Argentina have been crowned soccer world champions for the third time in Qatar. In the final, in the sold-out Luisal Stadium, the South Americans around superstar Lionel Messi beat the defending champions France 7:5 on penalties.
Argentina becomes world champion for the third time
The two Argentinian veterans Lionel Messi scored the opening goals for the “Albiceleste” from penalties (23rd) and Angel di Maria (36th). Shortly before the end, France’s superstar Kylian Mbappé caused a lot of excitement with a double strike. First, the 23-year-old scored the first goal with a penalty kick (80′), a minute later equalized with a direct acceptance from 14 meters on the left and saved the “Equipe Tricolore” into extra time.
In the 108th minute of the game it was again Lionel Messi who scored Argentina’s lead again. But the South Americans’ joy didn’t last long, as it was Kylian Mbappe again who equalized again with his third goal from the penalty spot (117′).
It came as it had to, the decision in this World Cup final was made on penalties. Here the Argentinians had the stronger nerves and in the end won against France 7:5.
With the success, the Argentines get their third World Cup title after 1978 and 1986.
Coman and Tchouaméni lose their nerve from the point
After winning the Copa América 2021, this is now the second major title for the “Albiceleste” in a short time and the World Cup title is also fine.
In the final, Argentina was clearly the better team up to the 80th minute, and it was only Mbappé’s double strike that brought the “Equipe Tricolore” back into play and into extra time.
Goals from the two superstars Messi and Mbappé meant that the penalty shoot-out had to bring the decision about the new world champion.
Here, France’s Kingsley Coman and Aurélien Tchouaméni failed from the spot, while the Argentinians all presented themselves as reliable penalty takers and Gonzalo Montiel’s fourth converted penalty sent the whole country into collective celebration.
Matthew overtaken Messi is the new World Cup record player
Captain Lionel Messi not only became world champion in Qatar, but is now also the sole record World Cup player. The appearance in the final against France was the Argentinian’s 26th and last World Cup game, replacing Lothar Matthew, who had set the previous record of 25 World Cup games for 24 years.
Messi has also set a new record in terms of minutes played. Since his first World Cup appearance in 2006, the 35-year-old has played a total of 2,326 minutes at a World Cup. To date, the Italian Paolo Maldini has been able to call this record his own with 2,216 minutes of play at a World Cup.
With two goals in the final against France, Lionel Messi is now the only player to have scored in every knockout game at a World Cup. In Qatar, the 35-year-old was successful as a goalscorer in the preliminary round, as well as in the round of 16, quarters, semi-finals and the final.
The success in Qatar makes Messi only the ninth player in the world to win both the European Champions League (Cup of National Champions), the Ballon d’Or and the World Cup. Previously only Bobby Charlton, Franz Beckenbauer, Gerd Müller, Paolo Rossi, Zinedine Zidane, Rivaldo, Ronaldinho and Kaka managed to do this.