The perfect final

Players stand for their national anthems before a group stage match in Qatar. Photo by Toby Rangel

Wow. Just wow.

What a finish to the greatest sporting event ever. Argentina have done it – they prevailed against the former world champions, France, in what is to be the greatest final in World Cup history. 

Messi has finally done it. The Cup got away from him in Brazil in 2014, but this time the Argentinans defeated their enemies in a decisive and stressful penalty shootout. 

I don’t think I will ever see another final like this again in a long time; this one was for the ages. The Argentians dominated in the first half, first with a penalty from Messi and later with a beautiful build-up play where Angel di Maria made it 2-0. It looked like the French didn’t even know they were playing a World Cup final. 

France didn’t wake up until they inserted substitutes at the end of the first half, Marcus Thurman and Randal Kolo Muani. They came on with energy and kept battling for every ball. But that still wasn’t enough as Argentina kept dominating, until the 80th minute where France was awarded a penalty. That’s when the game changed. Kylian Mbappe scored the penalty to only be down one goal and then the unthinkable happened a minute later as Mbappe equalized with a beautiful strike that put the score to 2-2. All the Argentinians went to a state of shock in those 2 minutes.

The game went to extra time where Lionel Messi scored the third goal for Argentina which was supposed to be offside but French defender Raphael Varane’s butt saved them from the goal being disallowed. It was looking good for Argentina but then France was awarded a penalty at the 118th minute mark which Mbappe scored and got his hat-trick. After that, the Argentinian goalkeeper Dibu Martniez made one of the best saves in history at the last minute of extra time. 

Penalties is what it came down to and the Argentinians celebrated with tears of joy while the French cried in tears of sadness. Argentina are World Champions for the first time in 36 years and this is their 3rd time raising the trophy. And Messi finally adds the World Cup to his name, making many people think he is the greatest of all time. This was arguably the best final ever in World Cup history and football history, and what a way to end it. With one of the best to ever do it, Lionel Messi, finally lifting up the trophy, and we also saw another star born, Kylian Mbappe, scoring a hat-trick in the World Cup final.

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