On Sunday, everything became clear. The World Cup winner, after a 36-year hiatus, is once again Argentina, who defeated France in a penalty shootout at the end of a exciting match. On Saturday, Croats won a bronze medal following a victory over Morocco. So, let us now wrap up the World Cup from the stadiums perspective.
For the record, the Qatari World Cup was played at eight stadiums where 32 teams competed. There were 48 matches in the group stage, in which 120 goals were scored, including 2 own ones. The referees showed 166 yellow and 2 red cards. Precisely 2 457 059 fans watched all the matches in this stage of the tournament from the stands.
In the knockout stage, 16 matches were played, and 52 goals were scored, including the own one. The referees reached for yellow cards 55 times and twice for red cards. The round of 16 matches attracted an audience of 411,609. The quarter-final matches had 245 221 spectators, including 43 893 in Croatia's clash with Brazil at Education City Stadium. 44,198 fans watched Morocco's match against Portugal at Al Thumama Stadium, while at the stands of Lusail Stadium the duel between the Netherlands and Argentina thrilled a dizzying 88,235 spectators. There were 68,294 fans at the France vs England match at Al Bayt Stadium.
Both semi-finals were watched by 157,260 football supporters, including 88,966 at the match between the Argentines and the Croats at Lusail and 68,294 at Al Bayt during the clash between the 'Les Tricolores' and the 'Atlas Lions'. The third place play-off match attracted 44,137 spectators at Khalifa International Stadium, which marvelled at the triumph of Zlatko Dalic's charges over Morocco. In the grand final, refereed by Szymon Marciniak, in front of 88,966 fans, the 'Albicelestes' defeated the French 4:2 in a series of penalty kicks. It was 3:3 after 120 minutes, with three goals for the 'Les Coqs' scored by Mbappe, whereas for Argentina, two goals were scored by Messi and one by Di María. A total of 947,293 spectators were in the stands during the entire knockout phase.
Qatar's World Cup boasts an attendance of 3 404 252 fans. This is the third-highest attendance in the history of the World Cup, with more people at the stands during the 1994 tournament in the USA - 3 587 538 - and the Brazilian one in 2014 - 3 429 973. As a formality, let's add that the MVP of this year's tournament was Leo Messi, the best goalkeeper was his compatriot Emiliano Martinez and the top scorer with 8 goals, Kylian Mbappe.
Therefore, the World Cup is officially over. It has to be said that it was a successful tournament both in sporting and organisational terms. There was a lot of controversy surrounding the championship, but the longer it went on, the more clear it was that the Qataris rose to the occasion and organised a great tournament. We will see you again in 3.5 years in Canada, the USA and Mexico!