Golden Balls.
20. 2022 had the most goals ever at a World Cup
All in all, this has been one of the most exciting World Cup tournaments in history. With all the records made, the debut appearances, the final performances, and all the goals — the most ever in any edition of the competition — we can’t wait for the next one already.
Banner image from GOAL on Twitter.