The international news media coverage of the 2022 World Cup has been its usual crazy mélange of bias, manufactured controversy, fantastic eulogizing, and at times outstanding coverage.
Germany’s performance against Japan was slammed by German news media which felt Hansi Flick had messed up his lineup and tactics, but few outlets managed to lionize Hajime Moriyasu’s brilliant strategy or his team’s perfect execution of it.
The Saudi News Media reacted to their historic win over Argentina with banner headlines but also with this cheeky repartee with Lautaro Martinez after the game: “Lautaro Martinez, the Argentine national team striker, said that his team bears full responsibility for the loss against his counterpart, the Saudi national team, stressing that the tango dancers must quickly correct the course, after the severe blow he received after the loss in the first match.” Meanwhile, a holiday was declared in Saudi Arabia their country to celebrate their win.
Neymar’s injury was covered thus by Spanish news media (Marca) who were one of the first to know of the striker’s potential loss for at least the rest of the group stage. Meanwhile, O Globo, a top Brazilian newspaper and news website stressed that Ney’s foot injury is one in a series in his World Cup experiences and that it will likely be the Round of 16, at the very earliest, before the star is back on the pitch. “It is possible to say that Neymar’s biggest opponent in three World Cups throughout his career is injuries. The player who was [badly] beaten in Brazil’s debut against Serbia — nine fouls suffered —will be left out of the first phase [Group Stage of the cup] to try to return at the decisive moment, but it is already known that the recovery will be complicated. With the injury to the lateral ligament of the right ankle, the number 10 will undergo intensive treatment to return to the round of 16, in ten days, and will not play against Switzerland and Cameroon.”
Ecuador’s News Media (El Comercio) reaction to their team’s win and draw performance so far has been ecstatic. Their draw against the favored Dutch was front-page news and was celebrated thus: “Believe it! The Ecuadorian team played better than the Netherlands in the Qatar 2022 World Cup. It was an exciting match that ended 1-1 at the Khalifa International Stadium on Friday.”
Australian News Media’s reaction (news.com.au) to the Socceroos’ win over Tunisia via a great header by Mitch Duke in the 23rd minute, and in particular that they were then able to hold on was lauded.
French News Media’s (Le Monde) reaction to their team’s 2-1 with over Denmark was reported in a straight-forward manner as if the win were expected despite the fact that the news made the front page and the headline was bigger and bolder than all others on the page.
“Kylian Mbappe scored twice, including a late winner, as holders France edged Denmark 2-1 on Saturday to become the first team to reach the last 16 of the World Cup. A potent French side knew a second victory in as many Group D outings would take them through to the knockout phase and they were well worth the lead that Mbappe gave them when he opened the scoring at Stadium 974 just after the hour mark. However, Andreas Christensen soon equalized for the Danes and Les Bleus needed Mbappe to deliver again in the 86th minute as he turned in Antoine Griezmann’s cross to puncture the Danish resistance once and for all. Didier Deschamps’s side now have the luxury of going into their final group game against Tunisia knowing a draw will guarantee them the top spot, and even a defeat may not prevent them from finishing first.”
Finally, the Argentina News Media (La Nacion) were beside themselves with Messi and company’s win over Mexico posting no less than nine articles about the pre-game preparations by Lionel Scaloni, the in-game action, and several post-game details. The main article stated: ”Argentina defeated Mexico with great goals from Lionel Messi and Enzo Fernández and will define the qualification for the round of 16 of the Qatar 2022 World Cup against Poland. For the second date of Group C, the national team won 2-0 and recovered from the initial defeat against Saudi Arabia.”
Another article titled “Messi the Savior,” focused on Messi’s goal and eulogized as follows: “The outlook was gloomy. The Argentine team was mired in nervousness and doubts. Mexico kept calm in its area. And then, Lionel Andrés Messi appeared. When the team needed him most. When the Mexican resistance would not be penetrated. It was at the 17th minute of the second half in what seemed to be a nondescript play. Enzo Fernández played the ball to the right for Ángel Di María, who observed the unmarked number 10 in his area of ??greatest influence… Logically, he passed the ball to him, and with all of Mexico in front of him and the ball, Messi took a left-footed shot low and perfectly placed to the left of Guillermo Ochoa. And the eruption of an entire country awoke in a liberating cry—goal!”
Photo: Foreign News Media, Shutterstock ID: 292434044, by stockphoto mania.