FIFA World Cup: Messi, Argentina Are The New World Champions

Posted on: December 18, 2022, 12:43h. 

Last updated on: December 18, 2022, 02:24h.

December 18, 2022 will be forever known as the day Lionel Messi won the World Cup. The most prestigious trophy of soccer is finally his, the only thing missing from the career of one of the best soccer players in the history of the game.

Lionel Messi
Argentine soccer player Lionel Messi celebrates after a goal. Argentina beat France to be the World Cup 2022 champions. (Image: Eurosport)

Argentina started the final with everything, showing a lot of personality and dominating all aspects from the first whistle. They kept France from scoring a goal in the entire first half.

Messi put up the first goal for Argentina, albeit off a questionable penalty. It gave him 12 goals in World Cup matches – the same as soccer legend Pelé – but he wasn’t done yet.

Argentina, France In Heated Battle

That first goal came at 22′ and the second came 13 minutes later – that was a real goal. Angelo Di María connected and gave Argentina a 2-0 lead as the first period came to a close.

France came alive in the second half. Leading the charge was Kylian Mbappé, who put up France’s first goal 80 minutes into the match off a penalty.

Argentina, like they have done previously in this tournament, started to falter. Nicolás Otamendi got into trouble before an attack by Marcus Thuram, and instead of clearing the ball, he ended up committing a penalty. That opened the door for Mbappé’s goal, and France turned up the heat.

In the blink of an eye, the tie arrived. Mbappé scored again just a minute after his penalty shot found the back of the net. Argentina had gone cold.

No team would score for the rest of the regulation. The game went into extra time, and at 108′, Messi scored the third goal for Argentina. Suddenly, it looked like Messi was about to get his first World Cup, and take it off a goal he served up.

However, that wasn’t going to come easily. Mbappé scored a hat-trick when he gave France another goal off a penalty. The board screamed 3-3 in bright numbers as both extra periods came to an end.

The game had to go to penalty shots, where Argentina put up a deft performance. They hit four in a row, while France had one blocked kick and another shot that went wide left. Just like that, Messi found his redemption and his indisputable place in the world of international soccer stardom.

Messi, Mbappé The GOATS Of The World Cup

Messi shouted his seventh goal in this World Cup, which left him as the second scorer after Mbappé, who scored eight. Four of his goals were from penalties. The Argentine captain also completed his 26th performance in World Cup matches, and broke his tie with the German Lothar Matthäus.

Argentina fulfilled the dream of winning their third world title after the first in its country in 1978. They took a second in Mexico in 1986 behind Diego Maradona, but then entered a dry spell. The long wait is over.

Argentina, along with Brazil, France, and England, were among the top choices to win the World Cup before the tournament started. Their odds continued to improve as the series advanced, but were still behind France just days before the big game.

Argentina defied the oddsmakers and denied France its second consecutive World Cup. They go out on top of the world, although the party back home is just beginning.