Qatar world cup 2022

Messi lifts millions of Argentinian spirits, brings World Cup trophy home

Argentina are world champions. (Showkat Shafi/Al Jazeera)

Argentina won the 2022 World Cup after a thrilling penalty shootout victory against France in a grand final.

On Sunday, Gonzalo Montiel's penalty kick gave the South American squad a 4-2 victory in the shootout at the Lusail Stadium in Qatar, which has a capacity of 89,000. Before the shootout, the score was 3-3 after extra time.

Montiel's winning shot came after France's Kingsley Coman had a shot saved by Argentina's Emiliano Martinez and Aurelien Tchouameni missed the target.

The nail-biting final was one of the all-time greats. It solidified Argentina captain Lionel Messi's already illustrious career, as the 35-year-old led his team to their first World Cup victory since 1986 — and third overall.

He scored two goals and another in the shootout to crown a strong performance at the tournament in Qatar, with Sunday's performance marking a record-breaking 26th World Cup participation. This number will not be added, as he announced before the final that this would be his last World Cup.

However, following the game, Messi ruled out a future retirement from the national team.

"I wish to participate in a few more games as world champion. He told reporters, "I was fortunate to win every title in my career; this was the only one missing." "I want to bring this to Argentina and share it with everyone there."

Mbappe's hat trick in vain for the reigning champions

Messi scored from the penalty spot in the 23rd minute to give Argentina a 1-0 lead after a good start by coach Lionel Scaloni's players.

Angel Di Maria, who was picked to the starting lineup for the first time in the knockout round, added a second goal in the 36th minute to conclude a dominant first-half performance against a lifeless France side.

France, attempting to become the first nation to defend the World Cup since Brazil in 1962 successfully, continued to struggle throughout the second quarter.

The European powers did not have their first shot on goal until the 68th minute, but with 10 minutes remaining, Kylian Mbappe struck twice in two minutes to put Argentina on the back foot and send the game into extra time.

The 23-year-first old's goal was a penalty kick, and his second was a spectacular volley after a brilliant exchange with replacement Marcus Thuram.

Before halftime, Didier Deschamps took bold action to alter the game's momentum by substituting Thuram and Randal Kolo Muani.

As regulation time drew to a close, Mbappe's brilliance placed Argentina in a precarious position, but Messi's second goal in the 108th minute restored Argentina's lead.

Mbappe sealed his hat-trick with a penalty kick with two minutes remaining extra time, ensuring that a penalty shootout would settle the match.

Mbappe, a teammate of Lionel Messi at the French club Paris Saint-Germain, finished the tournament as the tournament's leading scorer with eight goals total, edging Messi by one.

He is only the second player to achieve a hat trick in the World Cup final following England's Geoff Hurst in 1966.

The end of the European era of supremacy

The triumph by Argentina stopped a streak of four consecutive World Cup victories by European teams.

Brazil was the most recent South American champion in 2002 when Japan and South Korea hosted the competition.

Argentina previously won the World Cup in 1978 and 1986.

In Qatar, the nation defended its Copa America victory from last year, its first major trophy since 1993.

For France, the loss represented the second time in five World Cups that they have lost the final on penalties, the first being in 2006 against Italy.

Publish : 2022-12-19 08:07:00

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