(CNN Spanish) — On June 20, 2018, one of the most exciting matches of the 2018 World Cup in Russia was experienced. France and Argentina met in the round of 16 in a duel between one of the favorites for the title and the then runner-up in the world. Lionel Messi arrived in Russia as a mature player with five Ballon d’Ors and losing three consecutive finals (one in the 2014 World Cup and two in the Copa América in 2015 and 2016). The young Kylian Mbappé arrived as the promise of international football, being the star signing of PSG after triumphing in Monaco. The match was won by France 4-3, they eliminated the albiceleste, and now in the final of the Qatar 2022 World Cup Argentina can have their revenge.
Now, Argentina has a full Messi and a more solid team in Qatar 2022, having already had their first revenge: they eliminated Croatia 3-0 in the semifinal (in 2018 Croatia beat the albiceleste by the same difference). France is in the final with an impressive tour and an exceptional team.
It is the most anticipated final because it pits the best teams against each other, two of the favorites from the beginning and the top scorers of the tournament. Defending champions France have won five games and lost one. Argentina has won four, tied one and lost one. France have scored 13 goals, Argentina 12. Both teams have scored five goals. In a general World Cup table, France leads with 15 points, followed by Argentina with 13. France has a performance of 83%, Argentina has a performance of 72%.
Lionel Messi and Kylian Mbappé arrive as World Cup scorers (5 goals) and it will be a matchup of the best. It could be the icing on Messi’s cake: winning a World Cup to be the undisputed best in history. Or it may be the consolidation of the Mbappé legend: like Pelé, having two World Cups before he was 25 years old.
It is the confrontation of the best offensives in the World Cup: the French Olivier Giroud and the Argentine Julián Álvarez follow Messi and Mbappé in the list of scorers, with 4 goals.
It will be a stellar duel in which both teams also go for the third World Cup.
Argentina was champion in 1986 and reached the final in 1990 (lost). Now France, champion in 2018, reaches the final in 2022.
How have the previous World Cup clashes been? Three games, two victories for the Argentines.
Argentina 1-0 France
Goal by Luis Monti.
Argentina was runner-up in that World Cup. France was eliminated in the group stage.
Argentina 2-1 France
Goals by Passarella and Luque for Argentina and by Platini for France.
Argentina was champion in that World Cup. France was eliminated in the group stage.
France 4-3 Argentina
Russia 2018 was a frantic and exciting match: the scoring was opened by Antoine Griezmann at minute 13 with a penalty (for a foul on Mbappé. Ángel Di María equalized with a great goal from midrange at minute 41. At the start of the second half, Gabriel Mercado put the second in favor of Argentina after a play by Messi.Benjamin Pavard fired a shot to tie the game in the 57th minute. Kun Agüero scored the third for Argentina at 90+3, assisted by Messi, but it wasn’t enough.
Mbappé, a roadrunner, made the difference and Messi left his fourth World Cup empty-handed. It was a great match, but painful for the albiceleste.
It was the day that Mbappé became a world soccer star. And he was only 19 years old.
France ended up being champions in the final against Croatia, which had beaten Argentina 3-0 in the group stage.
This is how the two teams compare so far in Qatar 2022:
With information from Sebastián Jiménez Valencia