Argentina wins the World Cup after defeating France in a thrilling final, led by Lionel Messi.

Argentina wins the World Cup after defeating France in a thrilling final, led by Lionel Messi.

Argentina wins the World Cup after defeating France in a thrilling final, led by Lionel Messi.

Argentina defeated France in a thrilling penalty shootout on Sunday, ending Lionel Messi's wait for World Cup success.

It was a match for the ages, with the game tied 3-3 after extra time and the momentum swinging both ways for the entire tense 120 minutes. Gonzalo Montiel then scored the game-winning penalty.

Messi, who was competing in his fifth and last World Cup, scored twice, but Kylian Mbappé of France scored an incredible hat trick, the first in a championship game since 1966, as the two superstars magnificently duked it out on the largest stage of them all.

Messi's penalty and Angel di Maria's goal in the first half appeared to have ended the match in regulation time, but Mbappé scored two goals in stoppage time, including one from the penalty spot, to tie the game for France.

Both teams were reeling after the thrilling conclusion when Messi appeared to have scored the game-winning goal in the 108th minute. However, Mbappé once more equalized from the spot to force a shootout.

Kingsley Coman of France had his penalty saved by Emiliano Martinez, who was awarded the competition's top goalie, and Aurelien Tchouameni saw his attempt miss the mark before Montiel won Argentina's third World Cup and first since 1986.


The World Cup was Messi's lone remaining trophy after having won seven Ballon d'Or awards, 38 trophies, and over 1,000 games in his career.

Perhaps it is appropriate that the 35-year-old secured that coveted trophy in such an extraordinary game.

By matching his idol Diego Maradona, who led Argentina to the World Cup 36 years ago, he has strengthened his case for being regarded as the best player in history.

After all the anticipation leading up to the match on Sunday, Argentina got off to a better start than France, pressuring France hard and making mistakes as a result.

Mbappé didn't see much of the ball in the early going, but Messi looked sharp right away, finding gaps and starting assaults.

Di Maria was ruled to have been fouled in the box by Ousmane Dembele in the 23rd minute. After the penalty was given, Messi was the center of attention.


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