As Argentina defeated France on penalties in a World Cup final to remember on Sunday, Lionel Messi capped off his illustrious career with a victory.
Argentina won 4-2 after Kylian Mbappe’s hat trick guaranteed the game ended equal after extra time.
Argentina won the World Cup for the third time thanks to Gonzalo Montiel’s successful penalty kick, depriving France of the opportunity to win the championship for the first time in 60 years.
ARGENTINA ARE WORLD CHAMPIONS!! ??#FIFAWorldCup | #Qatar2022
— FIFA World Cup (@FIFAWorldCup) December 18, 2022
But in a truly amazing match, Messi and Mbappe both lived up to their reputations, with Messi scoring twice and Mbappe becoming the first player to score three goals in a World Cup final since England’s Geoff Hurst in 1966. The match concluded 3-3 after extra time.
Midway through the first half, Messi had opened the scoring from the penalty spot, and in the 36th minute, Angel Di Maria doubled Argentina’s advantage after a stunning counterattack.
However, the incredible Mbappe gave the winners new life when, with 10 seconds left, he pulled one back from the penalty spot before tying the score in spectacular fashion just 60 seconds later to force overtime.
When Messi converted a rebound in the 109th minute, it appeared as though Argentina had won the match for good. However, Mbappe scored from another penalty kick to tie the score at 3-3 and force a shootout.
Messi and Mbappe both converted their first penalties in the third World Cup final penalty shootout, but Kingsley Coman’s second attempt for France was saved, and importantly, Aurelien Tchouameni missed the mark.
France lost the World Cup final on penalties for the second time in five tournaments, to Italy in 2006, and Argentina won the tournament for the first time since 1986.
Despite Mbappe’s best efforts, who concluded the tournament as the tournament’s top scorer with eight goals, one more than his Paris Saint-Germain teammate Messi, this will be remembered as Messi’s tournament. The victory allows Messi, at 35, to finish his great career by imitating Diego Maradona.
To read our blog on “FIFA plans to organize a new Club World Cup in 2025,” click here.