Lionel Messi has finally won the big one. The Argentine magician got his hands on the elusive World Cup and engraved himself in football folklore after defeating France 4-2 on penalties at the Lusail Stadium.
After the match was done, Messi shared a tender moment with his mother as both embraced in the middle of the ground amidst the explosion of celebration going on around them.
Argentina won the World Cup for the third time as substitute Gonzalo Montiel scored the decisive penalty after a dramatic match at Lusail Stadium north of Doha. Argentina won the shootout 4-2 after Kingsley Coman and Aurélien Tchouaméni missed their penalties for France.
We’re not crying, you’re crying! Actually we are crying
Messi with his mother ❤️pic.twitter.com/YPeWo5y5NQ
— SportsJOE (@SportsJOEdotie) December 18, 2022
In one of the wildest finals in the tournament’s 92-year history, the 35-year-old Messi scored two goals then another Sunday in a shootout as Argentina beat France 4-2 on penalties after a 3-3 draw to claim a third World Cup title.
Amid all that, France forward Kylian Mbappé — the heir apparent to the 35-year-old Messi — scored the first hat trick in a final in 56 years, doing all he could to emulate Brazil great Pelé as a champion at his first two World Cups.
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Now there’s no debate. Messi joins Pelé — a record three-time World Cup champion — and Diego Maradona, the late Argentina great with whom Messi was so often compared, in an exclusive club of the best football players of all time.