There are plenty of good and moral reasons for not wanting to pay attention to FIFA or its 22nd World Cup when the tournament starts on November 20th.
The whole thing is sports-washing nonsense to legitimize the Qatari oligarchy; hosting rights were literally bought and paid for, in bribes to FIFA’s equally odious leadership; seven new stadiums and the remainder of the World Cup venue were built with slave labor from South Asia, with estimates that as many as 6,500 died on the job. Then there’s Qatar’s refusal to join the 21st century, let alone offer modern hospitality to the fans it’s paying to watch, instead telling them they’ll be arrested if they’re gay or drink beer in public; and there is FIFA President Gianni Infantino’s cowardly and firm response to all of the above.
If that’s enough to make you say no thanks, luckily EA Sports has you covered. Last year, when publishing a FIFA-branded soccer game, EA once again ran a simulation to predict the winner of this year’s World Cup. While such promotions are de rigueur for sports video games, we should note that EA has correctly won the last three World Cup champions using this methodology.
And the winner is: Argentina.
O albicelesteThe first world championship of 1986 would also be the last title Lionel Messi needs to complete his trophy case, having won basically every other championship and individual award available in his brilliant 19-year career. For good measure, FIFA 23 says that Messi will also receive the Golden Boot and the Golden Ball at the World Cup.
It seems logical; if Argentina wins the World Cup, Messi would likely be the tournament’s top scorer (for the Golden Shoe) and therefore easily voted the most outstanding player (Golden Ball). Messi won the Ballon d’Or in 2014, although Argentina were runners-up that year.
EA Sports correctly picked France as the 2018 World Cup winner, along with Germany in 2014 and Spain in 2010. It’s a better betting record than the Madden NFL franchise recently posted with their main event; EA Sports has excelled in the last two Super Bowls, dropping their record there to 11-8, 12-7 against the points spread.