This remarkable epic final matchup was full of superstar rivalries, penalties, iconic goals, and goalkeeping masterclasses. When Argentina beat France on penalties, Lionel Messi was crowned world champion.
The piece de resistance, a moment that will stay in people’s minds like an impressionist masterpiece, is that iconic picture of Messi holding the World Cup trophy after being lifted on his teammates’ shoulders.
Two Stars Clashing Together
This game billed as Kylian Mbappé vs. Messi, with the 23-year-old French star ready to take over from his 35-year-old Paris Saint-Germain teammate as the best player in the world.
Mbappé was defending France’s victory in the Russia tournament in 2018. He and Messi were playing the last World Cup match, hoping to win the trophy that has eluded him for so long. He would tie Diego Maradona’s record of winning the 1986 tournament if he did.
Messi was the star of the first 79 minutes. Argentina took the lead when their captain made the penalty kick. Then, his skilful touch was a big part of the move that led to La Albiceleste’s second goal.
Mbappé didn’t want to lose, so he rallied his team and scored a second penalty, giving him a hat trick and sending the final to a penalty shootout.
Mbappé and Messi scored in the shootout, but the Argentina captain surrounded by his teammates as his World Cup dream came true because France missed two penalties.
Goals are hard to come by in World Cup finals, which are often close and tight.
Argentina and France threw out that playbook and scored six goals, with two of the best goals ever.
In Brazil’s 4-1 win over Italy in the 1970 World Cup final, Carlos Alberto scored a stunning goal almost as good as Argentina’s second goal.
In the 35th minute, Alexis Mac Allister flicked the ball around the corner to Messi. It took some pressure off Argentina’s defence as France tried to tie the game.
After Messi’s skilful touch to Julián Alvarez and perfectly weighted pass to Mac Allister. Who had kept running, Argentina was in on goal.
Mac Allister had the good sense to pass the ball to Ángel Di María. Who finished a brilliant counterattack to put Argentina up 2-0.
Read More: France will face England in the World Cup Quarterfinals