Story of FIFA World Cup 2022 in 10 photos

Skill, will, defiance, heartbreak and joy

Qatar Soccer WCup Match Moments Day 24 Photo Gallery

(letf) Lionel Messi and Kylian Mbappé in the final. It was Messi's 26th World Cup game; he beat German legend Lothar Matthäus's record (25). Messi's seven goals made him the first player to score in each round (the round of 16 was introduced in 1986), and with three assists, he equalled the all-time World Cup assist record (eight) shared by Pelé and Diego Maradona. Messi also became the first player to win the Golden Ball twice.

Mbappé became the first player to score a hat-trick in a World Cup final since 1966. He is also the leading goalscorer in final matches with four goals. The 24-year-old's eight goals in Qatar took him level with Pelé on 12 World Cup goals, just one behind Messi and only four behind all-time leading scorer Miroslav Klose | AP

Messi's assist through Joško Gvardiol's legs in the semifinals. Gvardiol, 20, is one of the best young defenders in the world. The Argentine great got the ball near the halfway line and ran past Gvardiol to the touchline, turning the defender inside out. “One day I'll tell my kids that I played against the best player in history,” Gvardiol said of the experience | AP

Moroccan winger Sofiane Boufal celebrates with his mother after the historic win in the quarterfinals. The video of Boufal dancing with his mother had gone viral. He told CBS Sports: “She sacrificed her life for me. I had to turn pro for her.” Mothers of the Moroccan players joined them in celebrations often. Achraf Hakimi's celebration with his mother had become a mural in Barcelona | reuters

Moroccan players toss head coach Walid Regragui into the air after beating Portugal in the quarterfinals. The appointment of the former right back as head coach three months before the World Cup was not received well and he was nicknamed “avocado head”. He silenced critics as Morocco became the first African team to reach the semifinals | AP

Selfie with Ivana Knöll, a former Miss Croatia (2016). Ivana became popular after asserting her right to dress the way she wants. She reportedly said: “The dress code forbids showing shoulders, knees, belly and everything and I was like 'Oh my God, I don't even have the clothes to cover all of that'.” But, she later said that local people had told her she could wear what she normally wears | getty images

Saudi Arabia's Salem Al-Dawsari celebrates after scoring the winning goal as the Asian team beat Argentina 2-1 in one of the biggest upsets in World Cup history. Three teams representing Asia―Australia, Japan and South Korea―got into the second round for the first time ever. Saudi Arabia and Iran also came close to qualifying from their groups | AP

Neymar is consoled by Croatia winger Ivan Perišić's son after Brazil were eliminated by Croatia in a penalty shootout in the quarterfinals. Neymar had scored a brilliant goal to give Brazil the lead in extra time. With that, he equalled Pelé's Brazilian record of 77 goals. But, Croatia found an equaliser soon after | AFP

Japan fans cleaning up after after their team was eliminated by Croatia in a penalty shootout in the round of 16 | Reuters

Japan head coach Hajime Moriyasu bows after the match. Both the team and the fans once again won hearts at a World Cup. In 2018, moving images of crying Japanese fans cleaning up had emerged after their team's heartbreaking, last-minute loss to Belgium (3-2; after taking a two-goal lead) | AP

Referee Stéphanie Frappart (middle), with assistant referees Neuza Back (left) and Karen Díaz Medina after the first half of the Group E match between Costa Rica and Germany. Frappart, 38, became the first woman to officiate a men's World Cup match. Including assistant referees and fourth officials, six women were part of the refereeing team in Qatar | Getty Images