By : Ronald Augustin
Two-time champion, Argentina, overpowered Croatia in the first semi-final, while defending champion, France, ended Morocco’s 2022 World Cup dream with a 2-0 win, on Wednesday December 14th. The match was one last chance for Lionel Messi to accomplish his dream of giving Argentina its third world cup title. Standing in Messi’s way was Kylian Mbappé as France sought to win back-to-back World Cup trophies. After Argentina had a shocking defeat by Saudi Arabia in its opening group game, Argentina’s World Cup campaign got off to the worst possible start.
However, Lionel Scaloni, Argentina’s head coach, regrouped and in the following matches found themselves and executed in a form that led Argentina to go on a 36-match run before that defeat by Saudi Arabia. Messi will have a final shot at winning the World Cup and lifting the trophy, in front of the 40,000 Argentinian fans.
Eight years ago, Messi and Argentina reached the final in the World Cup hosted by Brazil, but were beaten 1-0 by Germany. Messi was asked if Sunday’s game will be his last World Cup, Messi replied, “Yes. Surely yes. There’s a lot of years until the next one and I don’t think I have it in me and finishing like this is best.”
Argentina defeated France 4-2 on penalties after tying 3-3. Argentina was crowned the World Cup champion, beating France on penalty kicks in what will be remembered as one of the greatest finals of all time. Lionel Messi is a world champion for the first time, finally capturing the only trophy he hasn’t. Messi scored twice in the final and converted his penalty kick, finishing the tournament with seven goals in seven matches, arguably ending the greatest soccer player of all time debate.
Messi holding the World Cup trophy.
Argentina team victory photo.