World Cup Final 2022 live: Argentina vs France

Of the 32 teams that came to Qatar for the 2022 World Cup, only two remain.

This game is full of history and legacy-making dangers. Both countries have won the World Cup twice in their history. France is trying to become the first country to win back-to-back titles since Brazil did in 1958 and 1962.

Argentine Lionel Messi is indeed the goat. The only thing missing from his trophy case is a World Cup title. This is likely his last chance to win the first World Cup for Argentina since 1986.

The final will be held in Lusail. Here are the biggest moments and biggest matches in the World Cup Final.

Half time: Argentina 2-0 France, and Messi is 45 minutes away from fate

Well, it’s been a while since we’ve seen a World Cup final look this sloppy side, but so far so good for Messi and co that they maintain a comfortable lead before the break. They attacked decisively, defended with little trouble and totally knocked Kylian Mbappe out of the game to the point that France coach Deschamps made two substitutions before half-time in a bid to salvage this game.

Olivier Giroud (uncharted up front) and Dembele (who conceded the penalty) were both withdrawn after Argentina’s stunning second goal, but will it make a difference? Argentina had over 60% of the ball in the first half, as well as six shots to zero. xG (1.46) in the first half feels ok given their performance.

Is there a way to get back in the game for France? Divers (Marcus Thuram, Randall Kolo Mwani) have been added to try and give France more control in the middle of the field and more pace out wide, while also pushing Mbappe into a more central attacking role where he will hopefully get more possession and more chances to run in. The space. It is a bold maneuver by Deschamps, but he has no other choice. There are no overs in a World Cup final, and you have to wait four years for a chance to make amends. – James Tyler

What a goal! Argentina 2-0 France!

Thirty-fifth minute: Angel Di Maria, who was a surprising starter for Argentina today after appearing little during the knockout stages, doubled his advantage in the World Cup final. Messi, Julian Alvarez and Alexis McAllister combine in a terrific counterattack from one end of the field to the other, Di Maria is there to receive the final pass, touch it and flick it with deftness past the helpless Lloris.

Les Bleus have never looked like the defending champions in this competition, but they have always been lucky in crucial moments in the knockout stages. But Argentina and Messi don’t seem to be in a good mood. – James Tyler

Another record for Messi

With this penalty, the iconic No. 10 becomes the first player to score in all four knockout rounds of the World Cup, having scored against Australia (round of 16), Netherlands (quarter-final), Croatia (semi-final) and now France in the final. – Tyler

Messi scores from a penalty kick! Argentina 1-0 France!

Minute 22: Not long after France’s first attempt on goal, Argentina attacked quickly and won a penalty as Ousmane Dembele stopped Ángel Di Maria after the winger forced his way into the box from the left. The referee does not hesitate to point to the penalty spot and Messi steps up… who calmly sends Lloris the wrong way with a low side effort into the right corner!

Messi’s 12th World Cup goal could be his most important goal ever as they take the lead! It’s fair to say they would need more targets… – Tyler

Hey, we know them

France international Paul Pogba, who missed the Tour de France in Qatar due to a thigh injury sustained in October, stands in the stands cheering his teammates alongside Swede Zlatan Ibrahimovic.

France gets its first chance at goal

20th minute: Another flurry of Argentine pressure ends in frustration as Messi misses a low cross from the right all the way to Di Maria on the left side of the box, who fires it into the crowd. Moments later, the French national team responds with a powerful kick and hits a free kick in a dangerous spot to the left of the goal. Olivier Giroud wins the header but climbs over two defenders to get to the ball. – Tyler

A problem for France?

The eleventh minute: France’s nerves continue to show in the opening exchanges and we had our first big chance today. Some skilful approaches from Lionel Messi and Ángel Di Maria culminated in a clear shot by Rodrigo de Paul, whose low shot was curled wide of the post to slot in a corner kick. The French failed to clear the ball, but as the ball returned to the penalty area, Lloris received a powerful kick from Argentina defender Cristian Romero – in the replay, obviously pushed into the France goalkeeper by Upamecano – as the ball was in the air a few yards from goal.

Loris is still on the ground and receiving medical attention after the hit. In a cruel twist, Romero plays for the same club (Tottenham Hotspur) as Lloris. After a few minutes on the ground, Lloris got back to his feet and continued playing. – Tyler

early minutes

Both teams show the raw energy and nerve you would expect from playing in the biggest game in the biggest sport in the world with national pride on the line. France’s Adrien Rabiot and Argentine De Paul punched each other in the opening two minutes, French winger Ousmane Dembele fouled an easy pass, then teammate Dayot Upicano elbowed Lionel Messi as the pair challenged with a header. (Messi should do nothing, as he is 6 inches shorter than France’s defender, but there you go.)

France looked nervous and gave Argentina two early shooting chances, but nothing Lloris couldn’t handle. – Tyler

before the match

In traditional pre-match versions of the national anthem, you’ll have to give preference to Argentina based on how ferociously the players sing each word. France has taken on a more stoic tone, it seems, singing clearly but not overdoing it even as the tune reaches its soulful climax. A very practical effort by the defending champions. – Tyler

Another Messi record

Before the ball was even kicked in the final, Lionel Messi set a FIFA record for the most appearances in a men’s tournament. Today marks his 26th World Cup final: will it be the match in which he finally takes home the trophy? – Tyler

Team news

After a scary few days in which several players were stricken with a flu-like virus, the entire France squad was now fit and eligible for selection. So manager Didier Deschamps named the same squad that started the quarter-final against England, with both Dayot Upamecano and Adrien Rabiot returning to the squad. This is also the 20th World Cup appearance for goalkeeper Hugo Lloris, a record for his position.

As for Argentina, veteran winger Angel Di Maria is back in the squad, replacing Leandro Paredes. Di Maria has not appeared much since the group stage. Will coach Lionel Scaloni be praised or hated for this move? – Tyler

previous finals

Argentina and France are two of only eight countries to win the men’s World Cup, and both are seeking their third title in Qatar. Whoever wins, Brazil’s status as the most successful team in the competition’s history with five wins will remain intact (although it will be cold comfort for Neymar & Co as they watch their rivals battle it out in today’s final).

Argentina is in their sixth final, since losing the opener 4-2 to hosts Uruguay in 1930. They won it at home in 1978 and – inspired by Diego Maradona – again in Mexico in 1986, but after defeat in the final in 1990 and 2014, the Argentine national team will be desperate to avoid one last hat-trick of heartbreak.

Meanwhile, France are heading for their third World Cup victory in a quarter of a century. After winning the title as hosts in 1998, they came back again in 2006 but lost on penalties to Italy (in the penalty shootout that followed Zinedine Zidane’s header on Marco Materazzi). Their victory over Croatia in 2018 gives them the chance to become the first team since Brazil in 1962 to retain the title. – Tony Mabert

face to face

Despite meeting in the first World Cup in 1930, this is only the fourth time that the two teams have met in the tournament. Argentina won that first encounter in Uruguay 1-0 on their way to the final, before winning 2-1 in 1978, resulting in their first title.

However, their most recent World Cup meeting went France’s way. France won a truly wild match 4-3 in the round of 16 in Russia. Kylian Mbappe slotted in an Antoine Griezmann penalty to score the opening goal, and later got two himself, but not before Angel Di Maria and Benjamin Pavard each scored one of the best goals of the tournament. The highlights are worth seeing. We can only hope for anything close to replicating in Lusail today. – Mabert


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