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Lionel Messi inspires Argentina to World Cup victory



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Lionel Messi inspired his country to victory in the pulsating final match in Qatar on Sunday night.

Argentina won the 2022 FIFA World Cup after defeating France 4-2 on penalties.

The PSG attacker scored twice to help Argentina secure a third World Cup trophy and their first in 36 years.

The biggest game in football had everything you would want in a final of such magnitude — controversy, drama, entertainment, grit and spirit.

It was a topsy-turvy affair that had the neutrals charged and excited from start to finish.

Less than 10 minutes into the game, Argentina had an early chance, with Alexis Mac Allister shooting from the edge of the box — but straight into Hugo Lloris’ arms.

Encouraged, the La Albiceleste increased the momentum, cooking up a quick counter to set up Rodrigo De Paul whose shot bounced off Raphael Varane for a corner.

Then came the penalty; Dembele clipped Angel Di Maria’s heels in the France goal area and Messi stepped up to convert and put his team ahead.

Minutes later, Argentina extended their lead with a brilliant team goal that was well-finished by Angel Di Maria.

The game went into halftime with the Argentines in firm control and enjoying a healthy lead.

The French players returned from the break looking to assert their authority in the game, and it was only a matter of time before they conjured up an opportunity.

It came calling when Randa Kolo Muani was bundled down in the Argentina goal area by Nicolas Otamendi and Kylian Mbappe riffled beyond Emi Martinez’s reach to put the scoreline at 2-1.

France, sensing a chance for a comeback, took it with great aplomb as Mbappe equalised for France with a sumptuous volley.

At full-time, the scoreline was 2-2 and both teams still had everything to play for — but it was Argentina who returned with more hunger and desire as Messi put his team back in the lead with a simple tap-in after a Lloris save.

A goal behind, France continued to push for an equaliser and their efforts yielded the desired result when Gonzalo Montiel handled a shot inside Argentina’s goal area, with Mbappe scoring the resulting penalty and completing his hattrick.

The South Americans needed a hero after the game ended 3-3 at 120 minutes and Aston Villa goalkeeper Emiliano Martinez emerged as their saviour during the penalty shootout.

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