The 2022 FIFA World Cup Finals between Argentina and France has arrived but one hour before the last match, a wave of artists took over the soccer field for an energetic closing ceremony held Sunday (Dec. 18) at the Lusail Stadium in Qatar.
Dubbed “A Night to Remember,” the ceremony, which laces poetry and music, initiated with a sweet rendition of Louis Armstrong’s “What a Wonderful World” as metallic dolphins floated around the stadium. A motivational poem in the Arabic language followed as a group of people held large, inflatable balls representing the 32 countries that participated in the World Cup. Argentina and France floated at the end.
The 10-minute performance included a mashup of songs from the official FIFA music soundtrack, kicking off with American-Nigerian artist Davido and Qatari singer Aisha singing “(Hayya Hayya) Better Together.” Rocking an all-yellow leather fit, Puerto Rican star Ozuna, and French-Congolese rapper Gims joined the artists for an uplifting set of “Arhbo,” which hit No. 1 on Billboard‘s Latin Airplay chart dated Dec. 17, marking Gims’ first No. 1 title on any U.S. chart. The closing ceremony wrapped with the full female lineup of “Light the Sky.”
“Writing the history in Qatar,” Ozuna expressed on Instagram about all the activations he’s been doing in the Middle East. “Thank you to my most real fans, I love you.”
Another Latin star who took the spotlight was Lali Esposito who sang the Argentina national anthem before her home country’s last match, which they won on penalty kicks over France. La Albiceleste took home the trophy after a riveting match against the 2018 World Cup champions. The last time Argentina won a World Cup was 36 years ago in 1986.