AP World Cup Digest
Highlights of AP World Cup coverage. An up-to-the minute listing of all stories planned, including games, is available in Coverage Plan on AP Newsroom, https://newsroom.ap.org/coverageplan. You can also find a link to Coverage Plan on the left navigation of the Newsroom home page, https://newsroom.ap.org. Sports content can be found at http://newsroom.ap.org/page/APSports.
DOHA, Qatar - Argentina and France meet in the 22nd World Cup final. Lionel Messi is on a mission to win the title for Argentina in likely his last appearance at soccer’s biggest tournament while Kylian Mbappé is bidding to repeat as a World Cup champion for France aged just 23. Both teams are looking to win soccer’s ultimate prize for the third time. By Steve Douglas. UPCOMING: 800 words, photos. Game starts at 1500 GMT.
-SOC—WCUP-FINAL-THE LATEST: Updates from the World Cup final. SENT.
-SOC—WCUP-FINAL-ARGENTINA-MESSI: What's in store for Lionel Messi after the World Cup final? UPCOMING: 600 words by 1900 GMT, with photos.
-SOC—WCUP-FINAL-ARGENTINA-ANALYSIS: How Argentina fared vs. expectations, who's out and what's next for the team. UPCOMING: 600 words by 1800 GMT, with photos.
-SOC—WCUP-FINAL-ARGENTINA-REAX: Reactions from Argentina. UPCOMING: 600 words by 1900 GMT, with photos.
-SOC—WCUP-FINAL-FRANCE-ANALYSIS: How France fared vs. expectations, who's out and what's next for the team. UPCOMING: 600 words by 1800 GMT, with photos.
-SOC—WCUP-FINAL-FRANCE-REAX: Reactions from France. UPCOMING: 600 words by 1900 GMT, with photos.
SOC—WCUP-TEAM OF THE TOURNAMENT
DOHA, Qatar - Lionel Messi and Kylian Mbappé head the selections for the team of the tournament as chosen by writers covering the World Cup for The Associated Press. Messi is joined by Argentina teammates Julián Álvarez and Nicolas Otamendi while the France players alongside Mbappé are Antoine Griezmann and Theo Hernandez. Ten of the 11 players selected reached the semifinals. In-demand England midfielder Jude Bellingham is the exception. The team was picked using the 4-3-3 formation preferred by most nations at this World Cup. By Steve Douglas. SENT: 1,149 words, photos.
DOHA, Qatar - Did a winter World Cup in Qatar work? Assessing key areas such as fan experience, legacy and entertainment. By James Robson. UPCOMING: 1000 words by 1700 GMT, with photos.
SOC—WCUP-ARGENTINA-FANS BACK HOME
BUENOS AIRES - Argentines woke up ready to watch the national team play for its third World Cup title amid a national feeling of unity and joy that is rare for a country that has been engulfed in an economic crisis for years and has one of the worst inflation rates in the world. Argentina will face France in the final in Qatar. Argentina fan Guillermo Ortiz says “the whole city is dressed with the flag.” Argentina last reached the World Cup final in 2014 but lost to Germany. Everyone in the country agrees the sense of anticipation and excitement for this year’s game is far higher than it ever was for that match in Brazil. By Daniel Politi. SENT: 518 words, photos.
DOHA, Qatar - The World Cup champions will earn $42 million in prize money for their soccer federation. The losing team in the final between France and Argentina will get $30 million from a FIFA prize fund of $440 million. The French soccer federation got $38 million from FIFA’s $400 million prize fund when France won the World Cup in 2018. Every national soccer federation gets at least $9 million in prize money for playing at this year’s World Cup. Third-place team Croatia earned $27 million in prize money. Fourth-place team Morocco will be paid $25 million. SENT: 179 words, photos.
DOHA, Qatar - After saying he needed time to consider his future, England coach Gareth Southgate has confirmed he will stay on beyond the World Cup. Southgate has moved quickly to end the uncertainty around his job by informing the FA of his intention to lead the team at the European Championships in 2024. England reached the quarterfinals of the World Cup in Qatar, losing 2-1 against defending champions France. Afterwards Southgate, who is under contract until December 2024, said he could not guarantee he would see out that deal. By James Robson. SENT: 379 words, photos.
AP World Cup coverage: https://apnews.com/hub/world-cup and https://twitter.com/AP_Sports