Argentina may have taken home the top prize at the FIFA World Cup, but France, South Korea and Morocco all won the soft power game

After four weeks, 64 games and over a Decade of Controversy, Argentina won Men’s World Cup in Qatar. And as Lionel Messi and his teammates celebrate victory over France, another competition has also come to an end: the battle for “soft power”.

Soft power is a foreign policy tool. It’s about shaping global awareness and attitudes using things like music, fashion and sport. FIFA World Cup is probably the ultimate soft power platform, with 32 countries show for billions of people.

During the event, three types about soft power can be observed: soft power is “brilliant”, comes from high performance and creates a feeling of admiration; “beautiful” soft power, inspiring hope and a sense of togetherness; and “kind” soft power, found in a positive attitude and altruism.

Using these categories, we have identified the following country positions for the 2022 “World Cup of Soft Power”.

Winner: France

Global soft power rating, France raised their spirits by winning the 2018 FIFA World Cup in Russia. In 2022, the performance of the football team only strengthens the national image and reputation. This lineup is the epitome of “excellent” soft power, combining style and elegance with fierce competition, while embodying an image that is cosmopolitan, diverse and corporate. conclude.

One player (arguably the best in the world right now) plays a key role in this: Kylian Mbappé. His club, Paris Saint Germain (PSG), is a key part of France’s soft power story, helping to build its credibility through a carefully curated combination of football, fashion and music.

Earlier this year, French president Emmanuel Macron is said to have stepped in convince Mbappe not to leave PSG For Real Madrid, that’s how important he is to France. Macron fully understands the need for charm, style and confidence in global affairs. When he flew to Doha after France reached the semi-finals, he met the emir of Qatar. Full-time in the final, he many times comfort Mbappe.

Runner-up: Korea

Master of soft power “inspirational”, Korea the star continues to rise. This is partly the result of government policy, but also the fervent patriotism of the private sector.

Korea’s first match at the tournament took place after the appearance of singer Jung Kook at the opening ceremony. Kook is the singer of BTS, a band that is at the forefront of the field known as “Korean Wave” (or K-wave), making the country a global center for film, television and music. Parallel to Kook is Hyundai-Kia car companyhas an endorsement deal with BTS and is also the main sponsor of Fifa.

Korea is also lucky to have its biggest player—Son Heung-min of Tottenham Hotspur—come back from injury, bringing global recognition to the team. The slick Korean style of play, matched by die-hard fans, perfectly harnessed the nation’s energy, which saw it become a pop culture travesty of the century. 21.

Third place: Morocco

With a pre-tournament football ranking below the top 20, a history of poor performance in major tournaments and no big-name players, expectations are not high. But this World Cup turned out to be a triumph for Morocco, on and off the pitch.

The free, fun way the team plays has created considerable soft power value, as have some individual players. Close-up of midfielder Sofiane Boufal dancing on the field yard with his mother Following his side’s victory over Portugal was a compelling act of family and solidarity that resonated with people around the world. Many people then used Atlas Lions as their second pets. favorite team.

Nowhere is it clearer than this around the Arab world, Morocco has advanced further than any previous team from the Middle East or North Africa. Moroccan players public support for Palestine It also helps the team engage with fans from across the region.

Fourth place: Japan

Japan has won a lot of new fans in Qatar. Just like at the 2018 tournament, Japanese fans came in great numbers and again clean up after the game of stadiums. In addition to being the champion of “benign” soft power, the Japanese national team also clean their dressing room after their game.

Cleaning has a history in Japan. Long before Marie Kondo arrived on the scene, de-clutter and clean part of the national culture. The cleanup in Qatar reinforced this popular convention and exploited its soft power potential.

But the tournament isn’t just about acts of altruism. The team celebrated a spectacular victory over the two football superpowers of Europe, Germany and Spain.

Fifth place: Saudi Arabia

Green Falcons head to Qatar as the representative of a broad country see as a pariah. And although the team was eliminated in the group stage, they have won many hearts and minds in the process.

A large number of fans went to Doha, their gathering place before the matches highlight their attractiveness. This was further enhanced with a viral social media post showing large number of dancing supporters to a 1996 pop song after Saudi Arabia beat the eventual champion, Argentina.

And while there are still legitimate concerns about Saudi political intrigue (especially allegations of money laundering in sports), events in Qatar have shown Saudi citizens a side. different and positive. Travel fans have been personified by the country’s passion for football.

Special mention: Qatar

Since applying to host the World Cup, Qatar has find ways to show soft power. The country’s hospitality, absence of thug violence and vibrant fan zones seem to have worked in its favor.

But it can also find itself under-empowered, because of concerns about migrant workers and LGBTQ+ rights maintain. The test will be how people talk about the nation of Qatar and the events it hosts in the coming years. For now, while the players and fans may not feel the same way, the big soft power victory is with France.

Simon Chadwickprofessor of sports and geopolitical economy, SKEMA Business Schooland Paul Widdopsports business researcher, University of Manchester.

This post was reposted from Conversation under Creative Commons license. Read original article.

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