The tickets were sold out; a crowd of 88,886 fans thronged the Lusail Stadium in Qatar to witness a thrilling World Cup final on Sunday. Lionel Messi, the resilient captain of the Argentinian team, seemed prepared for the ultimate showdown. The French team, led by Hugo Lloris, looked equally strong with Kylian Mbappé on their side. Mbappé previously starred in France’s 2018 World Cup triumph in Russia.
Right from the kick-off, the Argentinians were fierce and hungry for their breakthrough in the match. They were looking for every bit of opportunity to slice through France’s resistance and score their first goal. The teams went 20 minutes into the game without a score. Then, in the 23rd minute, the Argentinian fans roared as Messi, their star captain, scored the first goal of the match by sending the ball into the right corner in style from the penalty spot.
Argentina got yet another reason to celebrate in the 36th minute when Angel Di Maria scored the second goal of the match. Didier Deschamps, manager of the French team, came up with a rather unusual decision in the 41st minute. He substituted Olivier Giroud and Ousmane Dembele before the half-time intermission.
The French team played with greater resolve in the second half amid the crowd cheering aloud for Messi. Nicolas Otamendi of Argentina dragged down France’s substitute, Randal Kolo Muani, in the 78th minute. This gave Mbappé a chance to score the first goal for his team in the match with a penalty kick. The French were slowly getting back into the game. Just two minutes later, Mbappé’s second powerful shot sent the ball to the far lower corner of the goal post, beating the Argentinian goalkeeper Martinez yet again.
Messi helped Argentina make a comeback in extra time, but Mbappé levelled the score for the second time, making it 3-3. However, the French team lost the penalty shootout 4-2.
With the World Cup victory, Messi has finally silenced all his critics. Until now, many argued he couldn’t be labelled the greatest player of all time as he had not won the prestigious World Cup for Argentina. On Sunday, he finally got Argentina its third World Cup trophy and became a world champion to etch his name in the history books forever.