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Posted On: 21 December 2022 03:50 pm
Updated On: 25 January 2023 11:25 am

Highlights of the World Cup in Qatar

Vrinda Abilash
Vrinda Abilash
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We have pulled down the curtains on the World Cup in Qatar, which took place from 20 November to 18 December 2022. It was a fantastic celebration of football, people and cultures!

The World Cup in Qatar has left us with many beautiful memories, happy moments, history of firsts, and so much more. The (ILQ) has put together some must-know highlights of the World Cup that made the experience amazing! Let's check them out.

The World Cup in numbers

Qatar hosted 64 matches, 32 teams, and 1.4 million visitors in 29 days. The FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022 recorded a high fan attendance of 3,404,252 fans over the tournament period. The FIFA Fan Festival™ at Al Bidda Park in Doha has seen more than 1.8 million fans enjoy the live broadcast of games and the vibrant entertainment at the venue.

The final match at Lusail Stadium recorded a groundbreaking attendance of 88,966 spectators. The World Cup saw 5+ billion TV viewers across the globe.

World Cup
Image credit: Shutterstock

Argentina become World Champions after 36 years

Argentina defeated France with a win of 4-3 on penalties and gave Argentina glory after 36 years.

H.H. the Amir gifts the 'bisht' to Messi

After winning the World Cup, His Highness the Amir Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani gifted the 'bisht' to Messi, which is a great honour, and Messi graciously wore it while accepting the trophy. This garment is considered a symbol of nobility and royalty. It is worn during special occasions like weddings, ceremonies, official meetings and other special occasions.

Ever since the World Cup final, bisht sales have skyrocketed in Qatar! Read more about the bisht here.

The firsts recorded during World Cup 2022

  • The World Cup group stage match between Argentina and Mexico on 26 November saw the highest attendance (88,966) in men's World Cup match since 1994.
  • The Costa Rica vs Germany match of FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022™ on 1 December 2022 saw an all-female refereeing trio for the first time in men's World Cup history. Stephanie Frappart was refereeing the match and was joined by Neuza Back and Karen Diaz as assistants.
  • Abdulrahman Al-Jassim became the first Qatari referee to officiate a World Cup match. He made his World Cup debut at the USA vs Wales Group B match on 21 November.
  • Cristiano Ronaldo made history as the first male player to score in five editions of the World Cup after his goal against Ghana on 24 November.
  • Team Morocco made history by becoming the first African country to reach the final four of the tournament.
  • Messi became the first player to score in the group stage, a round of 16, quarter-finals, semi-finals and final in a single World Cup edition at this year's tournament.
  • Messi also became the first player in the history of the World Cup to be handed the Golden Ball award twice after getting in in 2014.
  • In the 2022 edition of the World Cup, 172 goals were scored over 64 matches. The previous highest total of 171 was reached in the 1998 and 2014 tournaments.
referee trio
Image credit: FIFA

The meaningful World Cup opening ceremony

Fans at the Al Bayt Stadium were hyped for the World Cup opening ceremony on 20 November 2022, and the performances were spectacular! BTS sensation Jungkook and Qatari singer Fahad Al Kubaisi took the stage at the World Cup opening, and legendary actor Morgan Freeman also participated in the ceremony.

The perfect World Cup closing

The World Cup ended with a band with a spectacular closing ceremony. Lusail Stadium witnessed an aerial aquatic show, fireworks, a celebration of the participating countries & performances from the World Cup soundtrack stars singing their tournament hits!

The most accessible World Cup

One of the main highlights of the World Cup was the accessibility features it offered. From the transport facilities around the country and at the airports to accessible stadiums and sensory rooms for those in need to the visually impaired people enjoying the World Cup, it was indeed a tournament for all.

Fans applaud the safety in Qatar

Qatar is one of the safest countries in the world, and fans experienced and felt it first-hand during the World Cup. Many women came forward to tell how safe they felt here, and there were instances people could find their lost items with the help of others.

Fans say the Qatar World Cup experience is their best

Many fans who have attended previous World Cups have said that the Qatar World Cup experience is the best to date.

Fans access free healthcare in Qatar

Fans could free access urgent and emergency medical care at Hamad Medical Corporation (HMC) during World Cup. A World Cup fan who suffered an illness during his stay in Doha shared his experience with Qatar's healthcare services and facilities.

Players celebrating with their families and dear ones

Many players were seen celebrating each of the matches' wins with their family and dear ones. It was amazing to see these scenes unfold on the pitch.

Fans embraced the local culture

It was amazing to see fans in Qatar embrace the local culture while in the country. Fans could be seen rocking the thobe and ghitra in their country flag colours. Women fans were seen trying out the hijab and abaya for the first time. Local kids and adults were seen helping people tie the ghitra, which brought a smile to everyone's faces.

People welcoming visitors

Fans and match attendees were treated by locals and kids in Qatar by offering them sweets, flowers in malls, Karak and even homemade food in neighbourhoods outside the stadiums. Did you come across any gestures like this?

Team England befriend a stray cat; adopt him

Team England befriended a stray cat and adopted him. Dave the cat will soon be travelling to the UK. Read the story of lucky Dave here.

Image credit: England football team

Fans cleaning up the stadiums

The Japanese fans cleaned the stadiums after the matches ended, and this trend soon caught on, and many fans also joined in cleaning the stadiums after each match. How amazing is this?

Fans thank team Qatar

Qatar's fans thanked team Qatar and cheered for them during the final group stage match on 29 November 2022.

20,000 volunteers strong

More than 20,000 volunteers were involved in this year’s World Cup. The volunteers were the heart of tournament operations, supporting 45 functional areas across more than 30 different roles.

76-year-old volunteering legend
Image Credit: Supreme Committee for Delivery & Legacy

Fans drove, cycled and walked to Qatar for the World Cup

To attend the World Cup, fans took the less travelled path and drove, cycled and even walked to Qatar to witness one of the greatest tournaments! Check out their stories below:

naaji noushi
Image credit: Naaji Noushi

The viral metro man

Abu Bakr Abbas a.k.a "The Metro Man", became an instant celebrity amongst fans and even globally for adding a fun flair to his job! He sure knows how to make fans laugh while pointing them in the right direction. "Metroooo... this way!"

World Cup brought people together

A fan pays a beautiful tribute to how the World Cup brought people worldwide together in one place. Watch the video here!

Fans having the time of their lives

Fans had the time of their lives in Qatar, from dancing and celebrating their team's wins at prominent places in Souq Waqif to strangers coming together to congratulate each other, help each other and more. The tournament was just a grand celebration of different cultures coming together for the love of football!

World Cup passenger transportation in numbers

A total of 19,246,096 passengers were transported by both the Metro and Lusail Tram from 18 November - 18 December in Qatar. Mowasalat (Karwa)’s Bus Services transported 7,550,760 passengers throughout the tournament.


What other events made your World Cup experience unforgettable? Did you see or face anything that put a smile on your face? Do let us know in the comments below. Do share this article - it keeps us going!