Bulls & Bears: Messi’s magic conjures up captivating World Cup final

Bulls & Bears: Messi’s magic conjures up captivating World Cup final

Opinion: FIFA’s four-year classic trumps the Boston, 49ers storylines, but the world’s premier football governing body still has its own political woes

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bull of the week

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It’s been a great week for the San Francisco 49ers, who have won their last seven straight games. The five-time former Super Bowl winner capitalized on a 21-13 win over the Seattle Seahawks on Thursday night to become the second team in the National Football League to reach a playoff spot – the NFC East Philadelphia Eagles’ 12-1 was last week the first – and the first to claim a division title. The hottest team in the league won the NFC West with 10:4.

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Meanwhile, Boston continues to be a red-hot bull market and the envy of many sports cities in North America. Sure, the New England Patriots are having an offseason and could miss the playoffs, but the 23-4-2 NHL Bruins and 22-7 NBA Celtics are the leagues in their respective leagues.

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In all, Boston has won 38 championship titles in the Big Four of North American leagues, including a Larry O’Brien Trophy in 2008, the Stanley Cup in 2011, the Super Bowl in 2018, and most recently a World Series win in 2018. The New England Revolution is the only major Boston team not to have won a championship but has made it to the MLS Cup Finals five times in the last 20 years. The Patriots have six Super Bowl titles, the Bruins six Stanley Cups, and the Boston Red Sox nine World Series (including three in the last 15 years), while the Celtics have a record-breaking 17 NBA titles.

Again this week, nothing was as big and compelling as the 2022 FIFA World Cup in Qatar. Given the level of play played during the month-long tournament, there must be talk of the best World Championship competition ever. It had it all: upsets, small countries toppling leading footballing nations, superb goalkeepers and a slew of contributions from some of the biggest names in the world, including Argentina’s Lionel Messi, arguably the greatest player of all time.

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After a stunning opening-game loss to Saudi Arabia last month, Messi choreographed an impressive run to the World Cup final against holders France this Sunday. As the last World Cup participant, he is hoping for success in Qatar, where he failed in the 2014 final in Brazil, which Argentina lost to Germany in extra time.

He and Argentina are certainly the global fan favorites going into the final. Whether that impresses France and the French side is another question entirely.

bear of the week

The same global football community that will turn its attention to Croatia and Morocco in Saturday’s third-place play-off and France and Argentina last Sunday hasn’t quite gotten to the strength of hosts Qatar over the past four weeks (let alone the controversies). the last 12 years until the first World Cup in the Middle East).

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Sure, there was plenty of drama and talent on display, but is FIFA really further off the pitch than it was in 2010, when the tournament was held in South Africa and Qatar won the 2022 rights? Can it really suggest that the World Cup is a tonic for human rights and social justice?

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