Argentina is World Champion! 36 long years have passed since Diego Maradona lifted the Cup. This time it is Lionel Messi who guided Albiceleste to the Qatar 2022 title with a dramatic penalty shootout against France, a team that caught the South Americans twice on the scoreboard with a hat-trick by Kylian Mbappé.
Five World Cups, 26 games and 16 years had to pass for one of the most insistent debates in recent years to come to an end, and that is that this Sunday Lionel Messi lifted the World Cupthe one that his harshest detractors asked him to consider him one of the best players in the history of soccer and sit him at the table next to Pelé and Maradona.
On the pitch of the Lusail Stadium, Lio and The Argentina National Team closed a World Cup, which began with overtones of tragedywith a victory that started out clear and categorical, and ended with suffering and drama, as if it were a movie and not a football game that will go down in history as one of the best World Cup Finals.
Argentina 3-3 France; that was the final
The final result was an exciting and cardiac 3-3. La Albiceleste, until minute 80, seemed to have victory on their side, however, a fierce reaction from the French team caused the duel to go to extra time, where a goal from Messi seemed to give the trophy to the South Americans sooner , but Mbappé forced penalties.
Argentina was clearly dominant in 80 minutes of the match. In the first half he put a dance on the French team, who could not put together a clear play of danger. What’s more, he registered a single shot in the 45 minutes, something that had not happened to the French team in any competition since the 1966 World Cup in England.
That domain was projected at minute 23 when Ángel Di María fell in the area due to a foul by Dembelé, which caused controversy for not being reviewed in the VAR. Messi, as always, took charge of the shotand as it has done throughout the tournament, the 10 did not fail and put the 1-0 on the scoreboard, provoking the euphoria of the thousands of white and blue fans who packed the stands of the Lusail Stadium.
At minute 36, when France couldn’t find a way to react, the South Americans put together a play on another level. With five touches they went from being on the edge of their area to facing Hugo Lloris’s. Messi played for Julián Álvarez, he played for Mac Allister and Mac Allister for Di María, who reached the second post to define on the departure of the French goalkeeper and put the 2-0 on the board.
The complementary part did not change. Argentina remained in control of the ball and the French were looking for a way to turn around the complicated situation in front of them. And it had to be a penalty at minute 80 of Mbappé the one that opened the door and the possibility for the Europeans to react and not only get closer on the scoreboard, but equalize it in less than two minutes.
And it is that mbappe he received a raised ball on the edge of the area and without thinking about it he took a shot with first intention that he sent to keep in the goal of Dibu Martínez, who could do nothing to prevent the fall of his frame in the 2-2.
Extra times arrived and the emotions continued. La Albiceleste took the lead again with another goal from Lionel Messi at minute 108but France responded thanks to another penal by a hand inside the area that was in charge of make Mbappé validwho scored a hat-trick tonight to reach eight goals in the competition.
Penalties of Argentina-France
In the penalty shootout again the Dibu Martinezas it did in the 2021 Copa América and as it did in the Round of 16 against the Netherlands, it was key for the French to err twice. The Argentines were perfect, they did not fail and they took the victory suffered 4-2 from the penalty spot.
And so, on a dramatic night, which had to be stretched to the limit, Lionel Messi and the Argentina National Team became world championsembroidering the long-awaited third star on their shield, the one that had been denied them in the last two finals.
- France-Kylian Mbappé SCORED
- Argentina-Lionel Messi SCORED
- France-Kingsley Coman FAILED
- Argentina- Paulo Dybala SCORED
- France-Aurélien Tchouaméni FAILED
- Argentina-Leandro Paredes SCORED
- France-Randal Kolo SCORED
- Argentina-Montiel SCORED
Final goals on video