Lionel Messi finally wins FIFA World Cup Trophy after beating France 4-2
Argentina captain Lionel Messi scored twice and France striker Kylian Mbappe hit a hat-trick as a thrilling World Cup final finished 3-3 after extra time at the Lusail Stadium.
Messi crowned his glittering career with victory in the World Cup on Sunday on penalties in a final for the ages, triumphing 4-2.
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.
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.
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.
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