By Ken Andrew

In what was arguably the greatest game of football, Argentina beat France 4-2 on penalties enabling Lionel Messi to lift a trophy he has yearned for throughout his career, the World Cup.

Argentina took a comfortable 2-0 lead in the first half and with fifteen minutes left on the clock, it was almost certain that they would be crowned world champions but it was not to happen that way. A Kylian Mbappe brace sent the match into extra time where Lionel Messi got his second of the night but another Mbappe penalty(completing his hattrick!), meant that the game was to be decided by penalties.

Emiliano Martinez saved Kingsley Coman’s penalty and Aurelien Tchouameni sent his wide allowing Gonzalo Montiel to put away the winning spot kick for Argentina.

Lionel Messi has won all trophies available to him in his career and the World Cup had eluded him four times before. The closest he had come was in 2014 where Argentina lost out to Germany after a Mario Gotze goal in extra time. Winning the world cup is his greatest achievement in an extremely illustrious career.

Even though they lost,  Les Bleus gave a valiant effort, treating fans to some premium football. Kylian Mbappe undoubtedly has shown that he is ready to dominate football for multiple years. He will be gunning for his second World Cup trophy in 2026.

For Argentina, they can rejoice that Lionel Messi will retire a world champion and arguably the greatest to ever do it.

Before it was Maradona, now it is Messi. It was not easy for the latter but he now sits in an exclusive list of players who have ‘completed football’. You have to think that an eighth Balon d’or is on the way for him.

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