Argentina won its third World Cup victory by defeating France 4-2 on penalties following a 3-3 draw that featured two goals from the 35-year-old Messi and a hat trick from France forward Kylian Mbappé. This was likely the wildest final in the tournament’s 92-year history.
Messi and Mbappé converted the first penalties for their respective teams. Emi Martinez of Argentina stopped a shot from Kingsley Coman, and after Aurelien Tchouameni of France missed, Gonzalo Montiel had the chance to put the game to a conclusion. He successfully converted the penalty to the left, setting up a riot of cheers.
Europe’s run of four straight World Cup winners, dating to 2006, came to an end. The last South American champion was Brazil, and that was also in Asia — when Japan and South Korea hosted the tournament in 2002.
In Qatar, Argentina backed up its victory from last year’s Copa America, its first major trophy since 1993. It’s quite the climax to Messi’s international career, which is not over just yet. He said after the match that he would continue to play with the national team.