The biggest moments in international sports in 2022

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We have been provided with some jaw-dropping moments over the last 12 months. The incredible moments that have been captured have been embedded into sports folklore. Let’s take a closer look at these moments and find out what made the grade.


Considering all the various sports, settling on a handful of these moments can be difficult. However, this is what we will do for you today. Whether it is soccer, boxing or basketball, we will describe the moments that raised eyebrows and caused shock.


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Nadal wins the Australian Open


One of the greats of his generation, Nadal has finally begun to look beatable over the last few years. Many anticipate he will retire soon and draw the curtain on one of the greatest tennis careers of all time.


Despite being the king of clay, Nadal isn’t renowned for his hard-court prowess. Nevertheless, in January 2022, he won the Grand Slam at age 35 and surprised critics and fans worldwide.


It could be one of the biggest moments in one of the greatest careers in tennis. Moving into 2023, many fans will be hoping Rafael Nadal can repeat this feat. However, it looks unlikely with a new wave of tennis stars, such as Spanish superstar Carlos Alcaraz, moving into the sport.


Only a few thought that Nadal would win the Australian Open in 2022, but he has surprised us before. Only a fool would write him off, he’s still ranked highly in the world, and it wouldn’t be the biggest shock if he ended up in the latter stages of the competition again.


World Cup 2022


The most-watched sports event in the world, the 2022 Qatar World Cup, was watched by hundreds of millions of sports fans worldwide. The final is widely considered the greatest World Cup final of all time, and it had a fairytale ending for the world’s greatest player.


This is the first moment we will discuss today, and could we have started anywhere else? Lionel Messi has won everything, with seven Ballon d’Ors, multiple Champions League titles and a trophy cabinet full of other personal and team accolades. Up until now, only the World Cup had evaded him.


Following Argentina’s semi-final victory against Croatia, the stage was set for Messi, in his final World Cup, to fulfil his destiny.


Many experts and fans already considered him the greatest of all time. However, many fans considered his compatriot Diego Maradona slightly better due to his legendary exploits in the 1986 World Cup, which was the last time Argentina lifted the trophy.


If Messi could lift the Jules Rimet trophy in his final World Cup, could anybody doubt him to be the greatest of all time?


Following the triumph, he is now widely regarded as the greatest of his generation. Many have stated that he is also the greatest of all time, which makes for a truly magical end for the most iconic player of his generation.


Roger Federer retires


Sticking to the topic of the greatest of all time, Roger Federer played his final professional tennis game in September 2022. Ushering in a new era of tennis alongside Novak Djokovic and Rafael Nadal, the trio dominated the game for over 15 years.


It is hard to describe just how ahead of the pack Roger Federer was in the mid-2000s, hoovering up Grand Slam trophies while in second gear. Many ex-players and fans considered him the greatest ever to play the game.


His fierce serve, shot selection and incredible grace while patrolling the court made him a formidable opponent.


As Nadal rose to prominence in the late 2000s, Djokovic completed the legendary trio by winning many Grand Slams from 2011 onwards. The three players all complimented each other’s greatness.


The retirement of Federer was one of the biggest moments in international sports over the previous 12 months.


The death of Pele


The three-time World Cup-winning Brazilian died in December 2022, and the soccer world mourned. Pele is credited with transforming soccer and was one of the first crossover stars of the sport. His face became recognizable in countries where soccer wasn’t considered a popular sport.


In addition, his exploits during the World Cup quickly earned him the moniker of the world’s greatest player. For decades, debate raged about whether Pele was the greatest of all time or Argentinian legend Diego Maradona. In more recent years, Lionel Messi has since entered this conversation.


However, these three players are widely regarded as the greatest ever. Brazil entered three days of national mourning following the news of his passing in the final days of 2022, and it was undoubtedly one of the biggest losses in sports in recent years.


Usyk beats Anthony Joshua for a second time


Following their first fight in 2021, Oleksandr Usyk became only the third boxer in history to hold world titles at both cruiserweight and heavyweight. However, Joshua activated the rematch clause from their first fight contract, and the rematch took place in Saudi Arabia in August 2022.


This fight was given an added incentive following the invasion of Usyk’s homeland. Having returned home to take up arms in the war against Russia, he was granted special leave to defend his undisputed heavyweight title.


With so much at stake, and millions of Ukrainians tuning in to hear their compatriot defend one of the greatest titles in the sport, he thoroughly outboxed Anthony Joshua and won via decision.


Although Anthony Joshua’s long, incoherent rant slightly overshadowed the moment in the immediate aftermath of the fight, Usyk cemented his claim as one of the greatest Ukrainian athletes of all time.


Throwing in the fact that the Ukrainians are going through unimaginable difficulty following the outbreak of war, Usyk gave them something to be proud of. The stakes couldn’t have been higher, and the legendary Ukrainian delivered.




As we browse through the range of sports we have discussed today, the magnitude of some of these moments cannot be understated.


Whether it is Usyk’s historic rematch win, the retirement of a tennis legend or the death of a Brazilian soccer icon, these are moments that will change the landscape of their respective sports.


Moving into 2023, we imagine some seriously impactful moments will shape sports over the next 12 months. Whether it gets much bigger than Lionel Messi’s world cup triumph, the death of Pele or the retirement of Roger Federer remains to be seen.