The final of the 2022 World Cup has concluded, with Argentina defeating France on penalties at the Lusail Stadium in Qatar on Sunday, December 18.
Argentina has beaten France, the returning champion, in a dramatic match that gives the South American country its third World Cup victory since 1986.
Argentina won the match 4-2 on penalty kicks following a 3-3 draw after extra time for their third FIFA World Cup title. They were in the lead 2-0 at half-time, but a hat-trick by Kylian Mbappé for France and another goal for Argentina tied the match in extra time.
Let's take a quick look at what happened on the final:
Argentina vs France
Outcome: Argentina 3 (4) - France 3 (2)
The 2022 World Cup final is indeed a crowning moment for soccer icon Lionel Messi, as Argentina defeated the defending champion France on penalty kicks.
Considered to be one of the most intense major sporting events in history saw the two teams tied 3-3 after extra time, with the French eventually missing twice in the shootout before Gonzalo Montiel converted to seal an arduous yet emotional victory.
Most of the time in the match, Argentina was leading 2-0 with only 10 minutes remaining, but France suddenly sprang to life with star forward Kylian Mbappé scoring twice in as many minutes. Both sides exchanged missed chances and then late goals again in the 30 minutes of extra time before the inevitable pressure of penalty kicks.
- Argentina led 2-0 in the first half thanks to goals from Angel Di Maria and Lionel Messi.
- France scored twice in 90 seconds late in the game to stun Argentina and tie the final.
- Argentina wins on penalty kicks after an intense final ended 3-3 in extra time.
The game wrapped up a month of sporting drama in Qatar. The mega soccer tournament featured fairytale runs and shocking upsets, but the final saw two giants of the soccer world clash for the coveted title - headlined by a pair of dazzling and impressive stars.
Mbappé performed brilliantly, with the swift and skillful forward scoring a hat-trick as France came so close to being the first team to win back-to-back titles since Brazil in 1962.
Unfortunately for Mbappé, ultimately it was Lionel Messi who took the glory, finally claiming the trophy that proves his status as perhaps soccer's greatest player ever, as the 35-year-old bows out on the global stage by securing a third title for his beloved nation.
Collection Complete: Messi now has his World Cup trophy
Teammates flocked to Lionel Messi moments after the winning kick, knowing he can no longer be bothered by that one trophy eluding his mantel.
Even though he's a seven-time Ballon d'Or (Golden Ball) winner plus a member of 10 La Liga championship teams and four UEFA Champions League winning sides, fans back home in Argentina had for so long held that missing World Cup trophy against him.
Argentina has won last year's Copa America, but fans were still not satisfied until Sunday when Messi and his side won the ultimate prize at the World Cup. And to think that the 35-year-old said before that this will be his last appearance in this tournament!
Soccer legend Lionel Messi was awarded the Golden Ball (and the Silver Boot), recognizing him as the tournament's most outstanding player.
Moments after being given that honor, Messi kissed the World Cup trophy.
Meanwhile, France's young upstart 23-year-old Kylian Mbappé, who scored three goals in addition to a penalty kick, was awarded the Golden Boot.
The winner of the final gets to take home the gold medal and the top prize worth $42 million, an increase of $4 million compared to four years ago in Russia. France as the runner-up will walk away with the silver medal along with $30 million.
World Cup Medalists
- Champions: Argentina
- Runners-up: France
- Third place: Croatia
- Golden Ball: Lionel Messi (ARG)
- Golden Boot: Kylian Mbappé (FRA)
- Golden Glove: Emiliano Martinez (ARG)
- Best Young Player: Enzo Fernandez (ARG)
Did your favorite team win at the FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022?
Image: Getty Images