Depending on your point of view, predicting who will lift the most prestigious trophy in international football has either become an art or a farce.
Who can forget Paul the Octopus, may he rest in peace, accurately picking Spain as the would-be winners of the World Cup back in 2010? More recently, we’ve seen a supercomputer tasked with cracking footy’s illustrious enigma. Not to mention all the bets, banter, and boasts about the possible winners of the Jules Rimet Trophy.
Along the way, video-game developer EA Sports has also taken a stab at forecasting the outcome with the help of its bestselling FIFA football series -and the results have been surprisingly spot on. In fact, its simulation of the entire tournament has thrown up the right winner each time for the past three tournaments.
As talk of this year’s World Cup in Qatar reaches fever pitch, EA’s virtual recreation on FIFA 23 has shown that Argentina will win the grand prize by triumphing over rivals Brazil in the final. Not only that, but Messi will win the golden boot, according to the 32-team simulation that included all 64 matches.
Indeed, that would be a massive achievement for the Albiceleste, who previously lifted the trophy all the way back in 1986. Not so great news for England fans, though. To add insult to injury, Gareth Southgate’s team are predicted to not top their group and later be knocked out by the Netherlands in the last 16.
At least there’s not long to go until all these prophecies are put to rest. The 2022 World Cup kicks off on Sunday, November 20 in Qatar. Ahead of that date, FIFA 23 will be launching its own World Cup update on November 9. The free mode includes the entire World Cup, with the 32 qualified nations and the actual groups and fixtures. Players can even add teams that didn’t make the cut to their own customised tournaments.