Candada Soccer FIFA World Cup 2022

The year in soccer: Football culture at its finest, cruelest and most mind-blowing

2022 was a wild year in sports.

Continuing in our year-end football-column tradition, here are highlights of what went down in the wonderful world of soccer in 2022, listed in no particular order.

  • FIFA suspended Russian men’s and women’s teams from international competition because of the war in Ukraine.
  • The Canadian Women’s National soccer team clinched a berth to the 2023 FIFA Women’s World Cup. 
  • Ronaldo left Manchester United at a financial loss of 17-million pounds.
  • Liverpool FC and Manchester United started the process of looking for buyers of their respective clubs. (With price tags in the billions.)
  • Chelsea FC was bought by American billionaire Todd Boehly and a consortium of investors in May, in a $5.25-billion deal.
  • Chelsea fired Thomas Tuchel after a slow start to the season and appointed Graham Potter as the new gaffer.
  • Zinedine Zidane rode a skateboard for the Adidas/Y-3 clothing collaboration with London-based skate brand Palace.
  • Canada qualified for this year’s World Cup. The first time they made an appearance was in Mexico in 1986.
  • Belgium beat Canada in their opening World Cup group match winning 1–0. 3.7 million Canadians tuned in to watch.
  • Canada played Croatia and lost 4–0, being eliminated from the World Cup after only two games.
  • Alphonso Davies scored the first ever men’s World Cup goal for Canada.
  • Atiba Hutchinson made his 100th international appearance for Canada.
  • Christine Sinclair scored her record-breaking 185th goal against St. Kitts and Nevis in January, and has scored in five World Cups.
  • Arsenal FC is at the top of the Premier League table at press time.
  • The English Premier League returns on Boxing Day, Dec 26 (*Everyone back to the Burgundy Lion?)
  • Apple TV+ acquired the exclusive rights to the MLS for $2.5-billion in a 10-year deal.
  • CFM made the MLS Playoffs while making MLS history at the same time.
  • CFM were eliminated from the playoffs by NYCFC.
  • The CFM re-branded again. The team removed the controversial snowflake logo from the crest.
  • Gareth Bale joined the LAFC, who won the MLS Cup.
  • Lorenzo Insigne joined Toronto FC at $14-million a year, and did not make the playoffs.
  • Haaland made his debut in the English Premier League and did not disappoint. He is on track to break records.
  • Pep Guardiola extended his contract with Manchester City for another two years.
  • Karim Benzema won the Ballon d’Or.
  • Xabi Alonso starts his managerial career with Bayer Leverkusen.

It has been a wild year in sports.

There are of course many other football moments in 2022 that should have been added to this list but rather than dwell unnecessarily on the past, the idea is to look to the future — hopedully a very bright future filled with peace and harmony in some form or other.

I wish everybody a positive, safe and healthy 2023. May your goals be reached, your memories be joyful and your company enjoyed year-round.

Take the time to enjoy the moments while you can. 

With good cheer

The 1st half

“I once cried because I had no shoes to play soccer, but one day, I met a man who had no feet.”

—Zinedine Zidane

Check out The 1st Half podcast (about soccer and football culture in Montreal and beyond) here.

This article was originally published in the December 2022 issue of Cult MTL.

For more Montreal sports coverage, please visit our Sports section.