Argentina, lead by star player Lionel Messi has won the FIFA World Cup 2022 held in Qatar. This is the country’s third win, after 1978 and 1986.
The Lusail Stadium hosted what will go down as one of the greatest, if not the greatest, World Cup finals of all time. Argentina were cruising for much of the match, until Kylian Mbappe converted a penalty and scored a sensational equaliser to force the game into extra-time. That led to more insane football as chances flew around at both ends. Messi scored late in the second-half of extra time to seemingly win it for Argentina, only for them to concede a penalty mere seconds later.
Mbappe converted that as well, thus becoming the first player to score a hat-trick in the final of a World Cup. And yet, he ended up on the losing side, with Argentina winning the penalty shootout.
For Argentina, it is Lionel Messi who has been at the heart of its attack. In the opposition camp, the defending champion has enjoyed Kylian Mbappe and Antoine Griezmann in rich form en route to the final.
Other players with three assists in this tournament are Bruno Fernandes, Harry Kane and Ivan Perisic. All, however, do not play any further part in the tournament and will not be increasing their count.
Argentina lost 1-0 in its last two appearances in the FIFA World Cup final (1990 and 2014).
Starting line up for the final this year:
The FIFA World Cup, often simply called the World Cup, is an international association football competition contested by the senior men’s national teams of the members of the Fédération Internationale de Football Association (FIFA), the sport’s global governing body.
The tournament has been held every four years since the inaugural tournament in 1930, except in 1942 and 1946 when it was not held because of the Second World War. The reigning champions were France, who won their second title at the 2018 tournament in Russia.
The format involves a qualification phase, which takes place over the preceding three years, to determine which teams qualify for the tournament phase. In the tournament phase, 32 teams compete for the title at venues within the host nation(s) over about a month. The host nation(s) automatically qualify.
As of the 2018 FIFA World Cup, 21 final tournaments have been held and a total of 79 national teams have competed. The trophy has been won by eight national teams.
Brazil, with five wins, are the only team to have played in every tournament.
The other World Cup winners are Germany and Italy, with four titles each; Argentina, France, as well as inaugural winner Uruguay, with two titles each; and England and Spain, with one title each.
(Agencies; Picture Courtesy: Reuters)