Argentina won the 2022 World Cup on penalties following a 3-3 deadlock in a dramatic final on Sunday at the Lusail Stadium in Doha, Qatar.
Argentina raced into a two-goal lead thanks to Lionel Messi and Angel Di Maria before holders France drew level in stunning fashion with to two Kylian Mbappe strikes. Argentina took the lead in extra time thanks to Messi’s goal, but Mbappe completed his hat trick from the penalty spot to force a penalty shootout.
As a consequence, Messi, who is playing in his record 25th and last World Cup match, has a fairy-tale conclusion as he holds the trophy for the first time – his sole major honor in his career.
Argentina has won the World Cup three times, most recently in 1978 and 1986.
“I cannot believe that we have suffered so much in a perfect game. Unbelievable, but this team responds to everything,” Argentina head coach Lionel Scaloni said. I am proud of the work they did. It is an exciting group. With the blows we received today, with the draws, this makes you emotional. I want to tell people to enjoy, it’s a historic moment for our country.”
Meanwhile, France, which won the last World Cup in 2018, was denied the opportunity to become the first team to win back-to-back World Cups since Brazil in 1962.
Argentina’s lone alteration from the semifinal triumph against Croatia was the selection of Di Maria over Leandro Paredes. Dayot Upamecano and Adrien Rabiot began for France after missing their semifinal triumph over Morocco due to an illness that afflicted the squad this week.
France started slowly, with Mbappe rarely touching the left wing in the first half. Meanwhile, his Argentine opponent Di Maria looked threatening and got a penalty after collapsing under a clumsy push from France’s Ousmane Dembele on 21 minutes. Messi took the penalty spot and calmly put the ball into the bottom-left corner.
Soon after, Messi put midfielder Alexis MacAllister free down the right flank, and he slid over to an eagerly approaching Di Maria, who struck past France goalkeeper Hugo Lloris. It was Di Maria’s third goal in three finals for Argentina, the last being in the 2021 Copa America final triumph over Brazil.
France were unexpectedly poor in attack, and Deschamps made his first replacements after 41 minutes, bringing on Randal Kolo Muani and Marcus Thuram for Olivier Giroud and Dembele.
Argentina continued to control for much of the second half, but France surged into life late in the game and were rewarded when substitute Kolo Muani won a penalty with less than 10 minutes remaining, which Mbappe converted.
Mbappe scored again 97 seconds later, when France won the ball back at the halfway line before supplying the PSG star with a floating pass on the outside of the box, which he volleyed into the bottom right corner.
Argentina’s once-vibrant offensive was then deflated as they frantically clung on until Messi fired a shot from 25 yards that forced Lloris into a fantastic save, sending the game to extra time.
The drama didn’t stop there. Argentina believed they had won when Messi pounced on a Lloris save, but France equalized as time expired when Mbappe completed his hat trick with another penalty after a Gonzalo Montiel handball, bringing the game to a shootout.
Mbappe’s ninth goal in Qatar made him only the second player in history to achieve a hat trick in a World Cup final, and it helped him beat Messi to the tournament’s Golden Boot title.
Mbappe and Messi scored the first two penalties, but Argentina goalkeeper Emiliano Martinez denied the following two French attempts from Kingsley Coman and Aurelien Tchouameni until Montiel stepped up and converted to give Argentina a 4-2 penalty triumph.