FSSA Anticipates World Cup Final
by Julia Berman and Nicolas Rimalovski
With the highly anticipated World Cup Final quickly approaching, it’s a good time to take stock of what we have seen play out in Qatar and the effect it has had on the Sinatra community.
On Friday, December 9th at 1:40 pm, the usual roaring cafeteria was set in silence. Computers, phones, iPads, all spread across the room showing the same image. It was Brazil v. Croatia in the 2022 World Cup and the vast majority of Frank Sinatra School of the Arts (FSSA) was tuning in: the score was 1-1. The tension rose so high in the room, anyone walking in would be able to see it. Students who had never talked to each other shared screens, hunched over with their hands held, and eyes closed. Croatia scores — moans of frustration. Brazil misses — the frustration mimicked. Croatia misses, Brazil scores — students cheer, gaining hope. The match ended with 70 percent of the room in reflective silence while the other 30 percent cheered and celebrated.
On Sunday at 10am — the final is set, Argentina versus France. So much has happened to lead to this final, hearts have been broken, prayers have been answered. The tournament, which had its first game on November 20th has become a recent constant in a Sinatra students’ conversation. The community has eagerly followed along with consistent excitement for the tournament, and for the first time ever, the World Cup is a winter event; but there is so much more about this cup that is special.
“Everyone’s watching it, everyone’s talking about it and it’s just a lot of fun,” said senior Instrumental major Linden Runnels.
For soccer fans, this is the final World Cup for one of the greatest generations of soccer stars. World-renowned players such as Luis Suarez, Luka Modric, Robert Lewandowski, and of course — Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo — are all approaching the twilights of their legendary careers. The stakes have risen, due to the daunting fact that only one of these legends can bring the Cup home, for the last time. Eli Aslan, a junior instrumental major has watched every single game so far and he can’t help but feel for the players who are getting their last chance at World Cup glory.
“Just looking at all these stars and knowing it’s going to be their last world cup, it brings a little bit of sadness to it all. But it also adds more drama. It’s the last dance, it comes down to who really wants it the most,” Eli said.
While the retiring legends have made this World Cup nostalgic, there has been a great addition of legends to be. Peppered across many world cup rosters are young stars — wunderkinds, if you will — many of whom are teenagers. Regardless of age, young stars such as Spain’s Pablo Gavi, Germany’s Jamal Musiala, and France’s Kylian Mbappé have all given wonderful showings in Qatar. Specifically, Mbappé who has scored an impressive five goals so far in the tournament as the 23 year old has led France through another deep tournament run.
To Mr. Elmoussaoui, a computer science teacher at FSSA, this World Cup meant watching his home nation of Morocco. Morocco outplayed most expectations as they made it out of the group stage and became the first African nation ever to secure a spot in the semi-finals after tightly contested wins over soccer powerhouses Spain and Portugal. Though a semi-final loss to France eventually ended their title hopes, the Moroccan team has a chance to end the tournament on a high note in the third place match against Croatia.
“It’s really big. Celebrations are happening throughout Africa, throughout the Arab world as well as Moroccan’s in the U.S. and across the world,” noted Mr. Elmoussaoui.
This past month, students throughout Sinatra have participated in some way to this monumental event. Conversations of Messi and Ronaldo have leaked into lesson plans, hypotheses on the possible champions has become a new Sinatra conspiracy. It is no surprise that this tournament has been a topic of conversation, but for an arts school, it is a surprise and a gift that this game has managed to bring so many students together.