Teen Spotlight: World Cup brings out the best | AspenTimes.com

Teen Spotlight: World Cup brings out the best

Adeline Christensen
Special to the Snowmass Sun

The referee blows the whistle, the crowd cheers, and the lights shine bright as two soccer teams battle for victory on the pitch. Families gather together to cheer on their countries’ teams, friends do the same — yelling their “expert” suggestions at the TV screen. A player shoots and narrowly misses, and fans scream from the stadium, couches in homes, in restaurants, bars, and stores. The game goes on, and the excitement builds. Players are fouled, others score, penalties are given. Finally, the game ends — 3-1, a solid victory for the winning team. A roar louder than you could ever imagine erupts from the stadium, and the sound seems to travel all over the world. This is the World Cup. 

The FIFA World Cup is an international soccer tournament that occurs every four years; 1930 was the year the first World Cup was held. The World Cup is the second-most televised sports competition in the world, following closely behind the Olympics. This event attracts millions of people from all over the globe — both to the actual competition and the television. The World Cup has allowed some of the best players in the game of soccer to be spotlighted and admired by all fans. 

The 2022 World Cup was hosted in the country Qatar, where 64 international teams battled head to head for the title of World Cup champions. The soccer games were all entertaining, tense, and eventful; there proved to be many notable highlights within the 2022 competition. 

“I think the biggest highlight for me was (Lionel) Messi winning his first World Cup,” Kristine Hvolbeck, an AHS Junior and soccer fan, stated.  

Messi has been declared one of the world’s best soccer players, and, in the 2022 World Cup, he was able to lead Argentina to the finals against France, which ended in penalty kicks. It was a close game, but Argentina was able to pull through winning 4-3 in the shootout. Winning the World Cup is no easy feat. Messi has had a long and successful career, and 2022 was his fifth World Cup appearance. He had never won the cup previously. This was his last appearance at an international competition before retiring after 18 years of playing soccer professionally. It was a great accomplishment and a highlight for many across the globe for him to win. 

“I think that Argentina played great, and I am happy they won, but I was hoping Portugal would pull through,” said AHS junior Ella Pendarvis. 

Portugal played well throughout the cup and made it to the quarterfinal game played against Morocco, unfortunately losing 1-0 . Many fans were cheering for the Portugal team because, like Messi, it was another well-known player — Cristiano Ronaldo — in his final World Cup tournament. Even though the loss against Morocco was devastating for him and Portugal, the team’s previous games against Switzerland and Uruguay, among others, showed the world how dedicated these players are to the game of soccer and how hard they all worked to make this World Cup the most memorable for many.

Countless other highlights — such as Brazil’s tough game against Croatia, France’s jawdropping game against England in the semis, and so many others — are all ones that made the 2022 World Cup an event to be remembered for years to come. This tournament spread joy and excitement to many throughout the world and our own community; it was not only a way to celebrate and cheer for the teams that were playing, but also a way to come together as friends and families. Although Messi’s win was incredible, Henry King and Jordan Henderson made England’s teamwork soar, and Neymar’s reactions were top-tier.  The best highlight was seeing the crowd cheer, hug each other, and assemble as one.  

Adeline Christensen is a junior at Aspen High School. This is her first year writing for the Skier Scribbler as a staff writer.

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