Lionel Messi lifts Argentina to World Cup title


LUSAIL, Qatar — A World Cup final of goals and unfathomable turns, a sure victory from a country hungry for trophies twice snatched away, an empty enemy seeking to become the first back-to-back champions since Pele’s Brazil in 60 years. ago, the two cosmic stars trading goals and capturing talent over 120 minutes, decided the simplest format.

It seemed unfair, after the beating of the waves, that if Sun’s soccer had produced the greatest football game the theater had ever seen this tournament, they would have sent a penalty kick to settle the winner.

But when Gonzalo Montiel planted his effort into the left corner, tying up a 4-2 victory following a dizzying 3-3 draw, Argentina didn’t care what support was needed. For the first time since 1986, La Albiceleste were world champions — and their unbeaten striker, Lionel Messi, could finally add the last piece of glory to his extraordinary career.

“It’s just crazy that it happened like this,” Messi said. “I missed this so much. … feeling this [World Cup] he was one. “

Messi, 35, scored twice and played another role in the goal, but the player on his way to succeeding him as the world’s best, France’s Kylian Mbappé, scored a hat trick in front of a sellout crowd of 88,966 at the Lusail Stadium. He became the first men’s player to play in a World Cup final since Geoff Hurst in 1966.

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Two days short of his 24th birthday — and 4½ years after helping France win the trophy in Russia — Mbappé Booz won the gold as the tournament’s scoring champion with eight goals. Messi was seven years old.

On December 9th, three hours later, they celebrated winning the World Cup in Argentina. (Video: The Washington Post)

It was a wonderful match. France recovered from two goal deficits late in regulation, Messi and Mbappé scored in the second half of extra time, and Argentina’s Emiliano Martínez did admirably not to force a shot.

“The match was absolutely insane,” Argentine coach Lionel Scaloni said.

In the shootout — his first at the World Cup since 2006 — Martínez made two saves and all four of his teammates’ attempts were converted. Martínez was also the hero in the quarterfinals against the Netherlands, a penalty kick necessitated by Argentina’s failure to close out a two-goal lead late in regular time.

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Argentina’s previous World Cup triumph came in June 1986 at Mexico City’s Estadio Azteca – a year before Messi was born.

“These players for their people, for their Argentine fans,” said Scaloni, who, at 44, is the youngest coach since 1978. very proud. Today we are champions.”

Messi, the championship goalscorer, has a frustrating trip after four unsuccessful bids. Eight years before Messi’s arrival, the World Cup final ended in defeat to Germany. It was six years after his short retirement, moved by another short Argentina in a major tournament — the Copa América, the South American championship — after he said: “It’s very difficult to be a champion with Argentina. It didn’t happen. I can’t do it.

Fans of Argentina’s victory against France in the World Cup. (Video: PRESS PARTNER)

With the World Cup title, Messi will finally join Argentine icon Diego Maradona as a global champion and put to rest critics that there is no way he can be considered the greatest player of all time for not winning the game’s most beautiful trophy.

Messi’s fortunes began to turn last year when he won his first Copa America. He started this tournament saying it would be the last World Cup. However, “If he wants to play, he will be with us,” Scaloni said.

Argentina roared into the World Cup on a 36-game unbeaten streak — only to lose their opening group game to Saudi Arabia. With this setback, Argentina went undefeated and led 2-0 in each match.

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France was trying to win consecutive titles for the first time with Pele and Brazil in 1958 and ’62. Having lost three key starters to injury before the tournament, Les Bleus looked set to drop into the second tier of contenders and only dream of another trophy. Here, however, in the quarter-finals England was defeated and in the semifinals the emotion of repelling Morocco.

On Sunday, their title hopes vanished when Mbappé scored 80 and 80 minutes, about 90 seconds apart.

“We have risen from the dead,” French Coach Didier Deschamps said.

From the beginning Argentina was sweeter and hungry. France could not save. Argentina was curious in the attack, exploring the opportunity to pierce the planes of French resistance and put a mark on the competition.

“We just didn’t show the same energy” as in previous matches, Deschamps said, “and that’s why in the first hour or so, we weren’t in the competition.”

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Mbappé was left obsolete. He rarely touched the ball, even more rarely he had it in a dangerous position. As twenty minutes passed, the match remained scoreless, but the reigning champions became more and more troubled.

Argentina’s breakthrough came in the 23rd minute on Messi’s penalty. It was the simplicity of France’s lazy and dissolute defender Ousmane Dembélé. Ángel Di María cut the ball back so sharply towards the end, Dembélé was left in the dust. Nuduius, following the heel of Di Maria’s light clip, sent the Argentine winger scattering a shot.

Messi’s conversion rate is below the standard of the world class, but at this moment he took care of the task by dropping his twelve goals down the right side as Hugo Lloris committed in another way.

Argentina’s second goal was elegant, sophisticated and voluptuous – a goal executed to perfection that flowed from one end to the other in the second matter and was in touch with the economic group.

In the 36th minute, when Rodrigo De Paul started to win the ball and Alexis Mac Allister, who set up Messi for a clever touch wide to Julián Álvarez in midfield. Meanwhile, Mac Allister continues to run. Álvarez touched the ball forward to Mac Allister rushing into the green area.

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He marked Di Maria free on the other side and, when he took a pass to Alvarez at the top of the penalty area, he deflected in a cross that Di Maria met in stride for one time.

The plains and Gaul were in a close position. In the 41st minute he made the most unusual decision to substitute not one but two players before the break. Off comes Dembélé and striker Olivier Giroud (four goals).

In the second half, France played with greater danger and urgency, but Argentina was up to the task. When the championship seemed to be approaching, the crowd chanted: “Messa-i! Mes-i!”

He was ready to concede to Gaul. Argentina’s Nicolas Otamendi pulled down substitute Randal Kolo Muani in the box, and when Mbappé’s penalty slipped under Martinez’s glove, France were back in it.

Everything flows in France’s way. Argentina’s night was dominated by one huge problem.

Adrien Rabiot lifted the ball to Mbappé, who dropped it to replace Marc Thurat in the top box. Mbappé left Nahuel Molina in his wake. He gives him a thura to strike. The swivel of his abdomen, Mbappé got full control after 15 yard volley Martínez up to the far bottom corner.

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But that match was tied.

“We had the game under control,” Martinez said, “but we’re going to suffer.”

Argentina was lucky not to be lacking in the arrangement. Mbappé insisted on all the raids. Deep into stoppage time, Lloris was called upon to save Messi’s 25-yard rocket. For the fourth time in five World Cup finals, extra time is expected.

Argentina had three chances late in the first 15-minute period, but in each case the French defenders intervened. Messiah did not stop at the beginning of the next session.

Lloris made an excellent reflex save at the command of Lautaro Martínez’s corner, but Messi was in position to rebound over the goal line in the 108th minute, immediately in front of Jules Koundé’s clearance. He became the greatest player to score twice in the final.

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France was not finished, and after Montiel used his arm to block a shot, Mbappé again went to the penalty spot in the 118th minute and converted the penalty kick.

Kolo Muani could have won it in stoppage time, but Emiliano Martínez made a brilliant save one-on-one.

“He really left his mark in this final,” Deschamps said of Mbappé. “Unfortunately he didn’t leave the way he wanted.”

Mbappé will undoubtedly enjoy many memorable moments in soccer’s biggest stages. On Sunday, Messia gave way.

Messi said. “I just wanted to. I can’t believe it.”

World Cup in Qatar

Some: Argentina won the World Cup, defeating France on penalty kicks in a thrilling final Sunday in Lusail, Qatar, for its first world championship since 1986. Argentina was led by global star Lionel Messi in what is expected to be his final appearance at the World Cup. . France is set to become the first claimant since Brazil won the trophies in 1958 and 1962.

Today’s WorldView: In the minds of many critics, especially in the West, the Qatar World Cup will always be a tournament surrounded by controversy. But Qatar’s foreign minister, Mohammed bin Abdulrahman Al-Thani, wants people to take a different view.

In perspective:America is not a men’s soccer game right now. Something has happened, and he’s more concerned about what works for the rest of the world rather than persistently forcing American sports culture — without using the best talent — into international competition. Read Jerry Brewer’s upcoming US men’s national team.


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