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Ranking the top 10 best football matches of 2022

Published at :December 29, 2022 at 8:19 PM
Modified at :December 29, 2022 at 8:19 PM
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Badal Pareek

From Benzema winning the Ballon d'Or to Lionel Messi lifting the World Cup, 2022 has been a special year for football.

2022 has been some year for the world of football, it feels like we have seen it all; from high-scoring thrillers to nerve recking last-minute winners. It has been a year that football fans might never forget.

The year is about to end and it will for sure go down in history as one of the best years in world football. Initially, it was about Real Madrid's incredible run in the UEFA Champions and Benzema's terrific goal-scoring form. Later on, Messi and Argentina took center stage at the FIFA World Cup 2022. The recently concluded FIFA World Cup made the year even more special as Messi’s dream to win the World Cup ended with Argentina’s triumph over France in the final.

Here is a list of the top 10 matches from 2022:

10. Manchester City vs Real Madrid (UEFA Champions League Semi-Final 1st Leg)

Pep Guardiola’s men dominated the majority of the semi-final 1st leg against Real Madrid. Manchester City created countless opportunities throughout the 90 minutes. A better show in front of the goal would have seen City have a four or five-goal lead within the 1st half. They did squander quite a few chances but did manage to put 4 past Courtois. Madrid were second best by a margin but the individual brilliance of Benzema and Vinicius kept them in the tie. The match ended 4-3 in favor of Manchester City. In all 7 seven goals were scored with everything to play for in the second leg.

9. Morocco vs Spain (FIFA World Cup Round of 16)

Luis Enrique’s Spain were left shell-shocked as Morocco managed to knock them out of the tournament with ease. The African nation were rock solid throughout the 120 minutes and post that the goalkeeper took care of things. Morocco ended up winning 3-0 on penalties and progressed to the quarter-finals. It was a defensive masterclass from the African nation that created history in the recently concluded global event.

8. Barcelona vs Real Madrid (Supercopa de Espana Semi-Final)

Barcelona squared up against arch-rivals Real Madrid in the Supercopa de Espana semi-final. Both teams went all in to win and it was an evenly contested El Classico where Real Madrid eventually came out on top in extra time. Vinicius scored early in the first half but soon Luuk leveled it up. Around the 70th-minute mark, Benzema once again gave Madrid the lead but Fati forced it to extra time with an 83rd-minute equaliser. Eventually, Valverde’s 98th-minute strike was the difference between the two rivals.

7. Borussia Dortmund vs Bayern Munich (Bundesliga) 

The German rivals squared up against each other in the Bundesliga for an edge-of-the-seat thriller. Initially, Bayern dominated the proceedings and managed to put two past the hosts. Goretzka and Sane managed to get their names on the scoresheet and the team in red were well in control. Moukoko scored in the 74th minute and reignited the fire in the Dortmund camp. In the 90th minute, Coman received his second yellow of the night and was sent down the tunnel. Bayern had to fight out the 5 additional minutes with 10 men, they couldn’t hold off the Dortmund force and conceded in the very last minute of injury time. Modeste rose high around the second post and headed home the equaliser to snatch a point for his team.

6. Croatia vs Brazil (FIFA World Cup Quarter Final)

The Croatian team proved that their run in the 2018 FIFA World Cup was just the start of what was to follow. They have backed it with impressive stuff in the 2022 World Cup under the leadership of the evergreen Luka Modric. The Croatian goalkeeper Livakovic was star of the night as he made 10 saves. It was sensational from the shot-stopper but even he was left stunned when Neymar scored in the 105+1 minute of the match. The chips were down and it looked like the Croatian dream would end but Petkovic had other ideas. The Dinamo Zagreb striker scored in the 117th minute and forced penalties where Croatia managed to knock out one of the favourites of the tournament.

5. Netherlands vs Argentina (FIFA World Cup Quarter Final)

Argentina was well in control of the game up until the 80th minute. They had scored twice and the tension in the Netherlands camp was high. Wout Weghorst did the unthinkable and brought the Dutch back into the thick of things with an 83rd-minute goal. In the 90+11th minute, he once again stunned the Argentina fans and leveled things up to force extra time. While the South American team did eventually win on penalties, it was a game that will live long in the memories of the fans.

4. PSG vs Real Madrid (UEFA Champions League Round of 16 2nd Leg)

Real Madrid were all set to overturn a one-goal deficit from the first leg. The Spanish giants went all-out attack but it backfired on them as they missed chances and Mbappe gave PSG a 2-goal cushion on aggregate. On the hour mark, Real Madrid again came to life as Benzema caught Donnarumma out of possession and fired in the equaliser. Post that Benzema decided to do it all by himself as he scored a hattrick and completed yet another incredible Real Madrid comeback. A sensational second-half hattrick by Benzema guided Madrid to a win within normal time.

3. Chelsea vs Real Madrid (UEFA Champions League Quater-Final 2nd Leg)

A thrilling night in the Champions League and yet another comeback from Real Madrid. The hosts had won the 1st leg 3-1 and had a comfortable lead heading into the second. Things got ugly as Chelsea scored in the 15th minute and then added another in the second half to make it 3-3 on aggregate. Chelsea eventually made it 4-3 in their favour and it seemed all over for Madrid. Luka Modric showcased his brilliance to bring Madrid back in the hunt. The Croatian skipper used the outside-of-the-boot pass to find substitute Rodrygo who smashed it into the back of the net. The match headed into extra time with both teams level on aggregate. The duo of Benzema and Vinicius combined to give Madrid the lead and snatch victory from the jaws of defeat.

2. Manchester City vs Real Madrid (UEFA Champions League Semi-Final 2nd Leg)

Manchester City headed into the second leg having won the 1st 4-3. They were a dominant force in the 1st leg and everyone knew that this was not going to be easy for Madrid. The first half ended on level terms but the second half didn’t start according to plan for Los Blancos. Riyad Mahrez scored a magnificent goal early in the second half to almost ensure City’s progression into the final. But, Rodrigo had other ideas as he scored a two-minute brace at the death. The Brazilian wonder kid forced City into extra time where Benzema won a penalty and converted it to send Madrid into the Champions League Final. It was yet another great comeback from Real Madrid, the team of dreams.

1. Argentina vs France (FIFA World Cup Final)

Dreams of millions came true as Lionel Messi lifted the World Cup 2022 trophy after Argentina’s win over France in the final. A match that will go down in history as one of the best-ever games in the World Cup. Argentina started off in fine fashion and were 2 goals up heading into the half-time break. In the second half, Mbappe stepped and scored twice to level things. Messi did give Argentina the lead but Mbappe's brilliance forced Argentina into a penalty shootout where they came out on top. The Argentine goalkeeper Emiliano Martínez was the difference between the two teams in this high-scoring thriller.