Argentina defeated France 4-2 on penalties to win the World Cup, with Lionel Messi scoring twice in a 3-3 draw and Kylian Mbappe netting a hat-trick to rally the holders from 2-0 and 3-2 deficits.
The victory marked the end of Messi’s wait for World Cup glory, with the 35-year-old playing in his fifth and final World Cup.
Messi’s penalty and Angel Di Maria’s spectacular goal in the first half appeared to have put Argentina in complete control, but Mbappe converted a penalty in the 80th minute and scored a sublime equalizer a minute later to send the game into extra time.
Messi appeared to have scored the match-winning goal in the 108th minute, but Mbappé struck an equalizer from the penalty spot to send the game to penalties. After England’s Geoff Hurst in 1966, the Frenchman became only the second player to achieve a hat-trick in a World Cup final with his third goal.
Kingsley Coman’s attempt in the penalty shootout was saved by Argentine goalkeeper Emiliano Martinez, while Aurelien Tchouameni missed the target. This allowed substitute fullback Gonzalo Montiel, who had conceded the penalty for France’s third goal, the opportunity for ultimate redemption, which he seized by coolly beating Hugo Lloris.
Messi, who has played 172 times for his country, said, “I wanted to close my career with this, it was the one that was missing so I can no longer ask for anything else,” Messi has played 172 times for his country.
“I was able to obtain both the Copa America and the World Cup, for which I struggled so hard. I have it towards the conclusion of my career. But I adore football, and I want to continue being world champion for a few more games.”