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Argentina won their third World Cup title in a dramatic penalty shootout on Sunday after fending off a late comeback by defending champions France and handing football legend Lionel Messi the only trophy that still eluded him. Read how the action unfolded on FRANCE 24’s liveblog below.
In the immortal words of legendary ex-Manchester United manager Sir Alex Ferguson: “Football, bloody hell.” This was arguably the greatest World Cup final of all time. Like so many great stories, it saw plot twist piled upon plot twist – so many moments of joy, dejection and drama that proved (if anyone ever doubted it) that football is a brilliant, beautiful sport.
First Argentina dominated the match with that Messi penalty – classy as ever – and the exquisite Di Maria goal. France seemed stripped of all the dynamism that had carried them to the final. Nearly 10 minutes away from the final whistle, everybody thought it was all over and Argentina were sailing to World Cup victory.
Messi put Argentina back up 8 minutes into extra time, finishing with his trademark calm panache. But if this is Messi’s and Argentina’s night, surely it was Mbappé’s match. The French talisman equalised from the penalty spot to set up a shootout.
There, Argentina had better nerves, skill or luck and won the World Cup. Damien Martinez saved Kingsley Coman’s penalty. Aurélien Tchouaméni missed. Argentina won the shootout 4-2.
Messi was radiant joy. Mbappé had to be consoled by French President Emmanuel Macron.