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WORLD CUP 2022

Messi majestic as Montiel spot-kick wins the World Cup: Argentina player ratings...

Argentina are the 2022 World Cup winners after a dramatic final game at Lusail. The Albiceleste outmuscled France in the first half before Mbappe pulled Les Bleus back into the tie before a shoot-out decided the match.

Update:
LUSAIL CITY, QATAR - DECEMBER 18: Angel Di Maria of Argentina celebrates with teammates after scoring the team's second goal past Hugo Lloris of France during the FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022 Final match between Argentina and France
Maja Hitij - FIFAGetty

Argentina are the winners of the 2022 World Cup after Lionel Scaloni’s men prevailed after a penalty shoot-out after the game ended 3-3 after extra time.

A blistering first half performance from the South American side with two goals saw France on the ropes after Leo Messi fired the Albiceleste ahead from the spot after a Dembele trip on Di Maria in the 23rd minute and it was the Juve winger who doubled Argentina’s lead in the 36th minute slotting home from a wonderful counter involving Messi and MacAllister. Just when it seemed that France were dead and buried, up stepped Mbappe with a brace in the space of two minutes. Extra time saw Messi stab home before Mbappe drew Les Bleus level again from the spot.

Argentina 1x1 ratings:

Emiliano Martinez

A solid performance from the Albiceleste stopper who was rarely troubled by the France attack who failed to muster a shot on target throughout the first 45 minutes. The Aston Villa keeper showed more of the confidence that made him the hero after the quarter-final penalty shoot-out against the Netherlands but could have done more in stopping the second Mbappe goal. The hero for Argentina again in the shoot out saving the second France spot kick.

Nahuel Molina

A solid display on the right flank with the Atletico Madrid man also helping out as Argentina launched wave after wave of attack on the France goal. Was able to keep Mbappe at bay and stifle the French assaults.

Argentina's defender #26 Nahuel Molina
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Argentina's defender #26 Nahuel Molina KIRILL KUDRYAVTSEVGetty

Christian Romero

A solid pairing with Otamendi, the Spurs defender oozed the confidence and belief that Argentina displayed from the off.

Nicolas Otamendi

Another commanding performance from the Benfica defender who has grown into the tournament. The veteran defender adding a contagious confidence to his team-mates and has forged an excellent pairing with Romero at the heart of the Albiceleste defence. The only blot on the centre backs copybook was the trip on Kolo Muani which afforded France to strike back from the spot.

Nicolas Tagliafico

A surprise inclusion for the Lyon man who was drafted in by Scaloni at the last minute to replace Sevilla’s Marcos Acuña. Tagliafico majestically marshalled on the left flank and and was rarely troubled by Dembele or his replacement Thuram.

Rodrigo De Paul

Another player who has improved as the tournament has evolved with memories of lackluster performances against Saudi Arabia and Mexico a thing of the past. After a nervy start, the Atleti player returned to his best with passing precision, impeccable positioning and his game management and was replaced in the 102nd minute for Paredes.

Rodrigo De Paul
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Rodrigo De Paul DYLAN MARTINEZREUTERS

Enzo Fernandez

A solid display from the Benfica man at the heart of the Argentina midfield. Was dogged in defence with a rash challenge in the first half seeing him be the first name of the game in the Polish referee’s notebook.

Alexis MacAllister

The Brighton midfielder is being touted by many as one of the player’s of this World Cup and the former Argentinos Juniors was instrumental in the second goal delivering a perfect ball for Di Maria after a lightning counter from Scaloni’s side. Seagulls fans are now anxious as they fear the 23-year-old will be a priority for bigger clubs in the winter market.

Angel Di Maria

A surprise addition to the Argentina team, the 34-year-old tormented Jules Kounde in the first half was instrumental in the first goal as he skipped past Dembele only for the Barcelona player to trip the Argentine. El Fideo slotted home to bag the Argentine second and struggled to contain his tears after the celebration. Was replaced by Acuña just after the hour mark but a key player for Argentina.

Lionel Messi

As he did in the quarter-final against Netherlands and in the semi-final as part of the win over Croatia, Leo Messi dazzled the fans at the Lusail Stadium with a goal from the spot and provided the through ball to MacAllister as part of the second Argentina goal. The veteran was on hand to stab home the third Argentina goal following a Lloris parry and was a constant threat for Les Bleus. Messi was the beating heart for the Albiceleste as part of their World Cup triumph.

Lionel Messi of Argentina
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Lionel Messi of Argentina Amin Mohammad JamaliGetty

Julian Alvarez

Failed to impress as he did in the semi when two goals from the Manchester City striker helped propel Argentina into the World Cup final and was replaced in extra time by Lautaro.

Marcos Acuña

Replaced the impressive Di Maria and was blew hot and cold unable to replace the space and menace left by El Fideo on that side of the pitch.

Gonzalo Montiel

Another of the three Sevilla FC players in the Argentine squad who replaced Molina in the 91st minute and struggled with the pace of Fofana and Mbappe. Almost found the top corner with a ferocious volley in extra time and gave away the second spot kick for France. Scored the decisive spot kick to win the cup for the Albiceleste.

Lautaro Martinez

Replaced Alvarez in the 102nd minute and almost found the next three minutes as he clipped the ball inches past the France post. Was instrumental in the Argentina third goal with his thunderous shot being parried by Lloris for Messi to slot home.

 Lautaro Martinez
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Lautaro Martinez Friedemann VogelEFE

Leonardo Paredes

Replaced De Paul in the 102nd minute and was carded in the 114th minute for a cynical tackle on the free flowing Camavinga. Slotted home his kick as part of the penalty shoot-out.

German Pezella

The Real Betis man was a 115th minute switch for MacAllister.

Paulo Dybala

Made a last minute of extra time appearance as a key penalty taker for Argentina with the Roma man slotting home in the shoot-out.