Why this was the greatest World Cup final ever

CNN — It seems only yesterday that Enner Valencia was swatting aside Qatar in the 2022 World Cup’s curtain raiser. As the dust settles on an enthralling month of soccer action, fans have been treated to arguably one of the greatest ever World Cup tournaments in the sport’s history. In fitting fashion, Sunday’s final exploded … Read more

Eight talking points from the World Cup – The Irish Times

Messi’s fairy tale showed everything good about sport Lionel Messi was proclaimed publicly as Diego Maradona’s successor by the man himself in 2006 when he was just 18 years of age. Five World Cups and 26 games later, aged 35 he finally got his hands on the trophy, following in the footsteps of El Diego … Read more

Football fans the world over feel gratitude towards Messi tonight – The Irish Times

You couldn’t make it up. Really, you couldn’t. People talk about Hollywood endings, but only football can give you endings like this. A fictional match with the plot of this game could never be filmed, it would be too ridiculous. A fictional film with the plot of this Argentina World Cup campaign would simply be … Read more

Lionel Messi-inspired Argentina wins World Cup title after beating France in sensational final

CNN — Lionel Messi’s wait for World Cup glory is finally over after Argentina beat France in a dramatic penalty shootout on Sunday. It was a final for the ages, with momentum swinging both ways throughout a pulsating 120 minutes before Gonzalo Montiel scored the winning penalty after the game had finished 3-3 after extra … Read more

Messi’s vindication leaves Ronaldo fans praying for Mbappé intervention – The Irish Times

“Messi is good but because he is accompanied by extraordinary futbolistas. Para un equipo normal, piénsalo – ¿Messi o Cristiano? ¿A quién elegírias?’ “Messi is good but because he is accompanied by extraordinary players. For a normal team, think about it – Messi or Cristiano? Who would you choose?” Of all the withering things people … Read more

Superstars Mbappé and Messi will align as magic finally runs out for Morocco – The Irish Times

It’s the downside of World Cup upsets. Everyone loves when a small team comes along and knocks out a series of bigger teams with superhuman performances. If only the players really were superhumans. After a few attritional rounds, the small team’s overworked first XI are mostly exhausted or injured. In the end their defeat is … Read more

Unless your heart is composed solely of liquid helium, you have to feel sorry for England – The Irish Times

Ronnie Whelan went all controversial on us. “You have to feel sorry for England,” he said. No, seriously, he did. Now, that statement could launch a thousand think pieces, just as they’d died down after Euro 2020, along the lines of “have we matured enough as a nation to have felt sorry for Harry Kane?” … Read more

LeBron James and Billie Jean King lead tributes to American journalist Grant Wahl

CNN — The death of prominent journalist Grant Wahl at the World Cup in Qatar has led to an outpouring of shock and grief across the sports world, with NBA star LeBron James and tennis great Billie Jean King leading the tributes to the American. Wahl, 49, died after collapsing while covering Friday’s Argentina-Netherlands match. … Read more

Kylian Mbappé is reaching speeds of 22 miles per hour at the World Cup. Can anyone stop him?

CNN — Ahead of its World Cup quarterfinal against France, England has a problem to solve. Namely, how to stop the tournament’s top scorer, Kylian Mbappéfrom adding to his tally. “Nineteen other teams in [France’s] Ligue 1 – and others in the Champions League – have been waiting for a solution,” French midfielder Youssouf Fofana … Read more