Lionel Messi the star of Argentina has finally won the World Cup. The only trophy that was lacking in his collection. After a lost final in 2014, the Pulga has broken the spell by offering the 3rd World Cup to his country after 1978 and 1986 following their victory over France (3-3, Pen 4 - 2), this Sunday, December 18 at the Lusail Stadium in Doha, Qatar.
He waited for these moments for a long time. Four attempts and always failures. Lionel Messi was close to winning his first World Cup in 2014. But Germany was too strong against the Albiceleste (1-0 victory). Many observers had then predicted that Messi will never be at the table of Diego Maradona who at least, won a World Cup in 1986. Leo Messi's status as a legend had not yet entered the pantheon of Argentine soccer. Messi had won everything at club level but nothing at national level.
Messi won the Copa America last year. A trophy that had come to mitigate the criticisms on the Pulga, who had even been accused of being more Spanish than Argentine. Having failed in the round of 16 against France in 2018, Messi knew that this edition of 2022 would be perhaps his last campaign for a World Cup. At 35, his age is already advanced and nothing is less certain than in 2026 when he will be 39, he could still have fire in his legs. This time is the right time for the extraterrestrial Messi. He becomes the first player in the history of the World Cup to have scored in the Round of 16, Quarter Final, Semi Final and Final. Holy Messi.
A first period totally Argentine
The Albiceleste achieved a superb performance in winning the World Cup, their third after 1978 and 1986. The Argentinians took control of the match very early. A first successful and applied, the partners of Lionel Messi have done everything ... in the right mood. The transition between the attack (Mbappé-Giroud) and the middle (Aurelien Tchouameni-Adrien Rabiot) French cut. Thanks to an excellent Enzo Hernandez assisted by Rodrigo De Paul, the Blues never managed to make the junction between the two compartments of the game.
The proof is the French star Kylian Mbappé had touched only two balls in the first half. Worse, France did not make any shot on target against 6 for Argentina, including 3 on target and 2 goals. At the end the score of 2-0 at halftime was more than logical. Because, Messi and his partners have dominated all the statistics. The 18 dangerous attacks against 5 and 260 complete passes against 165 for France are evidence of this.
Sixty-three minutes in the field before giving way to Acuna, Angel Dia Maria hurt France. The Juventus player supported Leo Messi with brilliance on the front of the Argentine attack. He will be the scorer at the 36th minute. Better, it is him provokes the penalty in front of Ousmane Dembelé. And Lionel Messi did the rest by opening the score in the 23rd minute.
France to the forceps to snatch the extra time
Ninety minutes summarized in forty-five, Argentina and Messi had indeed done the essentials in the first half by slamming two goals that remained on the scoreboard until the 80th minute with the reduction of the score by Mbappé on penalty. Then in the 81st minute with a second goal Mbappé. The fear changes side then. Argentina stumbles, loses its soccer. France takes the psychological ascendancy. Messi and his partners were now playing with the knife at the throat. France totally dominates the second period. The Champions are going to score for the first time in this match. By shooting three times at the goal including 3 goals on their 26 dangerous attacks against 24 for Argentina of Leo Messi who will make the difference. On a shot of Lautaro Martinez pushed back by Lloris, Messi emerges and also scores his double of the evening (109th minute).
At 3-2, it was only necessary to manage the remaining 11 minutes of extra time. But the scenario of the match will be amazing. While there were 3 minutes left for Messi to finally enter the legend of the World Cup, the Polish referee will whistle a penalty on a hand fault of Montiel, in the penalty box. Mbappé did not hesitate to convert the penalty and equalize at 3-3 for his hat-trick of the evening. It is in the penalty shootout that Argentina will win (4 - 2).
incredible reaction! To Argentina beating France 4-2 on penalties in the 2022 FIFA World cup Final new pic.twitter.com/GGSC7zPSHp
— Fightgame (@futurefights360) December 19, 2022
Leo Messi was voted the best player of the tournament while his team mate Emi Martinez got the golden gloves. Killyan Mbappe was designated top scorer of this edition.