Many factors contribute to what we all deem our dream World Cup Final. A favorite team, player, storyline or rivalry are all considerations for what makes the biggest game the best game.

At the 2022 World Cup, there are a number of paths for glory for the 16 teams qualifying for the knockout stages. In fact, just looking at the World Cup Predictor, the group stage provided fascinating outlooks for the tournament. England can face Brazil in a historic contest. Or, modern fans of the sport can see Argentina battle Portugal. Lionel Messi can battle Cristiano Ronaldo as the two settle the debate for the greatest of all time, or, at least, of this generation.

Then, there is the storyline path. There are a number of underdogs to reach the knockout stages. Australia finished second in a group that featured France, Denmark and Tunisia. It faces Argentina to upset another major side in the round of 16. Or, Morocco finished top of its group with Belgium and Croatia. Morocco looks like a quietly strong side that has potential to do something special.

For many fans, the dream World Cup Final includes their home nation. For many of the readers, and myself, that is the United States. While the Stars and Stripes has never reached that stage, 2022 is as good a time as any to make that dream a reality.

A dream World Cup Final

Therefore, I have two dream World Cup Finals. The first of those does involve the United States, and it is a familiar opponent. If the United States were to play England, it would be the ultimate opponent for the Americans. While it may not be a ‘rivalry’, per se, England and the United States certainly have commonality and easy interchange between their fanbases. The debate over whether it is football or soccer, highlighted in a recent Frito Lay commercial, would be settled.

That being said, the dream World Cup Final is Portugal against Argentina. The contest between Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo would cause the world to come to a halt for a couple of hours. Those two players dominated the world for over a decade. While both are in the twilights of their careers, with potential moves to smaller clubs on the horizon for both Messi and Ronaldo, this would be the greatest way to close a generation of brilliance.

What about you? In looking at the World Cup bracket, which potential matchup in the final would be your dream World Cup final?

PHOTO: IMAGO / Moritz Müller