Qatar 2022 post-mortem: By the Numbers

Lionel Messi always attracts attention and here four France players chase "La Pulga" during the World Cup final in atar. (Photo by Ercin Erturk/Anadolu Agency via Getty Images)
Lionel Messi always attracts attention and here four France players chase "La Pulga" during the World Cup final in atar. (Photo by Ercin Erturk/Anadolu Agency via Getty Images) /
World Cup numbers 3
This shot by Lionel Messi put Argentina ahead of France 3-2, but “Los Albicelestes” needed penalty kicks to claim the World Cup. (Photo by Matthew Ashton – AMA/Getty Images) /

Goals galore at 2022 World Cup

Qatar 2022 is in the books and Messi Mania continues to dominate the conversation. Argentina is due back in Buenos Aires on Tuesday and throngs will line the city’s streets, highways and plazas to pay homage to their heroes.

Messi’s Paris St. Germain teammate, Kylian Mbappe, is also trending as the Frenchman seems destined to become the all-time World Cup goal-scorer (he has 12, just 4 behind Brazil’s Ronaldo and, as he only turns 24 on Dec. 20, he can expect to play in one or two more Cups).

So while we must now wait three-and-a-half years until the next World Cup, here are some numbers to consider:


The number of goals scored at the 2022 World Cup, barely setting a new record. There were 171 goals scored at Brazil 2014. However, this record is bound to be broken as the 2026 Cup will feature 16 additional participants as FIFA has announced it will be a 48-team tournament.


The number of goals Mexico and Argentina have given up in World Cup matches. Only two other teams have conceded more: Germany – 130 and Brazil – 108. But Mexico leaked their goals in only 70 games as compared to Argentina’s 88. Germany has played in 112 games and Brazil in 114.


The total number of wins for Argentina in World Cup matches. The four victories earned in Qatar by “Los Albicelestes” lifted them into third place on the all-time list, leap-frogging Italy (45 wins). Brazil sits firmly atop the list with 76, followed by Germany/West Germany with 68. France is next on the list with 38 wins.


The number of goals France scored at Qatar 2022 to lead all teams. Argentina was close behind with 15.


The number of times a team that has eliminated Brazil has gone on to claim a medal. As Brazil has won five World Cup titles out of 22, that means only twice has the team that bounced Brazil not finished in the top three. At the very first World Cup in 1930, Yugoslavia topped Brazil in group play then lost in the semifinals, but there was not a third-place match. In 1934, Spain knocked out Brazil in the Round of 16 but was felled by Italy in the quarterfinals. Ever since then, either Brazil won the Cup or the team that defeated them finished in the top three. Six times that team was crowned Kings of the World, five times they finished runners-up, and four times – including this year, Croatia – the team that conquered Brazil claimed a bronze medal.


The number of goals Lionel Messi has scored in World Cup matches, tied for fourth-best with France’s Just Fontaine. However, while Messi tallied up his total over 26 games and five separate World Cup tournaments (both all-time records), Fontaine rippled the net 13 times in a single tournament – Sweden 1958 – in just six games.

Messi and Argentina claim World Cup trophy. dark. Next


Sunday’s World Cup final was the 11th that pitted a South American nation against a European one. The former are now 6-2-3 in those games and South American teams won both penalty shoot-outs prompted by the draws (Brazil over Italy in 1994 and Argentina over France yesterday).