• Argentina breaks 20 years of unchallenged reign of European nations

Oliver Kahn releases the ball on a Rivaldo strike, and Ronaldo surges forward from the surfaces to score the first of two goals that will give Brazil their fifth World Cup.

It was 20 years ago, during the 2002 World Cup.

The Seleçao won against Germany (2-0) and placed a South American selection on top of the world.

Sunday, by winning the final of the World Cup-2022 against France (3-3, tab 4-2), the Albiceleste put an end to 20 years of unchallenged reign of European nations.

After Italy in 2006, Spain in 2010, Germany in 2014 and France in 2018, Argentina lifted the prestigious trophy and added a third star to their shirt, ending thirty -six years of waiting in the country of Maradona and Messi.

3 - Argentina won the World Cup for the third time (after 1978 and 1986), 36 years after their last title.

Only Italy (44 years between 1938 and 1982) had waited longer between two World Cups.



— OptaJean (@OptaJean) December 18, 2022

  • All continents represented in 8th, Morocco takes date with world football

It's a rare enough performance to be underlined: all continents were represented during the round of 16 of this world championship in Qatar.

Europe was, as often, in the lead with eight nations – France, Portugal, Spain, Switzerland, Poland, England, Croatia and the Netherlands –, followed by America – Argentina, Brazil and the United States.

Africa and Asia have had two nations respectively at this stage of the competition – Morocco and Senegal, South Korea and Japan – and Oceania has been represented by Australia.

The overrepresentation of European nations, however, had an impact on the rest of the world: five of the eight selections were still in contention for the quarter-finals with Argentina, Brazil and Morocco.

>> Mondial-2022: The successful journey of African teams, with an exceptional Morocco

The Atlas Lions also occupy a special place in the international competition which has come to an end: they have been the locomotive of African football, chaining performances from the group stages to reach the semi-finals (defeat against France 2-0).

The Moroccan coach, Walid Regragui, is also convinced that with this course, the Atlas Lions, and Africa more generally, take a date with world football: “In 15, 20 years (…) an African team will win the World Cup because we will have learned”.

  • The Mondial-2026 will “increase the number of guests”

The 2022 World Cup has barely ended, eyes are already turning to the North American continent for the 2026 World Cup – organized by Canada, the United States and Mexico.

The competition which has undermined European hegemony this year could well put it to the test also in four years: exit the world with 32 selections whose format has been in force since 1998, place in a world which will bring together for the first time … 48 nations – almost a quarter of the 211 FIFA affiliates.

This reform wanted by Gianni Infantino, adopted in 2017, could lead to the organization of more than 100 matches in 2026 – against 64 currently.

The international football body expects to generate record income: according to an internal FIFA report, the move to 48 nations will generate 640 million euros in additional revenue, recalls L'Équipe.

This reform will also allow several continents to be better represented during the queen competition of world football: Africa will have 9 nations at the World Cup-2026 – against 5 currently – and Asia will be able to rely on 8 selections – against 4.5 currently.

Oceania, which qualified only one play-off, will now have a guaranteed place.

The continents already well represented will also see their representation increased to a lesser extent: Europe will go from 13 to 16 nations, South America from 4.5 qualified to 6 qualified, and North America - which will qualify the three host countries for the next World Cup – will have a total of 6 representatives in 2026 (compared to 3.5 today).

Finally, two additional tickets will be awarded via play-offs.

The reform aroused opposition, such as that of Karl-Heinz Rummenigge.

The president of the European Club Association denounced, in 2017, “a bad measure”: “(with this reform) it is only politics that counts, while sport is completely sidelined.”

The Brazilian Ronaldo said he was "favorable" to this enlargement.

"I find that this format, which gives the opportunity to other countries to participate in this great celebration, is honourable", argued the former centre-forward.

"It will not weigh on the technical level of the next editions, it only increases the number of guests."

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