FIFA 23 and EA have accurately predicted the World Cup final results for the fourth tournament in a row, as the football game has been used to simulate all 64 matches at Qatar 2022, determining that not only will Argentina be crowned winners, but that PSG’s Lionel Messi will earn the Golden Ball award – a bizarre example of videogames imitating life, and then life imitating videogames.
In the FIFA 23 simulation, the World Cup final played out a little differently, with Argentina going head-to-head against Brazil rather than France. Nevertheless, it was a narrow ARG victory owing to a single goal from Lionel Messi – if you were lucky enough to see the actual final, and Messi’s injury time knock-in that gave Argentina the lead (for a while) you might find another small parallel here.
Messi also picked up the Golden Ball award for player of the tournament, both in the FIFA 23 prediction and in reality. Likewise, Emi Martinez, the Aston Villa goalkeeper and Argentina international, earned the Golden Glove in both instances. If you think that’s eerie, this is the fourth time that FIFA has accurately predicted the World Cup winner, beginning with Spain in 2010, Germany in 2014, and France in 2018.
It’s a not a 100% match, however. In the FIFA 23 scenario, Lionel Messi also wins the Golden Boot for most goals at the tournament, whereas in reality this was earned by his PSG comrade and France number 10 Kylian Mbappe. Then again, the real Golden Boot race was a tight one, with Messi coming in only one goal shy of his Ligue 1 strike partner – 7 goals to Mbappe’s 8.
Forecasting for the fourth year in a row who will win the World Cup is testament to the accuracy of FIFA 23 ratings. We’ll have to wait and see who EA picks as the winner for World Cup 2026.
Check out the best FIFA 23 strikers if you want to bag yourself a Champions League or two. You can also pluck the best FIFA 23 wonderkids out for career mode or the best FIFA 23 free agents if you’re trying to moneyball your way to victory.