World Cup Final: Argentina And Lionel Messi Face Defending Champion France
Lionel Messi led Argentina to the World Cup title in a thrilling match against France that ended in penalty kicks following a 3-3 tie, following a hat trick of goals by France’s Kylian Mbappé that were not enough to counter the Argentinian legend’s quest for the trophy.
The thrilling game, in which Argentina dominated France for the first hour with a 2-0 lead, became a nail-biter beginning in the 80th minute when France’s Kylian Mbappé scored two goals in under two minutes.
The 2-2 tie ended regulation time, sending the game into extra time during which Messi scored his second goal, to give his team a 3-2 lead over France.
Mbappé was not to be outdone, however: the sport’s next big thing scored a third goal to tie the game again at 3-3, sending it to penalty kicks, in which France missed two attempts, giving Argentina the title.
Leading up to the game, Messi, the sport’s biggest legend and among its most decorated players, had not yet won a World Cup title as he passed his 35th birthday and neared the typical retirement age for professional players.
Messi—widely considered the greatest of his generation—was up against a French attack led by 23-year-old Kylian Mbappé, considered by many to be the Argentine star’s heir apparent as the world’s top player. Messi and Mbappé came into the finals as the joint leaders of the tournament’s goal-scoring charts with five goals each in addition to three and two assists respectively. With this victory Messi has now won every major trophy he is eligible for in the sport of football. The Argentine talisman twin goals will also go a long way in exorcising the ghost of a disappointing performance in the 2014 final where Argentina lost to Germany 0-1 after he missed an opportunity to score shortly after half-time. The result also means that no team has won back to back World Cups since the Brazil’s 1958 and 1962 victories.
With an income of $130 Million this year, Messi was the top-ranked player on Forbes’ list of top-paid athletes of 2022.