World Cup 2022: Lionel Messi inspires Argentina to historic triumph over France

Lionel Messi finally has his hands on the World Cup after historic evening in Qatar

Argentina have won the World Cup for the first time since 1986 after a dramatic win over France. In arguably the most entertaining final in the history of the competition, Lionel Scaloni’s side won on penalties after an enthralling 3-3 draw at the Lusail Stadium in Qatar.

Lionel Messi has his hands on the trophy for the first time at the age of 35 and scored twice in the game, bringing his international tally to 98 goals. His PSG teammate Kylian Mbappe did all he could to snatch it away from him but destiny was with the former Barcelona star in the end.

Argentina took the lead in the first-half after Messi slotted a 23rd minute penalty past Hugo Lloris, after Ousmane Dembele had brought down Angel Di Maria - another Argentine veteran who put in a stand-out display. They went 2-0 up before half-time when Di Maria himself pounced on an inch-perfect Alexis Mac Allister pass to send their travelling fans into ecstasy.

Argentina continued their high-intensity performance after the interval and appeared well on their way to a routine win. But France had other ideas, and they eventually woke from their slumber.

Argentina celebrate  Argentina celebrate
Argentina celebrate

Les Bleus won a penalty with 10 minutes to spare and that changed the game. Mbappe dispatched it with confidence and the momentum swung towards the French.

The 23-year-old struck just a minute later with a stunning volley to level the match and send it to extra-time as supporters were left stunned watching on.

Penalties seemed the most likely outcome after that but Messi was able to work his wonders again to bag what looked like the winner on 108 minutes. However, Mbappe answered back before the death after Didier Deschamps’ men were awarded another spot-kick, which Mbappe scored to claim his hat-trick - and the Golden Boot for the tournament.

It was seemingly written in the stars for Argentina to win in the end though. The penalties were tense but were played in front of their fans. Messi and Mbappe converted theirs, but a couple of impressive Emi Martinez saves meant it was down to Gonzalo Montiel to score the decisive winner.

Seen by many as the greatest footballer of all time, Messi has finally landed the trophy in what is the pinaccle of his career to date. His last ever international game is one that will live long in the memory of not just his country, but the entire globe.