As the dust settles, reality grows. Lionel Messi is a World Cup champion. Argentina defeated France in arguably the greatest-ever World Cup final at the Lusail Iconic Stadium on Sunday, clinching the awe-inspiring trophy for the third time. And there is plenty of reaction to tuck into as the return of club football looms over the horizon.
Messi opened the scoring from the penalty spot after 23 minutes before Angel di Maria finished off a scintillating counter-attack to add a second in the first half. Argentina were in cruise control, with France failing to register a shot until midway through the second period.
But Lionel Scaloni’s side were stunned late on, with Kylian Mbappe netting a penalty of his own and then a stunning volley in the space of a minute to level the score out of nowhere. Messi thought he had won it in the second half of extra-time before Mbappe completed his hat-trick with another spot-kick with two minutes to spare, sending it to a shoot-out.
More Emi Martinez heroics saw him save Kingsley Coman’s penalty before successfully winning a mind game with Aurelien Tchouameni, who fired wide. Gonzalo Montiel netted the winner in Argentina’s flawless shoot-out win, sparking wild celebrations in Qatar and across the world.
Express Sport provides regular updates throughout the day, with plenty of reaction to come.
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