Lionel Messi during Argentina's FIFA World Cup victory over Australia at Ahmad Bin Ali Stadium, Doha, Qatar, December 2022.

21 World Cup things we loved this weekend: Messi, Xhaka, Van Gaal…

The 2022 World Cup has become an increasingly thrilling tournament as we enter the knockout rounds and we’ve picked out the moments that we absolutely loved over the weekend.

Friday was the last day of the group stages and the world united in laughter as Luis Suarez and Uruguay were eliminated in hilariously cruel circumstances. At least they took it well…

And, while the first four knockout ties went to the form book, there were plenty of thrills and spills along the way. We cannot wait to see the quarter-final ties between Netherlands and Argentina followed by an Anglo-French derby.

But, for now, why not feast your eyes upon 21 of the things we adored this weekend.

Mauricio Pochettino

Poch reacted delightfully to Son Heung-min’s winner against Portugal.

Vincent Aboubakar

An absolutely 10/10 way to exit the World Cup.

Granit Xhaka

Switzerland’s win over Serbia was feisty and Xhaka made it his playground.

Patrice Evra

He doesn’t forget.

Edinson Cavani

Living out the fantasy of thousands of football fans.

Korean commentary


Van Gaal’s Netherlands

Total football.

Daley Blind

Father and son celebrated as the Dutch swept the USMNT aside.

Louis van Gaal

Dancing like a Punjabi uncle at a wedding.

Lionel Messi

Sheer genius.

Messi’s performance


Emiliano Martinez

This was certainly worth celebrating.

Aziz Behich

So close to one of the best World Cup goals. Ever.

Messi’s family

A heart-warming moment after Argentina’s narrow win.

Peter Drury

Of course Drury rose to the occasion on Saturday night. He always does

Olivier Giroud

Should’ve let it stand ref.

Jules Kounde

Pretty cool.

Kylian Mbappe and Giroud

The golden couple of the French nation right now.

Jordan Pickford

This save, while the game was still goalless, was crucial for England.

Roy Keane


Gabriel Clarke

Nobody’s better than ITV’s pitchside reporter.

READ MORE: Lionel Messi’s drool-inducing WC dribble underlined his GOAT status

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