Messi rubs salt into Mbappe wounds as Argentina win World Cup

FIFA World Cup 2022 Final: Argentina V France In Pictures

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Lionel Messi is a World Cup winner at last. Argentina ensured they win the tournament for the first time since 1986 on Sunday afternoon, with both the Paris Saint-Germain star and Angel Di Maria on target as France were beaten following a sensational 3-3 draw. Express Sport will now take a look at four things we learned from the showdown at the Lusail Stadium as they finally claimed the golden, glittering troph after a final that will live long in the memory. 

Messi rubs salt into Mbappe wounds

Before the game, plenty was being said and written about Messi and his battle with PSG team-mate Kylian Mbappe.

By the time the final whistle blew, there was just one winner. And though Mbappe did well with his hat-trick, it was Messi who ended up having the last laugh as his side won on penalties. 

Messi opened the scoring from the penalty spot, with the 35-year-old keeping his cool to spark wild celebrations inside the ground from those wearing white and blue stripes.

Mbappe has now won the Golden Boot – but that only adds insult to injury. His domestic team-mate, rather than himself, will be going home with the more important prize instead. 

The accolades are poised to keep coming for Messi, who was the undisputed player of the competition. Therefore, it’s only fitting he goes home with the trophy.

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Mbappe can’t do it all himself

Mbappe’s time has already been but he’ll taste success again in the future, no doubt, with the PSG star’s hat-trick showing what a talented individual he is and how he’s well and truly Messi’s heir. 

It was clear, relatively early on, that the former Monaco star wouldn’t be able to do it all by himself.

Olivier Giroud didn’t look fully fit at the tip of their attack, while Ousmane Dembele failed to make his mark before the pair were hooked in the 41st minute.

France have done well to paper over the cracks this tournament, especially when you consider how they’ve had to cope without the likes of Paul Pogba, N’Golo Kante and Karim Benzema. And, for a while, Mbappe’s treble had them dreaming. 

But Mbappe can’t do it all by himself and, in the end, Les Bleus lost in the hardest lottery of them all. Their talisman could only do so much…

Messi becomes the GOAT

Now Messi has won the World Cup, it’s an achievement that surely consolidates his status as the greatest footballer of them all.

He didn’t just score twice in the game. He dictated it and even played a role in Di Maria’s goal, giving France problem after problem in the process.

This was Messi illuminating the grandest stage of them all, operating at a level only a few other players in history have ever reached.

He now has a World Cup winners medal, something Cristiano Ronaldo hasn’t been able to obtain over the course of his own glittering career.

Messi was outstanding and Argentina were outstanding. They’re deserved winners, with France made to pay the price for their poor start. What might have been…

Argentina win brings fitting end to World Cup

Argentina started the tournament poorly, losing 2-1 to Saudi Arabia in their opening fixture.

But that loss set the tone for what was to follow, with the World Cup in Qatar arguably one of the best in recent memory.

It is fitting that Messi gets the trophy he wants above them all, having provided some of the best and most memorable moments of the competition this winter – after the game of the tournament all unfolded. 

Argentina aren’t the best team to watch, often relying on their talisman to produce the goods.

But they’re the best when it comes to getting results and their victory here was well-earned, with France unlucky after showing huge fight in the second half and in extra time. 

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