FIFA President Gianni Infantino has described the group stage of the 2022 Qatar World Cup as the "best ever" due to the number of upsets and the representation of different continents in the last 16.
Matches were played in beautiful stadiums and received a television audience of over 2 billion viewers.
Various teams caused major upsets, with the likes of Saudi Arabia and Japan beating Argentina, Spain, and Germany.
The 2022 Qatar World Cup group stage has been praised by FIFA President Gianni Infantino as the "best ever.
" The tournament's opening phase saw giant-killings by lesser-known teams such as Saudi Arabia, and Japan, dispatching established soccer teams Argentina and Germany, respectively.
There were also impressive performances by underdogs such as Morocco that finished tops in their pool after beating Belgium and drawing against Croatia.
With excellent drama shared among the teams, the final round of qualifications for the Last 16 provided nail-biting finishes.
Infantino's term "best ever" is attributed to the "number of upsets and geographic breadth" of the teams that progressed to the last 16.
Speaking about the tournament, Infantino said, "Fantastic atmosphere, great goals, incredible excitement, surprises, small teams beating big teams.
…There are no more small teams and no more big teams.
" However, The Independent's coverage was different, focusing mainly on how the tournament's shocks made it an exhilarating watch.
It is noted that Infantino described the competition as "the best group stage... ever," which further strengthens his praise for the tournament.
In contrast, The Independent attributes the same title to Infantino and includes a few examples of the shocks that happened in the group stage.
Both sources agree that the geographic distribution of teams in the Last 16 is unprecedented, with Africa, Asia, North America, South America, and Europe all being represented.