Despite its later start time and all-consuming controversy, the 2022 World Cup in Qatar ended with a finish for the ages. After Argentina controlled much of normal time with a 2-0 lead, France rallied twice to force not just extra time but penalty kicks – which resulted in a high-wire win for Argentina and Lionel Messi. This was thrilling enough to even win over the casual fan, and some have already hailed it the greatest World Cup final ever.

CivicScience polled Americans to gauge how they’d rank Argentina’s big win among all-time championship games – and the returns are strong in its favor. More than one-third of U.S. adults claim the 2022 World Cup final was ‘one of the best’ championship games of all time across all sports, and nearly two-thirds of Americans think it was at least above average.

Americans who follow MLS ‘very closely’ are just slightly more likely than the Gen Pop to think the 2022 World Cup final was one of the best championships ever. But just over a quarter of those who don’t follow the league at all would call it one of the best ever – and more than half rate it above average. Although the MLS is more niche than most European leagues, it still crossed over to the casual fan.

Oh, and most Americans (75%) were at least somewhat happy with the result for Argentina and Messi – so despite the USMNT’s early exit, it was something of a rare unifier these days.

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