Lionel Messi clinches the World Cup as Argentina defeats France in a riveting final

Lionel Messi clinches the World Cup as Argentina defeats France in a riveting final

LUSAIL, Qatar – A game will occasionally deviate from its standard definition and adopt human characteristics. It will defy expectations, blinding and stunning, stunning and agitated, dodged and flinched, almost cackling.

Then sometimes, like that endorphin festival of a World Cup final between Argentina and France on Sunday night in a fancy roar at the Lusail Stadium, it will perform a trick the rest of the world can’t: it will go ahead and immediately prove itself immortal .

Lionel Messi clinches the World Cup as Argentina defeats France in a riveting final

That’s where this one is now, as roughly a billion viewers began the difficult task of processing how Argentina and their 35-year-old world hero Lionel Messi beat France and their 23-year-old world hero Kylian Mbappé (4-2) on penalties following an incredible 3-3 tie. You can try to remember the ride this thing took many of the 46 million Argentines, 67 million French, and much of the rest of the world on, from 2-0 Argentina after 79 minutes to 2-2 Argentina after 90 minutes to 3-2 Argentina after 108 minutes to 3-3 Argentina after 120 minutes on penalties. This entire episode continues and breathes into the future here.

Lionel Messi clinches the World Cup as Argentina defeats France in a riveting final

In cafes and barbershops and pubs and classrooms and caves, people can go on and on about a night where one manager, Argentinian Lionel Scaloni, said: “The game was completely insane”, while the other, French Didier Deschamps, said: “We managed to rise from the dead.”

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The next Men’s World Cup will be held in the United States, Mexico, and Canada in June 2026. This event will take place in a massive room after this one takes place in a little thumb of a country, but what about the finals in 2022? This event lacks Messi but shines with France’s near-dynasty, which has a slew of young stars – but, hey, how about the final in 2022? How close were the French to beginning their quest for an unprecedented third consecutive World Cup in 2026, but also the final in 2022?

People far away may not even be able to tell where it happened, which will relieve those who wish it hadn’t happened here, with its divisive array of charms and concerns.

People can talk about how Messi got the trophy and the accolade he’s chased through five World Cups just before the curtain was due to fall on that chase. You can talk about how Mbappé made the game one of those occasions that flatters the loser as much as the winner, and his own blossoming image as someone who shakes the ground, who was the first man to score three goals in in a World Cup final since England’s Geoff Hurst in 1966, whose 81st-minute equalizer is perhaps the greatest memory in that barrage of astonishment.

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“He can change a game in an instant,” said Deschamps at the start of the tournament, as France overcame a staggering string of injuries to become the first holders since Brazil 1998 to advance to the next final. Now the wild final moments had wrapped up, with Deschamps saying: “Kylian really put his stamp on this finale. Unfortunately he didn’t leave it the way he would have liked and that’s why he was so disappointed.”

The disappointment on that face will also remain in our memory. That face said so much about the whole thing.

Some – those in the northern hemisphere, for example – will marvel at how, at 120+3, that scarce third minute of added time, Mbappé looked keen to get the whole thing over the line with an outrageous move by the defenders themselves on the left side and into the box.

Others – those in the southern hemisphere, for example – may recall that just before something even bigger than the rest could have happened, an Argentine substitute, Paulo Dybala, tucked the ball away.

“Argentina is holding out”: Emotional World Cup celebrations in Buenos Aires

Among the geeks, one could talk about the slick managerial decisions, such as Scaloni’s start of 34-year-old Ángel Di María, who pursued the French early on from the left, caused a penalty after which Messi scored and didn’t convert much later. Or maybe they’re talking about France’s 41st-minute substitutions, which brought in the outstanding energy of Randal Kolo Muani, still 24, and Marcus Thuram, still 25.

Speakers may notice how Argentina’s Gonzalo Montiel’s play of the ball with his arm in the 118th minute earned a penalty and a goal from Mbappé, as well as a win 10 minutes after Messi Delayed and looked like he’d just scored – that win came with the final penalty.

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Some will remember some of the threats and horrors in the back and forth of overtime. Some will remember others.

On the streets of Argentinian cities, people in the crowd will remember how they ran on the streets of Argentinian cities after waiting 36 years to run on the streets of Argentinian cities. “Well, that’s way too much,” said Scaloni, who helped give this to the Argentines at a difficult economic moment. He added: “Our problems are not going anywhere; You will be a little bit happier though, and that’s great.”

But most importantly, the people of a planet long gone mad about the sport will remember how the evening finally tipped over to Messi, whose name has long been on the backs of shirts around the world. You will remember walking to his family and the Argentinian fans making so much noise it was almost audible some 8,300 miles away in Buenos Aires.

You will remember how he looked, how his hard pursuit of international trophies at the 2021 Copa America and the 2022 World Cup ended gloriously: the former in front of a nearly empty stadium in Rio de Janeiro, the latter in front of 88,966 in a newborn stadium excelling at sticking to its noise – the same stadium Argentina started here with big noise from the other side in a stunning 2-1 loss to Saudi Arabia here last month.

It’s a funny planet wishing peace of mind to a world citizen worth hundreds of millions visible on billboards across the different continents. Yet that’s exactly what the world wanted to see on Messi’s familiar face after all those years of sorcery, and that’s what the world finally saw after a match that became his own unforgettable life.

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World Cup in Qatar

Argentina won the World Cup on penalties against France last Sunday in Lusail, Qatar, to celebrate their first World Cup victory since 1986. Argentina was led by world soccer star Lionel Messi in what is likely to be his final World Cup appearance. France was attempting to become the first repeat champions since Brazil won consecutive titles in 1958 and 1962.

Many critics, particularly in the West, believe that the World Cup in Qatar will always be a contentious event. However, Qatar’s foreign minister, Mohammed bin Abdulrahman Al-Thani, would like people to see things differently.

“Right now, America isn’t a men’s soccer joke. It’s aligned with, and aligned with, what works for the rest of the world rather than stubbornly forcing an American sports culture into international competition without the benefit of the best talent.” Read Jerry Brewer’s take on the US Men’s National Team’s future.

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