FIFA President, Gianni Infantino has called the group stages of the 2022 FIFA World Cup in Qatar the "best ever".
The FIFA President sighted the dramatic matches that occurred in the group phase. It was a first round that saw some of the biggest upsets in World Cup history occur.
Argentina were beaten by Saudi Arabia who overcame a goal deficit in what is still the biggest upset of the tournament, Japan were able to beat two former World Champions in Spain and Germany, Morocco got a massive win over Belgium, Cameroon beat tournament favorites Brazil, and much more.
Infantino also mentioned the record breaking attendances to stadiums as well as the record breaking viewership numbers across the world as another reason to back his bold claim.
The FIFA fan festivals in Doha have also been a highlight of the tournament as it has been well received by the fans in Qatar.
The interview which was published Tuesday by FIFA's official website saw Infantino praise the 32 teams that competed in the group stages as well as the passion shown by supporters in stadiums and fan parks across Doha.
"The matches have been of great, great quality in beautiful stadiums - we knew that already. However, as well, the public who was there was incredible. Over 51,000 on average."
Infantino added: "Record-breaking figures on TV - we already had over two billion viewers, which is really incredible. Two-and-a-half million people in the streets of Doha and a few hundred thousand every day in the stadiums, all together, cheering together, supporting their teams, fantastic atmosphere, great goals, incredible excitement and surprises."
The FIFA president also said that this tournament is proof that there are no longer small teams and no more big teams. "The level is very, very equal. For the first time as well, national teams from all continents going to the knock-out phase, for the first time in history. This shows that football is really becoming truly global.
"We hope that the FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022 continues and concludes as it has started - a fantastic success. I am sure that we will reach five billion viewers around the world."
Infantino continued: "When it cattendancedium attendances, the stadiums are sold-out, full practically at every match. The fan festivals, the different fan zones, are also very crowded with people celebrating and enjoying."
In conclusion, Infantino said: "And at the end of the day, we simply want to give some joy and some smiles to people all over the world. That's what football is about, that's what the FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022 is about, and that's what should also happen from now until the end.
The tournament is now heading towards the quarterfinal stages and the first match of the last eight will be between Croatia and Brazil on Friday evening.