Argentina Conquers the World: Lionel Messi Completes Football.


Post from @leomessi on instagram.

Alan Mba, Staff Writer

The build-up to this year’s World Cup Final has been nothing short of spectacular. During this tournament, there were plenty of feelings of joy, along with disappointment and heartbreak. Moments like when young star Alphonso Davies sparked a bright future following scoring Canada’s first-ever WC goal, the heartbroken World Cup favorites, Brazil, lost to Croatia on penalties, Morocco put a distraught Cristiano Ronaldo’s last attempt at the World Cup trophy to an abrupt end after a confident win from Morocco. Morocco made history as they were the first African country to make it to the World Cup Semi-final.

This World Cup was one of the most entertaining. However, the World Cup Final, where Argentina played against France, has solidified itself as one of the most exhilarating games to date.

This final meant a lot to both teams involved. For France, this trophy would have made them the second country in history to win back-to-back WC Finals and their 3rd ever World Cup trophy. For Argentina, this trophy would have been their 3rd also. However, they especially need this one to reward Lionel Messi with the only missing piece of hardware in his collection. Messi has completed every aspect of football for his club but not for his country.

The pressure was felt worldwide, with millions in support of Messi. Additionally, The World Cup Final will undoubtedly be the deciding factor for who will win the Golden Boot, Golden Ball, and the 2023 Ballon d’Or winner; if Mbappe wins, he will most likely receive the awards, but if Messi wins, he will. Nevertheless, there could be only one winner in La Albiceleste and Les Bleu’s competition.

The first kick-off is France’s, and this year’s most highly anticipated game has commenced. From the opening minutes, Argentina skillfully breaks down the French defense. Di María completely outmatches Koundé, and after dominating for 20 minutes, Argentina’s Di María secures them a penalty. Messi converts the penalty for them without a single bit of hesitation in the 23rd minute of the match. Just 13 minutes following this, a beautiful counterattack that looked straight from the training ground ended with an assist from Mac Allister and a goal for Angel Di María. The first half then closes with 0 shots, 30% possession for France, and ten shots and 70% possession for Argentina.

Argentina opened up the game this time, as confident as any person would expect a team two goals up in the World Cup Final to be. Super-subs Marcus Thuram and Randal Kolo Muani came in for Giroud and Dembélé, who were struggling to start any attacks for Les Bleus. Their immediate impact on the game was apparent, with their neat first touches and aggressive playing style.

In the 61st minute of the match, Argentina’s head coach, Lionel Scaloni, made the questionable decision to sub off Di María, who was clearly the speed in Argentina’s attack and whose presence was missed afterward. Later in the match, in the 71st minute, Kingsley Coman and Eduardo Camavinga are France’s last effort to change the score. Then the game gets infinitely more intense when Otamendi concedes a penalty. Mbappe scores the penalty for France in the 80th minute and another stunning goal just 97 seconds after!

With the scores equal, the game moved into Extra Time. Argentina broke through the French defense with a passing play finished off by Messi in the 108th minute. However, France refused to stay down after Mbappe converted a penalty in the 118th minute. After shots from end to end, the match finally boils down to penalty kicks.

Mbappe stepped up first for his last kick of the game. He calmly placed his third penalty in the back of the net. Messi goes next and comfortably puts it in the bottom left. Coman’s is saved by Martínez, Dybala converts, Tchouaméni misses, Paredes scores, and Kolo Munai scores. With the world’s weight on Montiel’s back, he converted the dagger in Argentina’s world cup victory. Argentina 3(4) – France 3(2).