Was the 2022 FIFA World Cup in Qatar a bad omen for the future of football? A retrospective analysis of elite player performances in the 2017/18 and 2022/23 World Cup seasons

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Norbert Griszbacher


Over time, football (soccer) has surpassed its core functions to become a pivotal element within the entertainment industry: billions tune in to watch mega-events such as the Champions League, European Championship, or the World Cup, and even individuals who aren’t avid fans experience certain facets of this phenomenon. As games are strongly commercialized today, organizations persistently strive to innovate the sport (e.g., introducing VAR or 10-15 minutes extra time), the number of games per season increases, and mega-events venture into unfamiliar territories, exemplified by the recent winter World Cup in Qatar. This study compares data from the last two World Cup seasons to address a fundamental question: How did the unconventional Qatar tournament affect the 2022/23 football season? Analysis revealed that while the 2022 World Cup produced impressive statistics, the club season witnessed a decrease in goals and assists (GA) compared to 2018, indicating potential challenges with the transition to the Qatari conditions. Factors such as playing position, national team federation, club league tier, and league position were identified as significant contributors to these transitional challenges. These findings gain added importance with Saudi Arabia hosting the 2034 World Cup, underscoring the need for more research to grasp the challenges ahead.

Article Details

How to Cite
Griszbacher, N. (2024). Was the 2022 FIFA World Cup in Qatar a bad omen for the future of football? A retrospective analysis of elite player performances in the 2017/18 and 2022/23 World Cup seasons. Scientific Journal of Sport and Performance, 3(3), 314–332. https://doi.org/10.55860/FMWX7642
Performance Analysis of Sport and Physical Conditioning
Author Biography

Norbert Griszbacher, Corvinus University of Budapest

Institute of Marketing.


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