The 2022 FIFA World Cup is fast approaching, and betting odds are being released by pundits all over the world. However, if EA Sports is to be believed, the coveted trophy will be lifted by Argentina this year, led by their charismatic captain, Lionel Messi.

The World Cup is set to kick off in Qatar in less than two weeks, and according to EA Sports, Argentina will be crowned champions based on a simulation that was done using popular videogame FIFA 23.

The tournament takes place from Nov. 20 to Dec. 18, and while it is a fact that Argentina is one of the favourites, it is difficult to predict which team will come out triumphant in the end. According to ESPN, the simulation played out all 64 matches from the group stage all the way to the final using algorithm that was developed for the game.

FIFA 23 issues player ratings based on data gathered by the game's developers and released each year. There is a World Cup play mode, which was used to come out with the bold prediction.

Apart from an Argentina victory, the game also predicts that Messi will win both the Golden Boot and the Golden Ball awards at the end of the competition.

Messi has had a reputation of collapsing in big finals while playing for Argentina, earning himself the derogatory nickname "pecho frio" (cold chest). However, he broke that curse last year when he led Argentina to Copa America glory. As such, hopes are high that he can take Argentina all the way to victory at the World Cup.

Other betting companies have various versions of their own predictions, but it may be noted that EA Sports correctly predicted the winners of the past three World Cups. The gaming company correctly named Spain (2010), Germany (2014) and France (2018) as World Cup winners thanks to their simulations.

However, they have also made wrong predictions in other aspects of the tournament as well. Nevertheless, there is no way of actually predicting what will happen in every match during the tournament. For now, fans are riding on the wave of excitement, and Argentina fans will be looking forward to proving the prediction right.

Lionel Messi
Lionel Messi starred as Argentina finally ended a 28-year wait for a major trophy at last year's Copa America AFP / CARL DE SOUZA