Argentina 3 (Argentina wins 4-2 on penalties)
Messi 23’, 108’
Di Maria 36’
Mbappe 80’, 81’, 118’
Lionel Messi crowned his glittering career with victory in the World Cup on Sunday as Argentina beat France on penalties in a final for the ages, triumphing 4-2 after Kylian Mbappe’s hat-trick ensured the game ended level following extra time.
Gonzalo Montiel rolled in the deciding penalty to give Argentina their third World Cup and prevent France becoming the first team in 60 years to retain the trophy.
But a truly remarkable game saw Messi and Mbappe both live up to their billing, with Messi scoring twice and Mbappe becoming the first player since England’s Geoff Hurst in 1966 to net a World Cup final hat-trick in a game that ended 3-3 after extra time.
SCROLL DOWN TO RECAP THE FINAL
Messi had opened the scoring from the penalty spot midway through the first half before Angel Di Maria doubled Argentina’s lead at the end of a brilliant counter-attack in the 36th minute.
But the astonishing Mbappe breathed life into the holders as he pulled one back from the penalty spot with 10 minutes to go before equalising in stunning fashion just 60 seconds later to force extra time.
Messi then seemed to have decided the contest in Argentina’s favour once and for all when he converted a rebound in the 109th minute, only for Mbappe to net from another spot-kick, bringing the game level at 3-3 and forcing a shoot-out.
The third World Cup final penalty shoot-out started with Messi and Mbappe both scoring, but Kingsley Coman’s next kick for France was saved and Aurelien Tchouameni then crucially missed the target.
It is the second time in five World Cups that France have lost the final on penalties after they were beaten by Italy in 2006, and it is Argentina who are champions for the first time since 1986.
The win allows Messi, at 35, to complete his glorious career by emulating Diego Maradona, and this will be remembered as his tournament despite the best efforts of Mbappe, who finished as the tournament’s top scorer on eight goals, one more than his Paris Saint-Germain teammate Messi.
France’s quest for history had been threatened by a virus in the days leading up to the final and they appeared sluggish before Argentina went ahead.
France conceded a penalty for the fourth time this tournament when Di Maria was clipped by Ousmane Dembele, and Messi stepped up to score from the spot for the fourth time in Qatar, his 12th World Cup goal allowing him to equal Pele’s tally.
The expected response from the defending champions was not forthcoming and Argentina increased their lead in the 36th minute.
Messi and Julian Alvarez combined to release Alexis Mac Allister bursting through the middle, and he played a first-time ball to the back post for Di Maria to finish.
Having hardly featured in the knockout rounds due to injury, Di Maria had returned here and appeared tearful as he celebrated his goal, which was a World Cup final classic.
France had not even mustered a shot and Deschamps moved before the interval to replace Olivier Giroud and the struggling Dembele.
On came Randal Kolo Muani and Marcus Thuram, as Mbappe moved into the middle of the attack.
Argentina had famously blown a two-goal lead before eventually emerging victorious in their last World Cup final triumph 36 years ago, but there appeared little prospect of a repeat of that scenario.
However, the French were suddenly given hope when they won a penalty 10 minutes from time as Kolo Muani was brought down by Nicolas Otamendi.
Mbappe smashed the spot-kick into the net and the watching French President Emmanuel Macron rose to his feet. France had hope, and within another minute they were level.
Messi was robbed of possession by Coman in the lead-up, before Mbappe found Thuram and then met his partner’s knockdown with a stunning volley.
It will go down as one of the most dramatic moments in World Cup history, and the French players on the bench raced across the pitch to celebrate with their teammate.
Argentina, who lost the 2014 final in extra time, looked shattered, and yet it seemed again that they had won it when Messi followed up to score early in the second extra period after Lautaro Martinez’s shot was saved.
But France were again saved by Mbappe as he converted another penalty following a Montiel handball.
It was end to end, and Argentina needed a brilliant Martinez save from Kolo Muani to take it to penalties and Montiel’s kick proved decisive to spark wild Argentinians celebrations.
WHAT WAS WITH MESSI’S ROBE?
Lionel Messi’s robe during the World Cup celebrations had plenty of fans talking.
Find out what was going on HERE.
GOALKEEPER’S BIZARRE ON-STAGE MOMENT
We’ll just leave this here…
MESSI KICKSTARTS EMOTIONAL CELEBRATIONS
Lionel Messi saluted the Argentina fans in Doha’s Lusail stadium on Sunday after helping inspire his country to their first World Cup victory in 36 years.
“We’re champions of the world!” exclaimed Messi on the stadium microphone after his two goals and successful shootout spot-kick helped Argentina to the title.
Messi hugged his family members and team-mates after the stunning match that ended 3-3 after 120 absorbing minutes that included a Kylian Mbappe hat-trick and three successfully converted penalties.
Both Messi and Mbappe were also successful in the shootout before Argentina goalkeeper Emiliano Martinez’s crucial save from Kingsley Coman and Gonzalo Montiel’s clinching penalty.
Argentina coach Lionel Scaloni, winger Angel Di Maria, who scored Argentina’s second goal, and Martinez could not contain their tears after the final whistle
After a slight delay, the World Cup trophy has arrived and the presentation is underway.
YOUNG PLAYER OF TOURNAMENT: Enzo Fernandez (Argentina)
GOLDEN GLOVE: Emi Martinez (Argentina)
GOLDEN BOOT: Kylian Mbappe (France)
GOLDEN BALL: Lionel Messi (Argentina)
Mbappe 1-0 France
Coman SAVED 1-1
Dybala 2-1 Argentina
Paredes 3-1 Argentina
Kolo Muani scores Argentina 3-2
Montiel scores, Argentina are World Cup champions!
FULLTIME IN EXTRA-TIME
It finishes 3-3 in Qatar and some are already calling it the greatest World Cup final ever. Kylian Mbappe becomes only the second man in history to score a hat-trick in a World Cup final, while Lionel Messi netted twice.
Kylian Mbappe beats Emi Martinez again and surely we’re going to penalties. This is wild! Angel Di Maria is in tears on the Argentina bench.
FIVE MINUTES ON THE CLOCK
Can France rally again? The subs are coming thick and fast and Lionel Messi’s bundled goal separates Argentina and Les Bleus.
ARGENTINA LEADS AGAIN!
Desperate defending by France by Argentina can’t be denied. And of course it’s Messi who bundled home after Hugo Lloris’ initial save.
HALFTIME IN EXTRA-TIME
And it’s still 2-2. We’ll have a quick break and then have just over 15 minutes to decide this final. Otherwise, we’re off to the penalty spot.
WHAT A BLOCK!
Dayot Upamecano saves France in the last minute of the first half of extra-time with a brilliant block to deny Lautaro Martinez who was put through one-on-one with Hugo Lloris.
DID ARGENTINA MAKE TACTICAL ERROR?
Angel Di Maria’s withdrawal on 64 minutes has coincided with France finding a way back into this final.
Di Maria was one of the most influential players on the pitch during his stint, scoring the second goal.
But some are wondering whether Argentina coach Lionel Scaloni blinked too soon by subbing off the Juventus forward.
EXTRA-TIME KICKS OFF
More than six minutes gone and it remains 2-2. France has made a substitution, removing Rabiot and bringing on Fofana. Commentator Martin Tyler says Argentina is looking “laboured”. It has been an incredible turnaround. France could hardly have been more outplayed for 80 minutes but since Mbappe’s penalty has looked the team most likely to prevail and clinch successive World Cup crowns.
AND WE’RE HEADING TO EXTRA-TIME
Argentina was in the driver’s seat for 90 minutes but a moment of brilliance from Kylian Mbappe after scoring from the penalty spot means we’ll have an extra 30 minutes.
And really who could be disappointed considering how this match has come to life in the last 15 minutes?
France actually looked the more likely side to find a winner despite Messi’s late strike testing Lloris.
Was the early alarm worth it? You bet ya. This match has been something.
MESSI SO CLOSE TO THE WINNER
Lionel Messi strikes from about 25 metres and has Hugo Lloris sprawling with only a minute of added-time left.
Lloris saw it all the way but the strike had plenty behind it.
EXTRA-TIME: 8 MINUTES ADDED
And there’s a fair bit happening. Emi Martinez saves as Argentina survives a nervous moment and Olivier Giroud has somehow got himself booked despite being subbed out more than 50 minutes ago.
From absolutely nowhere France is level at 2-2. We’ll try to sum that up as best we can but like you probably are we’re still a bit stunned. Mbappe’s drive from the edge of the area just had too much venom for Martinez and suddenly the World Cup final looks set for extra-time. What a crazy comeback. “Splendid finish from a splendid player,” says Martin Tyler in commentary. Hard to disagree with that assessment.
Otamendi hauls down Kolo Muani and Mbappe converts from the sport with France’s first shot on target. Plot twist?
ARGENTINA LESS THAN 15 MINUTES AWAY
Expect some added time as there has been all tournament in Qatar, but barring a miracle revival from France, Argentina is about 15 minutes from its first World Cup win since 1986.
There are almost 80 minutes gone in Qatar and goals from Messi and Di Maria continue to be the difference.
FRANCE DOUBLE SUB
Griezmann and Hernandez are off, Camavinga and Coman on.
And — this is not a drill — Kylian Mbappe has had a shot.
It went several metres over, but it’s something.
We’ve played 72 minutes and France hasn’t had a shot on target.
INCREDIBLE SCENES IN ARGENTINA
Check this out! (Sound on)
And in the meantime, goalscorer Angel Di Maria has been removed for Marcos Acuna.
Di Maria received a standing ovation while leaving the pitch and it was richly deserved.
Apart from Messi he’s been the most influential player on the pitch.
MESSI’S NOD TO FAMILY ON WORLD CUP BOOTS
Kiro Evans, The Sun
Lionel Messi’s World Cup boots have been revealed and they include a touching nod to his wife and children.
The 35-year-old takes part in the biggest game of his career as he looks to lead his country to World Cup glory for the first time since 1986.
The Jules Rimet trophy is one of the few pieces of silverware missing from his long and decorated career.
Ahead of the huge clash against France, fans got a glimpse at his footwear for the showpiece event in Qatar.
The golden boots were pictured sat next to his white and black sliders.
There was a lovely nod to his wife and three children with their names visible on his boots.
His youngest child, Ciro Messi, has his name and date of birth stitched alongside the side of his left boot.
Messi’s wife, Antonela Roccuzzo, also has part of her name “Anto” below Ciro’s.
On the outside of his right boot bares the name of his other children and their dates of birthday: “Thiago 02 11 12” and “Mateo 11 09 15”.
The Argentine star is wearing a pair of specially customised Adidas X Speedportal Leyenda boots.
YELLOW CARD FRANCE
Rabiot goes into the book for a crunching tackle on De Paul as France’s desperation grows.
MARTINEZ SURVIVES FIRST REAL TEST
Griezmann’s corner is whipped in at a dangerous height but the Aston Villa and Argentina custodian shows composure to fly above bodies and claim easily.
SECOND HALF UNDERWAY
It is going to take something historic from France to get back into this match. Is Argentina heading for glory? Here are a few stats which sum up Argentina’s superiority — 60 per cent possession, six shots to zero, 305 passes to 204, 87 per cent pass accuracy to 76 per cent.
HALFTIME: ARGENTINA 2-0 FRANCE
That was an absolute clinic from Argentina.
Lionel Messi’s penalty and Angel Di Maria’s crisp finish has Argentina dreaming of its first World Cup triumph since 1986.
France badly needs a spark and I am going to find mine with a halftime coffee.
If you’re in Australia and following, I reccomend you do the same.
Can France recover from a horror first half and stage a a comeback? We’ll find out in the second 45 minutes coming up soon.
Argentina midfielder Enzo Fernandez is booked for a challenge on Randal Kolo Muani.
DOUBLE SUBSTITUTION FOR FRANCE ON 40 MINS
Giroud, Dembele off, Thuram and Kolo Muani on. It’s no wonder Didier Deschamps has gone to his bench. After 40 minutes, Argentina has six shots to France’s zero and the reigning World Cup champion hasn’t looked like testing Emi Martinez in Argentina’s goal.
The change means Kylian Mbappe will play more centrally in the second half and Les Bleus desperately need him to find his best.
DI MARIA GOAL!
Angel Di Maria buries a slick counter-attack by Argentina and doubles his side’s advantage. This is as clinical as it gets from Argentina and France is all at sea.
THE AUSTRALIAN VIEW
Australia’s losses in Qatar were to eventual finalists Argentina and France. So, we can dare to dream right?
Lionel Messi buries the penalty past Hugo Lloris and the stadium erupts. 1-0 Argentina.
Di Maria is brought down in the box and Argentina has a spot kick.
Dembele got a tough on Di Maria and the referee had no hesitation pointing to the spot.
DI MARIA FIRES HIGH
Angel Di Maria has been very lively in the opening exchanges but sends one of Argentina’s best chances so far metres over Huge Lloris’ bar. Argentina has had three shots and France is yet to test Emiliano Martinez after 18 minutes.
French captain Hugo Lloris is down after a tangle in the penalty area.
Argentina has done all the attacking in the opening 10 minutes.
After being tended to my medical staff for a few minutes, Lloris will play on.
The collision was with his Tottenham teammate Cristian Romero.
QATAR’S MAIN TRAIN STATION SHUT IN WC CRUSH
Police shut doors into Doha’s main metro station for an hour amid a surge of thousands of people just ahead of Sunday’s World Cup final.
Witnesses said station security could not cope with the sudden crowds at the Msheireb station, a busy interchange where three metro lines meet.
Station staff tried to restrict people entering with crowd barriers but groups broke through causing the surge inside, witnesses said. The doors were then ordered closed.
“There were just suddenly hundreds of people trying to get down the steps to the platforms. It was scary but I did not see anyone hurt,” said Fatima Ismael, who came out with her two children as hundreds grouped around entrance doors.
Many of the crowds were fans trying to get trains to fan zones with giant screens set up for the match between Argentina and France. Thousands of people wore Argentina shirts for the day.
The station re-opened an hour later and although it was crowded, passengers were moving towards their trains, an AFP reporter said.
Traffic jams built up around Doha and big crowds were also reported around the 88,000 capacity Lusail stadium where the final was to start at 6.00pm (1500 GMT).
By taking the pitch in the World Cup Final, Lionel Messi has officially made the most appearances at a World Cup.
He has played a remarkable 26 times at the World Cup.
AND WE’RE UNDERWAY!
It’s Messi v Mbappe, Argentina v France and arguably the most important prize in world sport up for grabs. Who will win? We’ll have it all covered over the next 90 minutes (or beyond!)
COACH FUMES AS LATE DRAMA HITS FRANCE
France manager Didier Deschamps has hit out at a reporter while confirming that Karim Benzema will not play in the World Cup final.
Les Bleus take on Argentina in the showpiece and the Real Madrid striker won’t make a surprise appearance.
The 34-year-old was named in the France squad but injured his thigh prior to the start of the tournament and was sent home.
It has now emerged that he is back training with his club fuelling speculation he could return to Qatar for the final.
Deschamps dismissed these rumours angrily after being repeatedly asked about Benzema and where he’d be watching the final, saying: “Are you spreading the word among foreign journalists?
“If I don’t answer, you’ll say I’m p***ed off.
“Some players have been injured and Karim Benzema is one of them and Lucas Hernandez got injured in the first game.
“From that point on, I have 24 players in my squad and they are the ones at my disposal, so I don’t think it is fair to those players to ask about players who aren’t here. – Alex Smith, The Sun
WC FINAL: STATE OF PLAY
Argentina take on France in the World Cup final at 2am (AEDT) Monday morning.
Croatia fell victim to a Lionel Messi masterclass in a dominant semi-final encounter as Argentina went through.
But things will certainly be tougher for the little magician as he will be taking on a French side that managed to stop high-flying Morocco in their semi-final.
Messi has created a thrilling final chapter to his World Cup career and the magician will arguably go down as the greatest footballer ever should he replicate what Diego Maradona did in 1986.
However, a win for Les Bleus would see them become the first nation in 60 years to achieve successive World Cup triumphs.
TEAM AND INJURY NEWS
Neither side have any suspensions to deal with after yellow cards were wiped after the quarters and may well be unchanged after semi-final wins.
Argentina can welcome back full-backs Marcos Acuna and Gonzalo Montiel from their one-match bans while Lisandro Martinez may return to the starting XI if Lionel Scaloni goes for a back five.
Dayot Upamecano and Adrien Rabiot sat out of the Morocco win with illness as France kept their first clean sheet – but will be hopeful of coming back in.
The rest of the team should stay the same – although Karim Benzema could be a shock inclusion on the bench as he is back in Real Madrid training.
WHO ARE THE STAR MEN
Well, obviously Messi and Kylian Mbappe are the two main men for their respective nations – and all eyes will be on who comes out on top.
Elsewhere, Julian Alvarez will want to continue on from his two goals in the semi-final while Enzo Fernandez may be tasked with stopping Antoine Griezmann.
On the other side, Griezmann and Olivier Giroud will fancy their chances of scoring in the final.
Aurelien Tchouameni is in strong form in midfield while Raphael Varane will lead his back line. – The Sun
Originally published as World Cup Final: Argentina defeats France in penalty shootout after 3-3 finish