While it might seem like headlines are booming with non-football-related stories tied to the World Cup, each tournament sees a similar level of catchy headlines and unbelievable stories.
Most of the world is focused on football. Prior to the tournament, online offers from FanDuel and similar sportsbooks helped stir excitement. Along with predicting which teams will advance to the knockout stage, thousands of fans also weigh in on prop bets tied to who will score, when, and how.
Clearly, the most exciting themes cover what’s happening on the pitch… but, as mentioned above, not every headline is tied to the game. In fact, some teams have all the talent and prestige needed to win the worldwide tournament… but they just can’t make it happen. Keep reading for two of Qatar’s most interesting stories from off the pitch.
The Belgian Breakdown
Just because a national team has a stacked roster, that doesn’t mean they’re heading for the finals. No 2022 World Cup story details that more than Belgium’s early exit. Since the team headed home, more information has come out hinting that the team simply couldn’t gel—so much so that five players flew home on separate flights.
So, what happened? First, star Kevin de Bruyne commented that the team was too old, which was taken as a subtle jab. Not many on the team are ‘old’—but the defence took it personally. It seems de Bruyne was clashing with Toby Alderwield, Eden Hazard, and Jan Vertonghen during the Morocco match.
Vertonghen reportedly took a jab at de Bruyne, asking if the team’s offence was also too old to perform.
The Argentinian Rollercoaster
It was the 2-0 loss heard round the world. And while not many teams could bounce back after delivering the World Cup’s singular greatest upset (losing to Saudi Arabia in their first game), Argentina turned their fate around to escape the group stage. Here, we see a team with Messi making history for the greatest upset.
Since then, star Leo Messi has started checking off records. He surpassed Diego Maradona in total World Cup goals while appearing in the 1,000th game of his career. What started as one of the most prolific failures has since turned out. Since that first loss, the Albicetas haven’t just leaned on Messi. The team also has Julian Alvarez and Lisandro Martinez to lean on.