The Lusail Stadium hosted what will go down as one of the greatest, if not the greatest, World Cup finals of all time. Argentina were cruising for much of the match, until Kylian Mbappe converted a penalty and scored a sensational equaliser to force the game into extra-time. That led to more insane football as chances flew around at both ends. Messi scored late in the second-half of extra time to seemingly win it for Argentina, only for them to concede a penalty mere seconds later. The flawless Mbappe converted that as well, thus becoming the first player since 1966 to score a hat-trick in the final of a World Cup. And yet, he ended up on the losing side, with Argentina winning the penalty shootout. Messi finally got his hands on the covetted World Cup trophy in what he said will be his last match in this tournament.
Mbappe wins the Golden Boot, but Messi bagged the World Cup. It was the battle of the Number 10s, as two titans of the game stepped up and gave it their all. But it was the veteran that stood tall in the end. Nobody expected Argentina to dominate the way they did for the first eighty minutes of the match. Nobody expected them to lose their lead twice in the match. And certainly nobody expected Mbappe to score a hat-trick and still find himself on the losing side. But for all the criticism that Argentina had received over the years for crumbling under pressure, this World Cup has shown that there is none better than them when it comes to penalties, where nerves mattered the most.
Very exciting match.