“We will never see anything like this again.”
It had it all – superstars Lionel Messi and Kylian Mbappe going head-to-head, spectacular comeback goals and an agonizing penalty shoot-out decider.
Social media was plunged into meltdown, sports stars around the world were transfixed and those at Lusail Stadium were treated to a mouth-watering showpiece.
“I couldn’t imagine this happening – where you see two great teams go head-to-head and nobody backs down,” Ferdinand said on BBC One.
“The two superstars of either team battled it out, goal for goal…magnificent.”
Former England striker Alan Shearer added: “We’re breathless, it was just an amazing final. I’ve never seen anything like it and I don’t think I’ll ever see anything like it again. C was amazing.”
Argentina coach Lionel Scaloni said he was “calm” afterwards, but couldn’t hide his joy.
“The game was absolutely crazy. I know we played a good game, we could have won in the first 90 minutes,” he said.
“I have the best feelings ever. The most important thing is how we got there.”
How was a fabulous final
- 23 min – Argentina 1-0 France – Messi scores a penalty
- 36 min – Argentina 2-0 France – Angel di Maria doubles Argentina’s lead
- 80 mins – Argentina 2-1 France – Mbappe responds with a penalty
- 81 min – Argentina 2-2 France – Mbappe equalizes with a superb volley
- 108 min – Argentina 3-2 France – Messi restores Argentina’s lead in extra time
- 118 mins – Argentina 3-3 France – Mbappe scores hat-trick to set up shootout decider
Much of the attention was on Argentina’s Lionel Messi and France’s Kylian Mbappe before kick-off as both were tied in the Golden Boot race and seen as the superstars to lead their teams to glory.
But Mbappe barely sniffled in the first half as Argentina needed just four minutes to have their first shot on target through Alexis Mac Allister and then dismantle the defending champions.
Messi’s first contribution came in the 23rd minute when he scored from the penalty spot to put Argentina ahead and Angel Di Maria doubled the advantage 13 minutes later.
France were in disarray, Mbappe hadn’t been in the opposition box and had the fewest touches of any player after half an hour.
Having had enough, manager Didier Deschamps made a double substitution after 41 minutes, hooking Olivier Giroud and Ousmane Dembele, replacing them with Randal Kolo Muani and Marcus Thuram.
At half-time, with no shots on target from France and Argentina at 2-0, reporters around the world were finalizing their match reports – the game was surely over.
But the drama had not even begun.
France were still not at their best when they finally tested Argentina goalkeeper Emiliano Martinez for the first time after 67 minutes, but the game changed in a thrilling 97 seconds that followed…
Muani fell under a challenge from Nicolas Otamendi in the box and Mbappe stepped in to fire a penalty past Martinez.
Argentina had barely caught their breath and the French fans were still celebrating when Mbappe then volleyed in a superb second to make it 2-2. Extension, here we go.
But it was Messi’s night – and he thought he had the last laugh when he pushed him over the line, sparking wild celebrations, in the 108th minute of extra time.
Although Mbappe is not finished. His hat-trick came in the 118th minute – he became only the second player in World Cup history, after England’s Geoff Hurst, to score three goals in the final – and a penalty shootout took place. follow up.
Argentina, who had lost their lead twice during the game, finally got their hands on the trophy for the first time since 1986 when Martinez saved Kingsley Coman’s free-kick and Aurélien Tchouameni sent his effort away .
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How social media reacted to the centerpiece of 2022