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Qatar 20222 World Cup: Argentina, Messi win

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Finally, Lionel Messi’s glorious career is crowned with a FIFA World Cup title!

That was made possible at the Lusail Iconic Stadium as the 22nd edition of the competition ended in Qatar with the superstar striking twice in the game.

Argentina and defending champions France ended extra time 3-3, but the South Americans prevailed 4-2 in the eventual shootouts.

Argentina added to their victories at home in 1978 and in Mexico 1986.

Messi it was who broke the duck in the 23rd minute, converting from the spot.

While Messi added two more goals (including in the shootout) to produce seven in the competition, Frenchman Kylian Mbappe claimed the top scorers’ title with a hattrick on the night, and eight in all.

Nine minutes to the end of the first half, Ángel Di María made life more difficult for Les Bleus with a goal from midfielder Alexis Mac Allister’s assist.

In the 71st minute, French coach Dider Deschamps made impactful changes, bringing in Kingsley Coman for Antonie Griezmann and Eduardo Camavinga for Theo Hernández.

Nine minutes later, Kylian Mbappe turned the showpiece on its head with two goals within a minute to bring defending champions France back from the dead. His penalty goal in the 80th minute and another great strike moments after cancelled two earlier goals by Argentina to drag the game into extra time.

In the 108th minute, Messi shot Argentina ahead, but Mbappe restored the deadlock 10 minutes later to end the extra time 3-3.

Argentina started Qatar 2022 on a shaky note losing 1-2 by Saudi Arabia who came from a goal down to win their only match of the group stage. They then beat Mexico and Poland 2-0 each to win Group C.

In the Round of 16, the La Albiceleste eliminated Australia 2-1 to set up a quarterfinal clash with Netherlands, a repeat of the 1978 final which hosts Argentina won 3-1 in extra time to claim their first FIFA World Cup title. This time, in Qatar, both side had to be settled through the shootout, which the Argies won 4-3.

Two triumphs away from the title, Argentina dispatched Croatia 3-0 in the last four to set up a showpiece with defending champions France.

Croatia had defeated Morocco on Saturday to pick the bronze medals.

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