After several weeks of international football which saw shock results and surprise knockouts, the 2022 World Cup final will take place this Sunday. Lionel Messi, competing in what he has said will be his final World Cup, will lead Argentina when they take on France in the hope of winning the final trophy left on the checklist.
Meanwhile, France will hope to become the first nation in 60 years to win back-to-back World Cups after they beat Morocco, the first African and Arab team to reach the semi-finals, on Wednesday. Morocco had hoped to make a further dent in the history books but, despite exceptionally strong efforts, were denied as Theo Hernandez scored early in the first half, followed by Randal Kolo Muani scoring forty seconds after coming on to the pitch late in the second half.
Both Argentina and France have lost just one fixture on their way to reaching the final with Lionel Messi’s side losing their first fixture to Saudi Arabia and Hugo Lloris’ team losing their final group stage match to Tunisia.
However, the time is now drawing closer for two of Paris Saint-Germain’s biggest stars to come head-to-head and at the age of just 23, Kylian Mbappe could have two World Cup trophies to his name by Sunday evening. Here is all you need to know ahead of Sunday’s World Cup final...
When is the World Cup final?
Argentina and France will play each other on Sunday 18 December at the Lusail Iconic Stadium. The Lusail stadium is the biggest in Qatar and one of eight that were converted for this tournament and it has a reported capacity of nearly 89,000. The match will kick-off at 3pm GMT (6pm local time).
How to watch the World Cup final?
Both ITV and the BBC are set to have the coverage for the World Cup final this Sunday. The two broadcasters have been sharing coverage of the tournament but will both be able to show the final fixture. ITV One and the BBC One will have the match and it can also be live streamed through their streaming services, ITVX and BBC iPlayer. For both streaming services, fans will need to register a free account in order to access the coverage.
In a press conference following France’s win over Morocco, Didier Deschamps was asked whether he would bring in Karim Benzema who has now been seen training back at Real Madrid. The French manager initially replied: “I don’t really want to answer that question. Next question” before quickly adding with a grin, “I do apologise.”
The Ballon d’Or winner was ruled out of the World Cup after sustaining a thigh injury during his country’s first full training session in Qatar but is still registered in the squad and could therefore make a dramatic comeback for this Sunday. Available to France will also be Adrien Rabiot and Dayot Upamecano who sat out of the semi-final due to illness. Both are expected to be back in time for Sunday.
Messi has insisted there is no problem with his hamstring following the game against Croatia and there is further hope that Angel Di Maria will return despite ongoing injury problems. Argentina will also have both Marcos Acuna and Gonazalo Montiel available following their suspensions.