World Cup Frenzy

La Copa Mundial de Fútbol. The biggest sporting event has returned in its quadrennial form and with it, a mountain of turmoil, excitement, and nostalgia. Qatar is hosting the 2022 tournament and has faced harsh scrutiny for acclaimed worker exploitation, hiding hundreds to thousands of deaths from workers recruited from overland. There is also a major conflict of western ideals lashing at Qatar’s violation of human rights, especially their position on LGBT communities as well as strict policies on drinking and profane behavior which are imminent in hosting the most connected tournament, bringing only the most passionate from every corner of the world. However, as the World Cup continues, social conflicts aside could become the best one in its modern history. 

The 2022 World Cup is most likely the last international tournament for some of soccer’s most legendary players. Unanimously regarded as the two greatest football players of all time, Lionel Messi of Argentina, 35, and Cristiano Ronaldo of Portugal, 37, will be riding one last time in a fierce rivalry marked by the media. Each respective team is regarded as a favorite contender to win the tournament, although Ronaldo has recently taken a smaller role on his team due to age. Both players have garnered some of the largest fan bases in modern world entertainment; Ronaldo has the most followers on Instagram with 509 million. After winning the World Cup, Leo Messi’s celebration post became the most-liked Instagram post of all time.  Neymar Jr, a perennial talent in the shadow of these two giants lead Brazil as favorites, but this year the competition seemed as open as remembered in recent competitions. For these reasons, there was lots of anticipation for the 2022 World Cup. 

On December 18th, Leo Messi and Argentina became champions in what was one of the most climatic finals in football history. After taking an early 2-0 lead, France responded with two goals in two minutes by Kylian Mbappe who finished with a hat trick to send the game to penalties at 3-3. However, Argentina was able to pull past France in penalties, and fan favorite Leo Messi walked away with the one major trophy that eluded him in his long illustrious career. 

Here at Brookfield Central, the World Cup has seeped its way into the mass student body, as it has in most schools across the country and the world. The hallways are filled with jerseys and attire to represent their diverse heritages and countries at the World Cup. With the tournament in Qatar, most matches take place from early morning Central Time and run until sometimes perfectly as the school bell rings at the end of the day. If you pass a classroom on game days, you’ll be sure to catch a few Chromebooks with games covering notes, screams at lunch for a goal, and chaos at the end of school as a match just finishes. Even if you’re just catching the gist of football culture; the World Cup is a time like no other, and Brookfield Central has been quick to adapt.