Lionel Messi’s Argentina win the 2022 FIFA World Cup in penalty shootout after thrilling 3-3 draw with France

Home Sports Lionel Messi’s Argentina win the 2022 FIFA World Cup in penalty shootout after thrilling 3-3 draw with France
Lionel Messi’s Argentina win the 2022 FIFA World Cup in penalty shootout after thrilling 3-3 draw with France

Argentina have won their third World Cup in extraordinary style, beating France 4-2 in a penalty shootout after Lionel Messi scored twice in a 3-3 draw that featured a hat-trick for Kylian Mbappe as the holders recovered from 2-0 down after 80 minutes.

It was an incredible night of drama and fluctuating fortunes, delivering one of the all-time great finals to cap a wonderful tournament.

Argentina had looked to be cruising to a one-sided victory after Messi’s penalty and a brilliant goal by Angel Di Maria in the first half put them in total control, but Mbappe converted an 80th-minute penalty and volleyed in an equaliser a minute later to take the game to extra time.

Messi put Argentina ahead again but Mbappe levelled with another penalty, becoming the second man to score a World Cup final hat-trick after Geoff Hurst for England 1966.

Two soccer players hold their arms widely as they prepare to hug while kneeling on the pitch.
Argentina’s Lionel Messi celebrates with Leandro Paredes after winning the World Cup.(Reuters: Dylan Martinez)

That took the game to a shoot-out where Argentina keeper Emiliano Martinez saved Kingsley Coman’s penalty and Aurelien Tchouameni fired wide to give Gonzalo Montiel the chance to win it, which he gleefully took.

It meant that after his record 26th World Cup match, at the fifth and final time of asking, the 35-year-old Messi finally claimed the trophy that he and his nation demanded, lifting him up alongside Diego Maradona after the country’s first football God carried them to their emotional second triumph in 1986 following their first in 1978.

“It’s just crazy that it became a reality this way,” Messi, who has played 172 times for his country, said.

“I craved for this so much. I knew God would bring this gift to me. I had the feeling that this [World Cup] was the one.

“I wanted to close my career with this, it was the one that was missing so I can no longer ask for anything else.

Later, he said: “I can’t wait to be in Argentina to witness the insanity of this.”

France coach Didier Deschamps said the team “came back from the brink, that’s what gives us so many regrets”.

“I still congratulate them, they played a great game, with a bit of gamesmanship, but we were expecting that and it does not take any merit from their victory,” he said.

“[Mbappe] wanted to make his mark on this World Cup. He did, but not as much as he wanted.”

A footballer watches as his shot on goal heads towards the goalkeeper who wears a in fluro yellow kit.
Messi was playing in his fifth World Cup.(Reuters: Hannah Mckay)

It had all looked to be going so smoothly earlier.

Di Maria, with just a few minutes under his belt since the group stage, looked dangerous from the start and when he left Ousmane Dembele flailing with a neat turn, the flummoxed Frenchman clumsily tripped him from behind after 23 minutes.

Messi took the penalty, calmly steering the ball low beyond Hugo Lloris and then Di Maria took centre stage again after 36 minutes when he finished off one of the best goals to grace a final.

Nahuel Molina cushioned a first-time clearance to Alexis Mac Allister, who instantly played the ball to Messi. The captain changed the direction of attack with a great turn and layoff on halfway, Julian Alvarez clipped it back to Mac Allister, who advanced and slid the ball perfectly across the field for Di Maria to take in his stride and slot home.

Two footballer from opposing teams stand metres apart on a green field.
France’s Kylian Mbappe scored three times.(AP: Francisco Seco)

France had barely had a kick and coach Didier Deschamps took decisive action, hauling off Oliver Giroud and Dembele and throwing on Marcus Thuram and Randal Kolo Muani after 41 minutes.

It made little impact until they were given a lifeline in the 80th minute when Nicolas Otamendi tripped Kolo Muani and Mbappe, previously anonymous, expertly converted the penalty.

Two footballers from different teams reach for the ball with their feet.
France defender Dayot Upamecano battles for the ball against Argentina forward Lautaro Martinez during extra time.(Reuters: Yukihito Taguchi/USA TODAY Sports)

A minute later he swept in a brilliant equalising volley after combining cleverly with Thuram, stunning the massed Argentine fans watching their team concede two quick-fire goals for the third time in the tournament.

Argentina regained the lead after a counter-attack when the tireless Lautaro Martinez smashed a shot at Hugo Lloris and Messi pounced on the rebound, technology confirming the ball had crossed the line.

The drama was not over, however, as Mbappe hammered a shot against the arm of Montiel to produce another penalty in the 117th minute, which he calmly dispatched.

Key events

Live updates

Argentina vs France at Lusail Stadium

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A stunning end to the World Cup

By Dan Colasimone

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AWARDS!

Messi kisses the trophy
(Getty)

Enzo Fernandez, Argentina’s midfield dynamo has won the Young Player Award for the tournament.

Emi Martinez wins the Golden Glove award, then makes a crude gesture with the trophy for some reason. Whatever blows your hair back I guess.

And Kylian Mbappe wins the Golden Boot, of course, thanks to those three goals in the final. He doesn’t look very chuffed about it.

Who wil win the Golden Ball for the best player of the tournament? It’s Lionel Messi of course.

What a crowning moment for him!

He walks over to the World Cup trophy and gives it a loving smooch on its bald head.

With that I bid you farewell.

Sticking to on-the-field matters, this has been an incredible World Cup, with just the right mix of wild upsets and big-name match-ups in the later stages.

Two giants of the sport met in the ultimate game and they dished up the best World Cup final in memory.

And here’s the image many people dreamed of, but couldn’t quite believe they would ever see. Lionel Messi lifting the World Cup for Argentina!

Argentina celebrating
(Getty)

Update

Audience comment

Unbelievable game. Who writes such scripts?!

– Milan Poropat

Update

Audience comment

Mbappe had the French team on his shoulders. He should be super proud of himself, regardless of the result.
It’s crazy that he scored a hat trick and still lost.

– Wes

Update

Audience comment

OMG! What a final! I died several times, but it’s Messi’s moment in the end! Woooo!

– Paulie

Messi’s moment

By Dan Colasimone

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Messi looks over railing
(Getty)

The only thing that makes me feel less sorry for Mbappe is that he will have another decade to add another World Cup or two to his resume.

This was Messi’s last chance to cap perhaps the greatest career of all time with a World Cup trophy, and in the end he managed it, despite endless drama in that second half and extra time.

Messi’s second goal, which we thought might be the winner, was one of the ugliest he’s scored in his career, bobbling in off his knee.

In the end it earned them a shot at penalties, and the Argentinians seem to be the master of them these days.

They never looked like losing in the shoot out.

What the Mbappe even happened?

By Dan Colasimone

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Imagine being Kylian Mbappe, scoring only the second ever men’s World Cup final hat-trick and ending up on the losing side.

He was absent for about 2/3 of normal time before he suddenly decided he was going to take destiny into his own hands. He scored a penalty, then a beautiful volley, then another penalty.

He looked dangerous every time  he got on the ball.

He’s one the Golden Boot as the top goal scorer for the tournament, but he is absolutely shattered right now.

Football, bloody hell.

What a final

By Dan Colasimone

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My heart has been pounding for the last hour. An absolutely insane final.

It looked like Argentina had it won, then they hadn’t, then they had again. Each time Kylian Mbappe dragged France back into it.

But once again, Argentina prevailed on penalties, and that’s that.

This is surely the greatest final we’ve seen, at least in modern times.

ARGENTINA HAVE WON THE WORLD CUP!!

By Dan Colasimone

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Key Event

Montiel slides in the penalty and that’s it!

Argentina are world champions – Messi has won the World Cup!

But now Gonzalo Montiel can win it for Argentina

By Dan Colasimone

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Kolo Muani keeps France in it

By Dan Colasimone

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It’s a scorcher of a kick, right down the middle.

Paredes now

By Dan Colasimone

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HE SCORES! Right in the corner!

Argentina lead 3-1 and are one kick away from the World Cup.

France miss again!

By Dan Colasimone

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Tchouaméni is up for France.

Off a short run – HE MISSES!!

Argentina on the brink now!!

Argentina step up again

By Dan Colasimone

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Dybala goes down the middle and scores!

It’s 2-1 Argentina!!

The best and brightest have gone first, and succeeded

By Dan Colasimone

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Coman steps up.

SAVED!

Martinez the hero again as he dives to his right!

Messi is up

By Dan Colasimone

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He scores! Slides it low!

It’s 1-1!

PENALTIES

By Dan Colasimone

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Mbappe is up first.

Martinez gets a piece of it but it’s a goal!

We’re going to penalties!

By Dan Colasimone

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Key Event

In the end, it seems fitting. What a crazy game, let alone in the context of a World Cup final.

Martinez makes a spectacular save!

By Dan Colasimone

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Kolo Muani was through on goal and Martinez makes a brilliant stop with his leg.

Argentina race down the other end and Lautaro misses a header from close range.

Mbappe’s cross almost drifts into the corner!

By Dan Colasimone

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This is madness.

It followed a Messi half chance down the other end.

Three minutes to go.

Dybala comes on with penalties in mind.

Reuters/ABC

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