Zurich, 25 December 2022 - FIFA revealed the teams that received recognition and the highest score in the tournament, in a special report on the teams of Argentina, Morocco, France, Croatia and Japan, during which it touched on Argentina's victory for the third title in its history, and France reached the final for the second time in a row, and Morocco's surpassing, which became the first country from Africa to reach the semi-finals of the World Cup, and Croatia and Japan's distinguishment among the few teams that received high recognition.
The report of FIFA said:" The Class of 2022 did not disappoint, providing thrills and spills aplenty. Though some nations returned home earlier than expected, FIFA+ is shining a light on those who finished top of the class with very high, if not full, marks".
The report highlighted those teams, and said that the Argentina national team received an excellent rating, despite the early and unexpected loss to the Saudi national team at the beginning of the career, as the Argentine stars then gave a special performance during the tournament, scored wonderful goals with a combination of collective performance and individual skills, and they also tested their nerves in the penalty shootout challenge and showed great efficiency.
It continued:" Argentina sparkled, showing off their ability to score silky team goals, hammer home individual corkers and hold their nerve in penalty shoot-outs. Every facet of a winning team was tested in Argentina's route to the World Cup, and at every corner they passed with flying colors".
captain Lionel Messi was likely to be making his last ever appearances at the World Cup. Such weight can rest heavy on the shoulders, but Lionel Scaloni's men took the challenge in their stride and finished, quite literally, top of the class".
The report talked about the Morocco national team which received an excellent rating according to the FIFA report, saying:" The Atlas Lions arrived at the World Cup off the back of a relatively comfortable qualifying campaign, winning all six group games in the second round and defeating DR Congo 5-2 on aggregate in March's knockout tie, and an appearance in their eighth CAF Africa Cup of Nations quarter-final earlier this year".
The report added:" With a combination of a miserly defence and a swashbuckling approach to counter attacks, Morocco not only entertained but excelled at Qatar 2022, becoming the first African side to reach the semi-finals. What's more, with a strong vein of young players running through Walid Regragui's team, a clear strategy and a proven ability to defeat highly ranked nations, it looks as though they might not be one-hit wonders".
On the French national team, the report mentioned: "Just a kick of a football short of retaining their title, France were able to shake the 'champions' curse' that has haunted so many other teams as World Cup holders and storm through the rounds with consummate ease. Poland were put to the sword, England were overpowered and Morocco were ousted as France lived up to expectations and put themselves within one game of ultimate glory".
Regarding the Croatian team, the report underlined:" It is not quite so surprising, then, that despite reaching the final in 2018, Croatia were still seen as underdogs going into this tournament and that, even considering their exceptional talent, their quarter-final defeat of Brazil was nothing short of extraordinary. To have lost their surprise-factor from Russia, yet still travel home with a bronze medal is a performance to be proud of".
The Japan national team also received the same praise from FIFA, saying : "Japan were close to progressing even further, victims of the Croatians' penalty shoot out prowess and just a stroke of luck away from making it further in the competition than ever before. Given the group they were handed, Japan thoroughly deserve their A-grade".