Fifa World Cup: Top 5 viral moments from the tournament

From Japanese fans cleaning up the stadium to Morocco's Sofiane Boufal dancing with his mother, Khaleej Times takes a look back at moments that set the internet ablaze

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Published: Mon 19 Dec 2022, 5:01 PM

Last updated: Mon 19 Dec 2022, 5:44 PM

Football's biggest competition culminated in a thrilling finish on Sunday night as Argentina narrowly beat France to lift the esteemed trophy. The world watched eagerly as the beloved tournament unfolded in host country Qatar, and several heartwarming moments took place between players and fans alike.

As the Fifa World Cup comes to a close, Khaleej Times takes a look back at some of the tournament's most memorable moments.


Saudi beat Argentina

The tone for what would be one of the most momentous World Cups ever was set almost immediately, at the very beginning of the tournament, as a shock twist saw Saudi Arabia beat Argentina.

Considered one of the biggest upsets in World Cup history, the Green Falcons brought the South American giants' 36-match winning streak to a grinding halt as the world watched in awe.


The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia observed the victory by announcing a national holiday the very next day, and fans both in Saudi Arabia and across the Arab world were bursting with pride, seen celebrating in the streets for several days after the match.

Football's biggest competition culminated in a thrilling finish on Sunday night as Argentina narrowly beat France to lift the esteemed trophy. The world watched eagerly as the beloved tournament unfolded in host country Qatar, and several heartwarming moments took place between players and fans alike.

As the Fifa World Cup comes to a close, Khaleej Times takes a look back at some of the tournament's most memorable moments.

Boufal dances with his mother after Morocco's historic win

AFP
AFP

Morocco made football history during the tournament to become the first Arab nation to reach the Fifa World Cup semifinals. Sofiane Boufal appeared to be overcome with joy when he learned of his team's historic achievement, and the 29-year-old pulled his mother onto the pitch in an impromptu, heart-warming dance, with fans watching as both of them waved to the crowd.

The adorable moment went viral on the Internet, with fans applauding the mother-son duo hugging and rejoicing as they celebrated the win.

Japanese fans clean-up stadiums

In an outstanding show of hospitality and grace, Japanese football fans won hearts all over social media when a viral video showed them cleaning litter left behind in the stadium and leaving seats spotless after the island nation's 2-1 win against Germany.

The display of class wasn't limited to just one or two people; several Japanese spectators could be seen tidying the seating area of the stadium – a stadium that has a capacity of over 68,000 seats.

Fans also picked up flags that were left on the ground by other spectators, and either put them on the stadium's chairs or took them with them. The moment touched spectators all over the world, and served as a further reminder of the beauty with which football brings nations together.

Messi dances on table after final victory

In arguably one of the most sensational matches the tournament has ever witnessed, Sunday night's nailbiting final saw Messi-led Argentina beating France to lift the coveted trophy for the first time since 1986 – giving the football superstar his first-ever taste of World Cup glory.

After leading his team to victory for the first time in 36 years, a joy-filled Messi was seen celebrating with his team in their locker room, gathering around a table a they danced and sang loudly. In a viral video, Messi can be seen dancing with the Fifa trophy in his hand. He then hops up onto the table where he continues dancing, joined swiftly by Lautaro Martinez.

"I dreamt about it so many times, I wanted it so much that I still can't believe it," the football great took to social media to say.

"Thank you so much to my family, to all who support me and also to all who believed in us. We prove once again that Argentinians when we fight together, and united we are able to achieve what we aim."

Ronaldo exits final World Cup in tears

Portugal's talisman became the first male player to score in five World Cups with a penalty against Ghana.

However, the 37-year-old was subsequently left out of the starting line-up, and after he was unable to save his side after coming off the bench in the quarter-final against Morocco, he was seen leaving the match in floods of tears.

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