FC Barcelona World Cup Diary

FC Barcelona World Cup Diary

All the latest news from the players in Qatar. Photo courtesy of FIFA.com

Sunday, 18 December

Argentina 3 France 3 (Argentina win 4-2 on penalties) 
After one of the greatest World Cup finals in history, Argentina claim the trophy for the third time in their history. A hat-trick from Kylian Mbappé was not enough for Didier Deschamps side with Leo Messi leading the South American to victory, scoring twice himself in the final. Barça's Ousmane Dembélé played 40 minutes and Jules Kounde 120 minutes in the defeat for the reigning champions. 

Argentina dominated the first half and Leo Messi put the South American's ahead from the penalty spot after Di Maria was brought down in the French box. The same player made it 2-0 on the counter to give the Lionel Scaloni's side a comfortable lead at half time. 

In the second half, Argentina appeared to be cantering to victory until Otamendi's foul on Muani with just 10 minutes to go. Mbappé scored from the spot and then added a second on the volley just a minute later to send the game into extra time. 

Messi's goal in the second half of extra time appeared to have decided the game in Argentina's favour before another penalty for France and a hat-trick for Mbappé meant a penalty shoot out to decided the World Cup final. 

Argentine goalkeeper Emi Martínez was the hero in the shoot out, saving Coman's penalty. Montiel scored the decided for the South American from the spot to add 2022 to their previous win in the competition in 1978 and 1986. 

We have confirmation of the starting elevens for each side, and Kounde and Dembélé both line up in a World Cup final for France!

The teams in full:

France: Lloris, Kounde, Varane, Upamecano, Theo Hernández, Tchouaméni, Rabiot, Griezmann, Dembélé, Mbappé and Giroud.

Argentina: E. Martínez, Molina, Romero, Otamendi, Tagliafico, Di María, Paul, Enzo Fernández, Mac Allister, Messi and Julián Álvarez.

It's just a question of hours now until the 2022 World Cup final kicks off at 4pm CET. Argentina and France will battle for the honour to be named world champions for the next four years.

Dembélé already knows how that feels, being part of the 2018 French squad that won last time out, while Kounde will be hoping to savour the feeling for the first time. Their task won't easy, however, as Barça legend Leo Messi will be trying to add the only trophy he is missing from the cabinet as he leads his Argentina side out in Qatar.  

Saturday, 17 December

The penultimate day of the 2022 World Cup saw Croatia claim 3rd place after overcoming Morocco 2-1 in the playoff.

After what has been an entertaining tournament, only the grand final remains tomorrow when Argentina and France meet at 4pm CET. Dembélé and Kounde will be hoping to help their national team retain the title they won in Russia in 2018. Not an easy task, however, as Leo Messi is in great form for Argentina in what he has said will be his last World Cup.

Friday 16 December

Ousmane Dembélé has spoken in the build-up to Sunday's final showdown against Argentina. "It's hard to deal with Messi" he said in reference to his former team-mate. "But we will do all we can to make sure he touches the ball as little as possible because he's very dangerous. With his history, of course he deserves to win a World Cup, but France also deserves it because of how we've played from start to finish."

"I spent four lovely years with Messi at Barça. It was a dream to play with him. He's an honest, down.to-earth guy who does a lot to help the young players. He's an exceptional player and he was the one, along with Andrés Iniesta, who made me fall in love with Barça. I'm very happy to had him as a team-mate because he gave me a lot of advice."

"I feel important in the team. I try to help the team as much as I can and I think it's working."

Wednesday 14 December

France 2 Morocco 0
The World Cup final in Qatar will see France play Argentina, after Les Bleus beat a spirited Morocco side 2-0. Dembélé and Kounde both started the game and helped their side ease to the win. The winger played 78 minutes while the defender played the entire game, including saving a goal on the line in the final minutes of the game.

It's a big day for Kounde and Dembélé. France are in the second semi-final of the World Cup, kicking off at 8pm CET. Standing between the defending champions and a showdown against Argentina on Sunday is the surprise package of the competition, Morocco, who have already eliminated the hotly fancied Belgium, Spain and Portugal from the competition.

Tuesday 13 December

Kounde and Dembélé now know who they could play in the 2022 World Cup final as today's semi-final saw former Barça man Leo Messi score and assist as he led Argentina to a 3-0 win over 2018 finalists Croatia. Attention now turns to the remaining semi-final between France and surprise package Morocco, kick off 8pm CET.

Monday 12 December

Looking ahead to Wednesday's World Cup semi-final with Morocco, Jules Kounde has said that "Morocco have done extraordinarily well in this World Cup. They have a very compact team, with very tight lines and then don't let the player with the ball through."

On a more personal level, the Barça defender said "there is always room for improvement, but I'm feeling more and more comfortable in the right-back role. I feel fortunate to be able to play in a World Cup semi-final."

Saturday 10 December

France 2 England 1
Dembélé and Kounde are headed to the semi-finals of the World Cup! Barça's sole representatives left in Qatar came out tops in an intense clash with England, thanks to goals from Tchouaméni and Giroud. A Harry Kane penalty annulled the first but the same player missed a second spot kick that would have levelled the game. France will now face surprise semi-finalists Morocco, who defeated Portugal to progress further than any African side has ever gone before.

Following the elimination of Brazil and the Netherlands, FC Barcelona's representation in Qatar has been cut down to just Dembélé and Kounde, who are both in line to feature in today's quarter finals against England, kicking off at 8pm CET. Should they advance, the defending champions will face either Portugal or Morocco, who will be playing in today's earlier game.

Friday 9 December

Argentina 2 Netherlands 2 (Argentina 4-3 on pens)
It's also the end of Memphis and Frenkie de Jong's World Cup, as two more Barça players bade farewell to the tournament in a penalty shootout. Argentina, with former Barça man Leo Messi converting a penalty, looked on course for the win, but the Dutch pulled back level with two late goals, both from Weghorst, to take the game into extra time. It ended 2-2 but the South Americans came out tops when it came to spot kicks.

Croatia 1 Brazil 1 (Croatia win 4-2 on pens) 
Barça winger Raphinha played 55 minutes as Brazil exited the World Cup on penalties. After a goalless 90 minutes, the Brazilians appeared to have sealed the win in extra time thanks to Neymar's goal. However, with three minutes remaining, Petkovic equalised for the Balkans and in the penalty shoot out Marquinhos' miss for Brazil saw the Croats into the semi-finals. 

Football is back! And what football we have to look forward to. At 4pm CET, Brazil take on Croatia in the first of the quarter finals. Raphinha et al looked mightily impressive against South Korea in the previous round, and will be strongly fancied to defeat last season's runners-up Croatia, but at this stage of the competition, anything can happen. Croatia have certainly shown that they are in Qatar to do business.

And after that, at 8pm, Memphis and Frenkie de Jong face the tough challenge of Leo Messi and Argentina. But the Dutch have looked extremely solid all tournament and know that they have every chance of moving one step closer to winning the trophy for the first time.

Thursday 8 December

Last rest day prior to the first two quarterfinals on Friday 9 December, with Croatia playing Raphinha's Brazil at 4pm CET before Frenkie de Jong and Memphis will hope to help the Netherlands overcome Argentina, kick off 8pm CET.

Wednesday 7 December

Rest day at the 2022 World Cup in Qatar.

Tuesday 6 December

Morocco 0 Spain 0 (Morocco win on pens)
Spain have crashed out of the World Cup at the last 16 stage after losing a penalty shootout to Morocco after the game had finished scoreless after extra time. The North Africans will now face the winners of Switzerland and Portugal, while the eight Barça players in Luis Enrique's squad will all be returning to duty at the Ciutat Esportiva earlier than expected.

Pedri and Sergio Busquets both played the full game. Ferran Torres and Gavi were both substituted in the second half, and Jordi Alba in extra time. Ansu Fati and Alejandro Balde both came on for the final minutes of extra time and of the Barça contingent, only Eric Garcia played no part.
Spain missed the only three penalties they got to take, Sergio Busquets being one of the unfortunate takers.

Monday 5 December

Brazil 4 South Korea 1
The five-time champions are one step closer to a sixth after they dismantled South Korea, scoring all four their four goals in a rampant first half display. Brazil will now face Croatia in the quarter finals, who overcame Japan in a penalty shootout earlier in the day. Raphinha played all 90 minutes of the game.

Sunday 4 December

France 3 Poland 1
The defending champions progress at the expense of Robert Lewandowski's Poland with an impressive display and goals from Giroud and Mbappe (2). Dembélé played 76 minutes of the game before being replaced by Kingsley Coman, and he was the man who gave the assist for the first of Mbappe's goals. Jules Kounde played the full game other than the final minutes when Axel Disasi took his place. France advance to play the winners of Senegal and Spain on Saturday.
But that's the end of the road for Lewandowski, who bowed out of the competition with his second goal, a last minute penalty that will serve as small consolation and nothing more. 

A big game for Barça players today, with Poland and France meeting at 4pm CET with a place in the quarterfinals at stake. Lewandowski will want to add to his first World Cup goal, while Kounde and Dembélé will be hoping to start after being largely rested against Tunisia.

Saturday 3 December

Netherlands 3 United States 1
The Dutch are the first team through to the last sixteen of this year's World Cup, and the first of their three goals against the US came courtesy of Memphis, his first goal of the tournament. Blind and Dumfries scored the others. The side coached by former Barça boss Louis van Gaal will now take on the winners of Australia v Argentina in the quarter finals.

Friday 2 December 

Cameroon 1 Brazil 0
Brazil have lost 1-0 to Cameroon in their final group game but still end up top of their group. They rotated the squad for this one, with Raphinha only featuring as a substitute for the final 11 minutes of regulation time. Brazil also know that they will be playing South Korea in the last sixteen.

Uruguay 2 Ghana 0 
Victory for Ronald Araujo's Uruguay in their final group game but it is not enough to take them through to the last 16 after a last minute goal in the other fixture in Group saw South Korea beat group winners Portugal 2-1 to secure second place on goals scored. That means there will be a total of 14 blaugranes in the last 16 of the 2022 World Cup. 

More countries with blaugrana representation are in action on Friday on the final day of the group stage in the Qatar 2022 World Cup. At 8pm CET Brazil and Raphinha take on Cameroon with their place in the last 16 already secure. Tite's side just need a draw to be sure of topping group G.

In Group H Ronald Araujo and Uruguay take on Ghana in their final group stage fixture. The South Americans need a win and for South Korea not to beat Portugal in the other group game otherwise second place and a spot in the last 16 will come down to goal difference. 

Thursday 1 December

Japan 2 Spain 1
Balde, Gavi, Sergio (c) and Pedri all started for Spain as they lost the final group game to group winners Japan. A first half goal by Morata seemed to set Spain on their way, but two quick fire goals for Japan early in the second half proved enough. Luis Enrique replaced Balde with Alba, Williams with Ferran, and Gavi with Fati, among other changes, to try to grab at least an equaliser and finish group winners, but to no avail. Spain will now play Group F winners Morocco in the last 16 at 4pm CET on 6 December.

Costa Rica 2 Germany 4
Despite winning their final game, Germany and ter Stegen are heading home from Qatar, their second consecutive WC elimination at the group stage. A real rollercoaster of permutations, one more goal by Spain would have put them through instead of Japan who finished Group E winners.

With no Barça players involved in Group E, it's in Group F where the focus lies today. Spain, with nine Barça players in the squad, need to avoid defeat to Japan or they could still suffer an unexpectedly early exit. Meanwhile, Ter Stegen's Germany must beat Costa Rica, and might need to improve their goal difference in the process, depending on the outcome of the other game.

Wednesday 30 November

Argentina 2 Poland 0
Robert Lewandowski and Poland are through to the last sixteen after a dramatic climax to Group C. Despite losing to Argentina, they progress on goal difference ahead of Mexico, who couldn't quite do enough with a 2-1 victory over Saudi Arabia. Poland will now face France in the next round, where Lewy will be meeting up with team-mates Kounde and Dembélé.

Australia 1 Denmark 0
Andreas Christensen played all 90 minutes against the Socceroos but the Barça defender could nothing to prevent his Denmark side from being eliminated from the World Cup after coming bottom of Group D. Australia's victory sees them through to the last 16 in second place. 

France 0 Tunisia 1 
Blaugrana Ousmane Dembélé came on the in the 79th minute of France's defeat in Group D. Nevertheless, 'les Bleus' still top the group after having already qualified for the last 16. 

A France squad with Dembélé and Kounde already through to the last 16 are in action today with their final group game against Tunisia. In the same group Denmark are in action against Australia and the squad containing Barça defender Andreas Christensen have to win against the Socceroos and hope Tunisia do not better their result in their game with group leaders France. Both games kick off at 4pm CET. 

In Group C Robert Lewandowski's Poland squad face Argentina in their final group game, kick off at 8pm CET. The Poles need just a draw to be sure of qualification and even a defeat could seem them in the last 16 depending on the result of the other game in the group between Saudi Arabia and Mexico. 

Tuesday, 29 November

Netherlands 2 Qatar 0 
Frenkie de Jong played 85 minutes and scored the second in the victory over Qatar that booked the Dutch's place in the last 16 of the tournament. Memphis started a game for the first time in the tournament and played 65 minutes before being replaced. In the other game in Group A, Senegal beat Ecuador 2-1 to seal runner's up sport behind the Netherlands and book their place in the last 16.

The USA beat Iran 0-1 to finish second place in Group B behind England, and are the Netherlands' next opponents on Saturday 3 December at 4pm CET.

The only game with Barça interest today is Netherlands v Qatar at 4.00pm CET. Following a win over Senegal and a draw with Ecuador, De Jong and Memphis' now take on the hosts knowing that a draw would be enough to secure a place in the knockout stages.

Monday, 28 November

Brazil 1 Switzerland 0
The Seleção Canarinho won their second group stage game to confirm Brazil's place in the next round. Raphinha started and played 73 minutes of the 1-0 win against Switzerland, with midfielder Casemiro scoring the vital goal 10 minutes later.

Portugal 2 Uruguay 0
Ronaldo Araujo was again rested as his Uruguay side lost 2-0 to Portugal, both goals being scored by Bruno Fernandes. Portugal are through to the last 16, but Uruguay will have to win against Ghana and hope their opponents tonight get a result against South Korea in order to go through.

The second round of matches comes to a conclusion this Monday, with two games with potential Barça involvement. Raphinha's Brazil take on Switzerland at 5pm CET, knowing that a second win would practically assure passage to the last sixteen, while Uruguay and Ronald Araujo have a huge game with Portugal at 8pm CET, knowing that after drawing with South Korea in their opening game that they really need the three points this time.

Sunday, 27 November

Spain 1 Germany 1 
The points were shared in the heavyweight clash in Group E with Pedri, Gavi, Sergi Busquets, Jordi Alba and Ferran Torres in the starting XI against Germany and Alejandro Balde also making an appearance late in the second half. For Hansi Flick's team, Marc ter Stegen was an unused substitute in a game in which Luis Enrique's side took the lead in the 62nd minute thanks to Álvaro Morata's goal before Niclas Füllkrug equalised with seven minutes to go. 

Qualification for the last 16 will now come down to the last set of fixtures which will see Spain take on Japan and Germany face Costa Rica. 

Saturday, 26 November

France 2 Poland 1
Defending champions France, with Joules Kounde and Ousmane Dembélé both in the side today, have become the first side to seal mathematical passage to the last 16 of the World Cup. They did so by beating Poland with both goals coming from Kylian Mbappe. Denmark managed to find a response to the first of those goals, and it came from a header by Barça's Andreas Christensen. With just one point from their first two outings, Denmark will now have to beat Australia in their final game if they are to join the French in the knockout stages.

Poland 2 Saudi Arabia 0
Robert Lewandowski grabbed his first goal of the World Cup, plus an assist, as Poland beat a spirited Saudi Arabia side who found Szczęsny in great form between the sticks. Attention in Group C now turns to Argentina v Mexico later on today who both need a win.


Two games potentially featuring Barça players today. First up at 2pm CET, Poland and Robert Lewandoski take on surprise Group C leaders Saudi Arabia. The Poles will be looking to win after a draw last time out. The match at 5pm CET is the first to pit Barça teammates against each other - Dembélé and Kounde for France and Christensen for Denmark. France already have three points and could qualify with a win, but the Danes will want at least a positive result to help their chances of qualification for the next round.

Friday, 25 November

Netherlands 1 Ecuador 1
Frenkie de Jong played all 90 minutes of the Group A encounter with Memphis playing the entire second half. Gakpo handed the 'Oranje' an early lead which was cancelled out by Enner Valencia's second half equaliser. The draw leaves the Netherlands and Ecuador level on points at the top of Group A with one game still to come. 

We're back to Groups A and B today and the only game with Barça interest is the 5pm CET kick-off between the Netherlands and Ecuador. Both Frenkie de Jong and Memphis are in the Dutch squad that got off to a winning start, 2-0 against Senegal. Another win today would put them within touching touching distance of a place in the last sixteen, and would even settle it is the previous game between Qatar and Senegal ends in a draw.

Thursday, 24 November

Brazil 2 Serbia 0
Raphinha started and played 87 minutes as Brazil won their opening Group H game against Serbia, with striker Richarlison getting a brace.

Uruguay 0 South Korea 0 
A tight opening Group H game with only one shot on target ended in a goalless draw. Ronald Araujo was left out of the matchday squad as he continues to work on returning to full fitness.

There are two games with a potential Barça interest today. At 2pm CET, Ronald Araujo's Uruguay face a tough opening test against 2002 semi-finalists South Korea, although the Barça centre back has not been named in the starting XI. The late kick-off at 8pm CET sees Brazil and Raphinha start their campaign against Serbia.

Wednesday, 23 November

Spain 7 Costa Rica 0 
Barça players Jordi Alba, Gavi, Sergio, Pedri and Ferran all started in the resounding victory for Luis Enrique's team in their opening fixture of the World Cup in Qatar.

Ferran scored twice to maintain his excellent scoring record for the national side and he became Barça's first goalscorer in Qatar when he slotted home a penalty on 31 minutes to make it 3-0.

Midfielder Gavi grabbed his first goal for his country in the second half, the teenager becoming the youngest player to feature in a World Cup and the youngest to get on the score sheet in the tournament for Spain. In fact, Gavi's goal means he is the youngest player to score in a World Cup for any nation since Pele for Brazil in 1958. 

More Barça involvement saw fellow teenager Alejandro Balde make his debut for the national side as a second half substitute. The 7-0 rout also included a goal for La Masia product Dani Olmo as well as efforts from Álvaro Morata and Carlos Soler. 

Germany 1 Japan 2
Manuel Neuer was chosen ahead of Ter Stegen in the German goal, but he unfortunately could not help his side avoid defeat in the opening group game.

Four more World Cup games today but it's the ones in Group E that most interest us from a Barça perspective. In the 2pm CET kick-off, it remains to be seen whether Ter Stegen will finally get to play his first ever World Cup game as Germany take on Japan, but with nine Barça players in the squad, there is sure to be a fair number of blaugrana stars in the XI that Luis Enrique picks for Spain's opener against Costa Rica.

Tuesday, 22 November

France 4 Australia 1
Ousmane Dembélé started and played 77 minutes of France's opening group D stage win against Australia. He also teed up a lovely left foot cross from the right for Mbappe to head home for France's 3rd goal on 68 minutes. Jules Kounde played around 10 minutes at the end of the match after replacing Pavard. Former Barça player Antoine Griezmann also played the full match.

Mexico 0 Poland 0
Robert Lewandowski
 captained Poland to a 0-0 draw against Mexico at a raucous Stadium 974. After being brought down by Hector Moreno and VAR alerting the referee to a potential infringement, he stepped up to take the spot kick himself, unfortunately missing as Ochoa saved to his left. After the win for Saudi Arabia against Argentina earlier in the day, group C remains wide open.

Denmark 0 Tunisia 0
Andreas Christensen was in the starting line up for Denmark's opening group fixture against Tunisia but the Scandinavians were held to a 0-0 draw in their opening fixture in Group D. Denmark did come close to breaking the deadlock with Christensen involved as Cornelius wasted the Danes best chance of the game. 

Another World Cup day in Qatar and Tuesday sees Andreas Christensen's Denmark squad in action against Tunisia (2pm CET), Robert Lewandowski set to make his first appearance in the tournament with Poland taking on Mexico (5pm CET) and France's Ousmane Dembélé and Jules Kounde also involved in their opening group fixture against Australia (8pm CET). 

Monday, 21 November

Netherlands 2 Senegal 0 
The first Barça players in action and the first three points. An omnipresent Frenkie de Jong played all 90 minutes of Holland's win over Senegal, and Memphis came on for the last half hour. The goals both came last ion the game, the first from a wonderful De Jong assist that Gakpo headed home, and right at the end Klaassen was on the rebound of Mendy's original attempt to make it 2-0. The Dutch share the same points and goal difference with Ecuador at the top of Group A. 

Sunday 20 November

And that's the World Cup under way and a disappointing start for the hosts as they are beaten 2-0 by Ecuador. Want to see what Barça fans predict for the competition, then check out the results of our poll here.

The big day is finally here! The World Cup kicks off today at 5pm CET with the opening match between Qatar and Ecuador. No Barça players are set to feature today, but some will get their first taste of World Cup action tomorrow. Here we go!

Friday 18 November 

Alejandro Balde has been drafted into the Spain squad due to an injury to Valencia full back Gayà. That means Barça now have eight players in Luis Enrique's squad and a total of 17 called up for the World Cup in Qatar, one more than their nearest rivals Bayern Munich and Manchester City who have 16 players on duty. 

Thursday 17 November

Ansu Fati and Gavi both started in the win for the Spanish national side away to Jordan. The two Barça players scored the first and second goals respectively in the 1-3 victory, which also saw Eric Garcia, Ferran Torres and Jordi Alba get a run out from the bench.


Wednesday 17 November

Most teams are squeezing in a quick friendly or two before the serious football gets started from Sunday onwards. However, Ter Stegen didn't feature in Germany's 1-0 friendly win against Oman, and neither did Robert Lewandowski play in Poland's warm-up game against Chile 1-0.

Ferran Torres

Just three more days until the biggest event on the international football calendar kicks off in Qatar! What are your predictions? Let us know here and we'll measure up your forecasts with what really happened after the tournament is over.

Have you got your plans sorted out for following the competition? This calendar will help you to remember when the FC Barcelona players are in action.

Here's a reminder of the club record of sixteen different players that we'll be able to enjoy watching at the World Cup:

  • Eric Garcia, Jordi Alba, Pedri, Gavi, Busquets, Ansu Fati & Ferran Torres (Spain)
  • Jules Kounde & Ousmane Dembélé (France)
  • Frenkie de Jong & Memphis Depay (Netherlands)
  • Andreas Christensen (Denmark)
  • Raphinha (Brazil)
  • Araujo (Uruguay)
  • Lewandowski (Poland)
  • Ter Stegen (Germany)
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