At a time when it is becoming more and more difficult to find reasons to love the world we live in, the World Cup has given us every reason to try.
More than a sporting event, the tournament brought out the best in humanity through a kind of love that extends past football itself.
Here are 10 World Cup moments the world will remember for a long time.
Hailing from the smallest nation to ever qualify for the World Cup, 30,000 Icelanders—representing a whopping 10 percent of their total population—gathered at the World Cup to show what it really means to be tiny but mighty.
A reason to smile
Harsh criticism of Brazilian footballer Neymar’s infamous field theatrics quickly turned on its head, becoming what is now the world’s most recent inside joke.
Kids training and the coach shouts: "NEYMAR!"pic.twitter.com/XMCjWAkvHd— Troll Football (@TrollFootball) July 8, 2018
All around the world, people took to the internet to create memes and parodies alike—an important lesson in making the best out of every situation.
Neymar Bowling. Rolling ???????????? pic.twitter.com/NV14oNFDyI— Siaran Bola Live (@SiaranBolaLivee) June 29, 2018
An exchange of respect
After the most pivotal performance of his young career, 19-year-old French football sensation Kylian Mbappe handled himself with a level of humility and grace far beyond his years—a role model for young footballers everywhere. In this Twitter exchange between two football legends old and new, both were quick to give credit where credit was due.
The king will always remain king ????— Kylian Mbappé (@KMbappe) July 16, 2018
A new meaning to sportsmanship
Japanese fans celebrated their 2-1 victory against Colombia by staying behind to clean the stands long after the players had left the pitch.
This is my favourite moment of the World Cup so far; Japan fans picking up litter after their victory vs Columbia. The lessons in life we can take from the game. Why I support ???????? #class?#respect?#WorldCup pic.twitter.com/FyYLhAGDbi— Christopher McKaig (@Coachmckaig) June 19, 2018
After a disheartening defeat days later, the Japanese team still did the same, leaving the World Cup behind with a spotless locker room, a gracious ‘thank you,’ and a lasting impression.
Amazing from Japan.— Tancredi Palmeri (@tancredipalmeri) July 3, 2018
This is how they left the changing room after losing v Belgium: cleaned it all.
And in the middle, have left a message to Russia: “Spasibo” (Thank you) pic.twitter.com/lrwoIZt2pR
A view to remember
In this beautiful gesture, Mexican and Colombian fans lifted this Egyptian man to new heights, helping him fulfill his own World Cup dream.
Photo of the day!— Sports Freakshow ?????????????????? (@aussiebeastmode) June 17, 2018
Egyptian fan in a wheelchair lifted up by Mexican and Colombian fans just so he could watch the game at the World Cup Fanzone . #WorldCup #WorldCupRussia2018 #WorldCup2018 #EGY pic.twitter.com/fHPmmc1JIl
A shoulder to cry on
After every loss, the brokenhearted found comfort where they least expected it to be.
Gareth Southgate, whose penalty miss sent England out of Euro '96, comforts Colombia’s Mateus Uribe after he missed his penalty last night.— Piers Morgan (@piersmorgan) July 4, 2018
The more I see of Mr Southgate, the more impressive he gets.
Very classy, very strong guy. pic.twitter.com/qM1bSUw1So
Wee man was in tears after Poland getting eliminated from the World Cup. The Colombian fans were absolutely fantastic with him after the game - easily the best group of supporters I’ve ever sat with. Amazing support ???????????????????????? #monpolska #fifaworldcup #colombia pic.twitter.com/r1s6JYYWLJ— Iain Meiklejohn (@meiklejohn21) June 24, 2018
A constant celebration
After each triumph, everyone came to party—even on a weekday.
Mexico fans went to the South Korean embassy and made the ambassador come out and drink tequila ???? pic.twitter.com/hM7KasL73A— ESPN FC (@ESPNFC) June 28, 2018
A universal brotherhood
When this video of two friends went viral, we learned exactly why football is so much more than just a game, but rather something bigger than itself entirely.
A triumph for all of humanity
Following the recent announcement that women in Saudi Arabia are now permitted to drive, this year also marked the first time Iranian women were allowed to watch their national football team in a stadium alongside their male counterparts—another way in which this World Cup will go down in history.
Allez les bleus!
On the night of their victory, the skyline was laced with streams of red, white, and blue, while the streets below were flooded with thousands upon thousands of French men and women, spilling out of every door and window in town. On this night, France was united as one, but they certainly weren’t the only ones.
The 2018 World Cup leaves behind it a universal sense of synchronicity, with geopolitical problems disappearing into the cheers and tears of those watching.
For those brief, shining moments, nothing else mattered.