The 2022 World Cup comes to a close this weekend but before the third-place play-off and the final take place, we thought that now would be a good time to take a look at who we think has been the most Entertaining team of the tournament.
Of the 32 teams that qualified for the 2022 World Cup in Qatar, here is our personal selection of candidates for the most exciting team of the tournament based on their overall performance, shock results, goals scored and playing style.
Luis Enrique's men got off to a very exciting start in their opening game against Costa Rica, securing a 7-0 victory. Spain were on fire for what was one of the best individual performances of the 2022 World Cup. Olmo set the pace of the game with the opening goal after just 11-minutes and Spain went in at the break 3-goals to the good thanks for an effort from Asensio and a Torres penalty.
The Spanish only seemed to improve in the second -half with Enrique's side scoring a further four goals to make the final scoreline 7-0. However, this proved to be a false dawn for Spain who only just made it through the group in the end after a draw with Germany was followed up by a defeat to Japan. Morocco got the best of Spain in the knockout stage, winning on penalties, but that opening day win over Costa Rica showed us just what we could expect from this Spain side in the future once they come through their transitional phase.
This Brazil side didn't perhaps shine like the 2002 World Champions but the South Americans really impressed at times going forward and looked very solid in defence throughout their World Cup campaign. Richarlison was the star man for Brazil, scoring some lovely goals that will be remembered fondly for years to come. Neymar got injured early on and didn't loom the same when he returned to action, despite scoring a couple of goals.
Brazil's best performance came in the knockout stage against South Korea where Tite's men gave one of the best first-half performances in World Cup history, scoring four goals without reply. Junior got the ball rolling with a 7th-minute opener and Neymar was on hand to convert a spot-kick 6-minutes later. Richarlsion got in on the action with the best goal of the game. After keeping the ball up twice with his own head, Richarlison laid the ball off to Thiago Silva who played the ball right back to Richarlison who was now through on goal and finished neatly with his left foot. Paqueta added a fourth goal but Brazil took their foot off the gas in the second half as the game was won and surprisingly lost in the Quarter-Finals against Croatia on penalties despite taking the lead in extra-time.
Saudi Arabia might not have made it out of their group but they performed really well in Qatar and will be remembered forever for defeating Messi's Argentina in their first match of the tournament.
Nobody gave the Saudi side a chance against the South American giants with most pundits, bookmakers and fans wondering how many Argentina would score and didn't even consider whether the South Americans would even win the game. Argentina dominated the opening forty-five minutes as everyone expected but only went in at the break a single Messi penalty in front and had had two goals disallowed which seemed to cloud their judgement at halftime.
Saudi Arabia came out flying in the second half, seemingly full of belief that they could not only equalise but go on to win this game. Just 3-minutes after the restart, Saleh Al Shehri got through on goal and fired home an equaliser for the underdogs and only 5-minutes after that, Saudi Arabia were in front thanks to an effort from Salem Al Dawsari.
For the rest of the game, Saudi Arabia had to defend manfully, which they did with the utmost desire and professionalism. When that final whistle went, the Saudi Arabia fans went wild and Argentina were left licking their wounds and under immense pressure to win their next two matches. Saudi Arabia arguably put in the most entertaining performance during this match, causing the biggest shock in the history of the World Cup.
The North Africans might have started the tournament off with a goalless draw against Croatia but both of those teams would go on to surprise everyone and make it through to the Semi-Finals and then the third-place playoff.
Morocco really started to make their presence known in the second group game against Belgium, running out 2-0 winners, and then followed that up with a 2-1 victory over Canada. The North Africans went up against Spain in the last 16, holding the former European and World Champions to a goalless draw over 90-minutes and extra-time, eventually causing another shock via a penalty shoot-out win.
Once again, Morocco found themselves as the underdogs when they met Portugal in the Quarter-Finals with the added pressure of knowing that a win would see them become the first African side to reach the Semi-Final of a World Cup. The Moroccan defence played yet another blinder against the Portuguese and one goal proved enough for the North Africans to create history. Despite not scoring many goals and keeping lots of clean sheets, Morocco captured the hearts of the world with their performances, defying the odds up until; they met their match in the form of France.
Nobody expected much from Japan at the 2022 World Cup given the group they had been drawn into which included the former World and European champions Spain and Germany. Japan faced the Germans in their opening game and trailed at the interval to a Gundogan penalty. However, what would become a theme for the Japanese, the introduction of substitutes turned the game on its head. First, Doan equalised for the Asian side and then Asano fired japan in front with 7-minutes left on the clock, stunning the Germans.
Japan held on to win that game but followed it up with a hugely disappointing defeat to Costa Rica. Having to face Spain in their final group game and knowing they needed to win, nobody held much hope for Japan, especially when Morata fired the Europeans in front after 11-minutes. Once again, substitutes came to the rescue for Japan as Doan equalised in the 48th-minute and 3-minutes later Tanaka made it 2-1, leaving Spain visibly stunned.
Japan held on just as they did against Germany to beat Spain and progress into the knockout stage. With two huge scalps already, Japan would have fancied their chances against Croatia. Maeda gave Japan the lead just before the break but Croatia got back onto level terms early in the second half and the game went all the way to penalties where Japan fluffed their lines and got eliminated.
The Most Entertaining Team at the 2022 World Cup is…
Well, we didn't even include either of the World Cup finalists in this article despite both giving us plenty of entertainment during the tournament. Instead, our pick for the most entertaining team o the 2022 World Cup has to be, Morocco.
The North African nation broke a long-standing record at this tournament, becoming the first African nation to make it through to the Semi-Finals. Morocco have broken records at the World Cup before and continues to set trends to this very day. The North Africans were the first African team to earn a point at the World Cup and became the first African side to qualify from the group stage, now they are on the cusp of finishing in third position at the greatest tournament in international football.
Morocco might not have scored the most goals or have been in any high-scoring matches during the 2022 World Cup but their passion, desire, team ethic, tactics and shock results blew us all away in Qatar and for those reasons, they have to be our pick for the most entertaining team of the 2022 World Cup.