Argentina vs France summary: trophy presentation, score, goals, highlights | Qatar World Cup 2022 final
Argentina vs France: as it happened
Meet Antonia Farías, the woman who effusively hugged the PSG star after Argentina’s triumph and who was mistaken for his mother.
So 2022 is over, and 2026 is in the US, Canada and Mexico... but where will we be heading in 2030? Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo may be backing a Saudi Arabia World Cup 2030 bid!
The 2022 World Cup final was a classic, with Lionel Scaloni’s men prevailing after a dramatic penalty shootout, but a controversy has arisen in France.
Should Messi's extra-time goal have been disallowed?
Ronaldo Nazario, two-time FIFA World Champion, was quick to send congratulations after Argentina’s triumph in Qatar.
Argentina shirts sell out after World Cup triumph
Any fans looking to get their hands on an Argentina shirt as a memento of the World Cup triumph may be disappointed as many Adidas websites are totally sold out of both the home and away jerseys. Ongoing supply chain issues and massive demand have contributed to the situation where fans across the planet are having to go without their replica shirts.
Neymar and Lebron hail Messi
Sporting greats have been quick to pay tribute to Argentina and Leo Messi in particular with Neymar congratulating his 'brother' and LeBron paying homage to the GOAT
Ok, signing off.
Thank you to everyone who has accompanied me and the rest of the team at AS USA for the coverage of the Qatar World Cup 2022. It has been a pleasure to provide you with information - and hopefully entertainment - during the past 4 weeks.
The football was fantastic, the final might be the best ever and what a way to finish: with Messi lifting the World Cup for Argentina.
Thank you again and make sure to head on over to en.as.com for all the latest news in sport and beyond!
Here's Joe's team of the tournament - do you agree?
ATT - Messi ( )
ATT - Mbappé ( )
ATT - Griezmann ( )
MID - Amrabat ( )
MID - Modric ( )
MID - Enzo Fernández ( )
MID - Bellingham (no flag)
DEF - Gvardiol ( )
DEF - Rodri ( )
DEF - Hakimi ( )
GK- Martínez ( )
Kun Agüero was never going to miss this!
He's still a huge part of the team, clearly so loved by the players.
Messi lifts the World Cup
Here's the trophy lift.
What a moment in football history.
FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022 - Final - Argentina v France
Here is the image that football has waited so, so long to see!
ARGENTINA ARE WORLD CHAMPIONS FOR THE THIRD TIME
LIONEL MESSI LIFTS THE WORLD CUP FOR ARGENTINA!!!!!!!
And now it is Lionel Messi's turn to receive his World Cup winners' medal
No waiting from Acuña, who is straight up after Di María, almost causing a logistical nightmare for the man in a suit and no socks.
The players are up, one by one, to collect their medals.
Now it's time for the World Cup winners...
Deschamps is stood there like an angry parent whose child has come home late. He's waiting on Mbappé, who is nearly held in a headlock by the President of France.
Now it's time for the French players to receive their medals...
The Argentinians give them a guard of honour.
Les Bleus stop on the podium for a photo organised by a man in a suit with trainers and no socks, but they just want to get home.
Messi kisses the World Cup trophy in a moment that will be carved into history.
The winner of the best player of the tournament.... LIONEL MESSI
The golden boot award for the top scorer, with 8 goals... KYLIAN MBAPPÉ
He poses for the photo, looking like he wants to smash the camera, the trophy and the stadium to pieces.
Goalkeeper of the tournament goes to.... DIBU MARTÍNEZ
who also gets told off for standing in the wrong place.
Young player of the tournament... ENZO FERNÁNDEZ
He gets a bit lost on the stage, taking the wrong turn on the big 8.
The stage is a massive 8 shape, the logo of the World Cup, but at this scale it looks like a Mario Kart racetrack.
The referees are up first... a gold whistle* for each of them. For being the best referees.
*it's a medal, really.
The medals are carried out on dinner trays, by people in airplane staff outfits. FIFA really going hard on the Qatar airways theme, I see.
Now Infantino is here along with his friend, the Emir of Qatar
While we wait for the presentation to begin, here's Paul's player ratings, that he definitely didn't have to change at the last minute. Twice.
As per in Qatar 2022, we have a light show first.
The trophy/medal presentation is about to begin...
The moment Argentina became World Champions
Lloris was sent the wrong way by Montiel, who scored the 4th penalty for Argentina, which was enough to see them win.
The stage is being prepared on the pitch for the trophy lift...
We've been working hard like this for four years.
It's difficult to explain how I feel, I just think of my family.
We are so proud. This feeling is never going to sink in.
There's nothing more beautiful than this, with my family here.
I will never forget it.
The South American players are jumping, dancing, singing with the fans, who are adoring every moment.
Mbappé is being consoled by Dibu Martínez and Macron, the French President. He's ignoring both of them, staring into the distance. When France came alive, Mbappé was the star. He took on the pressure and brought his team into the game, forcing problems for Argentina until the very end. What a star.
Despite everything, we arrived here today calm, you could see it. But if you don't suffer, it's not worth anything.
The first half was very good, the second not so much, but we always came through it.
This is for Argentina, for everyone who supports us.
Great scenes as Scaloni is in tears, hugged tightly by Di María.
It was a game we had controlled, two mistakes gave them a draw.
We go 3-2 up, they get one back, then they almost get two more.
Thank God for this, I have no words.
I dedicate this to my family.
They have finally done it; Messi has finally done it. On penalties, after the maddest final in modern football, Argentina ended a wait they had kept up since 1986. They have overcome heartbreak from 1990 and 2014, putting to bed the ghosts that have haunted the country since the days of Diego Maradona.
Messi waves to the fans, tears in his eyes, he will finally have his moment with the World Cup trophy.
THE PLAYERS RUN OFF IN TEARS
ARGENTINA HAVE WON THE WORLD CUP IN THE CRAZIEST FINAL YOU WILL EVER SEE.
MESSI IS WORLD CHAMPION
ARGENTINA ARE WORLD CHAMPIONS!!!!!!!!!
ARGENTINA WIN THE WORLD CUP!!!!!!
IF MONTIEL SCORES, THEY WIN THE WORLD CUP
This has to go in...
WIDE!!!! HE MISSES!
Dibu kicks the ball away
DIBU TO THE RESCUE
Mbappé is first.
And France will shoot first!
The kicks will be taken in front of the Argentina fans...
Team talks complete...
Here we go...
What a crazy, crazy game of football. I can't even begin to process it.
I want to drink water, but I'm shaking so much I know I will just spill it all over myself.
PENALTIES WILL DECIDE THE WORLD CUP FINAL WINNER
Mbappé almost gets a chance!!! He slides past 3 players but gets tackled inside the box!!!!!
DIBU WHAT A SAVE
I cannot keep up. Kolo Muani smacks a shot low and hard but somehow Dibu Martinez grows into a green giant and saves!!!!
LAUTARO ONE ON ONE!
Argentina win a throw near the France goal. They play the ball all the way to the defence.
France press, smelling blood.
Disasi on for Koundé
Dybala on for Tagliafico
3 minutes added.
SO CLOSE!!! THAT WAS THE CHANCE TO WIN!! KOLO MUANI ALMOST MAKES THE HEADER!!
MARTINEZ HAD NO CHANCE
France now launch a counter attack...
ARGENTINA COME SO CLOSE!
Acuña wins a corner... into the final minute
Argentina attack... cut out
MBAPPE SENDS MARTINEZ THE WRONG WAY TO DRAW LEVEL
IT IS 3-3!!!!
I CANNOT BELIEVE THIS GAME
Mbappé steps up...
YES! PENALTY FOR FRANCE!!!!!!!!
HANDBALL! IS IT A PENALTY for FRANCE???
MacAllister off for Pezzella
Corner for France, good work by Konaté.
Cleared away... for now
Paredes is booked for the tackle.
Free kick for France near the halfway line.
Now there's a fight, after Camavinga is fouled by Paredes...
Argentina hold the ball in the corner, some great timewasting here.
Konaté on, Varane off
Varane is on the floor, he can't continue.
Now France go again on the offensive, like before.
Ok, I'll explain. Lautaro was played through on the right channel and he hit a shot that Lloris saved. It looked initially offside but he was just OK, by inches.
Messi got on the end of the rebound and although the defender cleared off the line, the referee's goal-line technology gave the goal!
MESSI MAY HAVE WON HIS TEAM THE WORLD CUP.
IT LOOKED LIKE IT DIDN'T GO OVER THE LINE... BUT THE REFEREE GIVES THE GOAL.
MESSI GOT ON THE END OF THE SAVE FROM LLORIS AFTER LAUTARO'S SHOT!
MESSI MESSI MESSI MESSI MESSI
Save from Lloris!
Messi had a shot from distance but it was a comfortable stop from the goalkeeper.
Argentina attack down the left before switching play to the right.
The cross comes in from Montiel but it is high above the heads of everyone.
And we're back underway again, again, again!
The final 15 minutes of the World Cup final.
Argentina 2-2 France
Half time of extra time!
Argentina 2-2 France
Now for always exciting on-pitch team talks. An underrated part of football.
LAUTARO MISSES AGAIN!!!
ONE ON ONE, HE SAYS IT DEFLECTED. SHOT PUT WIDE.
1 added minute. Corner cleared.
DOUBLE CHANCE FOR ARGENTINA!!!!
LAUTARO MISSES FROM 12 YARDS OUT BEFORE VARANE HEADS OVER THE VOLLEY THAT CAME AFTER. CORNER!
Paredes has slot himself in between the two centre-backs in an attempt to help with build up and aid in keeping people back in case of Kylian Mbappé.
Acuña whacks a shot high and wide. Koundé kept with him to defend well.
DePaul and Álvarez OFF
Lautaro and Paredes ON
Despite the result and the nerves and everything else, the Argentinian fans continue to sing like crazy. Fair play to them, it's been a great atmosphere.
Offside given after a few French crosses are hooked into the box. Argentina are given a breather...
Corner for France, Messi headed out of play.
Kolo Muani tries to be Mbappe but gets tackled on the edge of the box.
Mbappe takes the ball and does his best impression of, well, himself, jinxing past two challenges.
Coman crosses, Romero heads away. Both teams finding space in the wide areas.
Chance for Argentina!
A cross from Acuña almost finds the heads of three players, before it gets cleared.
Mbappé called offside after finding space behind Romero, who looks to have fouled the striker in the build up.
Camavinga is a lovely player, he moves like he's gliding down a bowling alley.
A couple of attempted attacks from each side that all break down instantly. Nerves everywhere.
Now it's Argentina who can't keep the ball. De Paul plays a nervous pass forward and Upamecano gets in the way to win back possession.
Attack from Argentina...
Cut out by Camavinga, who tackles Messi on the edge of the box.
Mac Allister hits a bouncing ball towards Lloris but it deflects wide after hitting his teammate.
Argentina win another free kick, wide on the right, after Thuram clashes with Montiel.
Foul on De Paul by Rabiot. It's been a great mini battle between those two.
Well, here we go again, again!
Montiel is coming on for Argentina. Molina out.
I'm shaking. What a game of football. France have grown 600 sizes and look deadlier than ever, but Argentina are still finding spaces behind their defence.
Extra time coming up!
Attack for Argentina! I can't take this!
The ball bounces just too high for Messi, who fails to control it.
France launch a counter attack but the referee blows it back for a foul by Acuña. What a favour the referee did there, Mbappé was waiting to be released...
Messi fired a bullet from the central space and Lloris got a strong hand to it. Corner
LLORIS SAVE FROM MESSI
WHAT A SAVE
WHAT A SAVE
Now Argentina attack!! Cleared away by Rabiot.
Mbappe nearly gets away!! He gives the ball to Kolo Muani who is one on one but trips over the ball
MARTINEZ SAVES!!! ARGENTINA ARE ON THE ROPES.
Great from Coman to get down the left side. Martínez did well to save the cross from going anywhere dangerous.
CHANCE FOR MBAPPÉ. SHOOTS OVER.
Camavinga and Thuram have given this team a new energy.
Corner for France...
The cross is cleared.
Free kick for France, 35 yards out, after a foul on Thuram.
The Argentina fans continue to sing as their team launches an attack down the left, which rolls out of play.
8 added minutes.
Into the last minute.
France attacking again...
Mbappé has 7 goals in 7 games now.
Rabiot is down holding his neck.
France with another dangerous attack but it looks like the referee got the call right. It was Thuram booked, not Camavinga.
PENALTY SHOUT FOR FRANCE!!!!!
Thuram booked instead.
Good bye match report! Goodbye player ratings! Nobody dares do anything!
France look like the most dangerous side the world has ever seen!
I don't know what minute it is, nor where I am anymore... but I can't take my eyes off this game.
France attack again...
KOLO MUANI ALMOST CONNECTS WITH A HEADER
The game is broken.
France attack, then Argentina, then France again.
Unbelievable. What a turnaround.
Argentina haven't even collapsed, but FRANCE ARE JUST NOT ABLE TO BE KILLED.
MBAPPE PLAYS A ONE TWO WITH THURAM ON THE EDGE OF THE BOX AND HE SLAMS THE VOLLEY INTO THE FAR CORNER
I HAVE NO WORDS.
Madre mía, that came from nothing...
Now France are on the attack!
Mbappé sends the penalty low to the left and Martínez can't stop it despite diving the right way!
A clear foul from Otamendi, who scrambled back to chase Kolo Muani...
Mbappe to take
OTAMENDI FOULED KOLO MUANI
OH MY! PENALTY FOR FRANCE!!!!!!
It's Argentina who are now playing France at their own game, waiting like patient alligators before snapping forward in a counter attack.
France look lost. They are absolutely shocked to the bones in this game by Argentina's intensity and confidence. Nobody had been able to match them until today, but boy, how Messi and co. have battered them to a pulp.
Tchouaméni slams into Romero. Ouch.
Camavinga is at left-back.
SAVE FROM LLORIS!
Messi squirms as Messi does before laying off Enzo, whose shot from the edge of the box is saved.
The confidence Argentina are showing is radiating from their shirts.
Theo and Griezmann OFF
Coman and Camavinga ON
Mbappé has a shot!
He skips inside the box before launching a frustrated effort above the bar.
The fourth official holds up the subs board, expecting the changes to be allowed by the referee, who waves to play on.
The referee equivalent of going to shake someone's hand who gives you a fist bump.
France are preparing more changes...
A now-or-never dice roll from Deschamps.
Kolo Muani connects, making that France's first shot of the game.
A dodgy clearance from Otamendi spins high and over his goal. Corner for France.
France with some possession at the back, trying to work it through Argentina's wall.
How does Messi do it? And by 'it', I mean everything.
He took the long way round the defender when playing a one-two with Mac Allister, but still managed to make it before his opponent.
Ángel Di María OFF
He might have just won his country a World Cup.
Marcos 'The Egg' Acuña ON
HUGE CHANCE FOR ARGENTINA!!! SAVED!!
Wow! Messi slides a pass to Julián who lays off Mac Allister, bursting through the middle. Hugo Lloris comes to the rescue, clattering the ball away.
9 shots for Argentina, 5 on target.
0 for France.
The stadium is one huge party, right now. They haven't stopped singing all game.
CHANCE FOR MESSI. GREAT WORK BY DI MARÍA AGAIN.
Koundé is having a horror show against Di María. The winger hit a cross from the left, Messi connected but his shot went wide.
Chance for Álvarez!
Messi slipped a pass through the French defence and boy wonder Julián took a big touch to the left before firing a low shot that hit the side netting.
A frustrated Mbappé fouls pantomime villain, De Paul.
Kolo Muani with nice footwork on the right side.
Tackled instantly after.
De Paul, now back on his feet, is having a word with the offender, Rabiot. I bet he's not saying very nice things.
Rabiot booked for a scissor challenge on De Paul. An orange card for me, that one.
De Paul is still on the ground.
BIG MISTAKE FROM EMI MARTINEZ!
France almost have a chance to score from the halfway line after a bad clearance from Dibu, but since nothing is going well for France, they mess up the chance.
Messi takes his time before whipping a corner to the frontpost, again. I think I've found something he can't do!
That is a joke.
Corner for Argentina, won by De Paul.
Cleared. Argentina counter.
Theo accidentally lets the ball run out and it's a throw for la Albiceleste near the corner flag.
A 'chance' (it wasn't really) for France, but it was the best they've had. Mbappé on the right side wins a corner, but it was excellently defended.
A quick break down the left gets switched to the other side: De Paul leaps acrobatically, but his shot is saved.
CHANCE FOR ARGENTINA!
DE PAUL VOLLEY - SAVED!
The Argentina press is shattering the game for France, they can't build up at all...
Dibu Martínez grabs onto the ball and holds onto it. I'm not sure he knows what it looks like, he's seen it so little since the game started.
Mac Allister goes close!!!
Lloris got out well to catch the ball that was chipped through a gap in the defence; the Brighton man was through on his own.
And Argentina attack immediately...
Here we go again! Messi kicks us off for the second half.
Argentina 2-0 France
The players are back out on the pitch!
The last time a World Cup final was 2-0 at half time was France vs Brazil in 1998; Les Bleus went on to win 3-0.
It is going to take a lot for France to get back into today's final, Argentina have them beat in every area of the pitch.
Iker Casillas is on the pitch, showing everyone the World Cup trophy. It's incredibly shiny.
Sofascore's HT ratings:
I'm going to furiously email and ask why Di María hasn't got an 11 out of 10 for that performance.
Argentina 2-0 France
What a performance from Argentina!
That was brilliant from the South American side, and Di María in particular. They absolutely bossed France, who haven't had a sniff at goal. Mbappé has been silenced, as has Griezmann and nothing says desperate from Deschamps like those two early substitutions to mix things up.
Let's see how they get on in the second half, but if it is anything like the first, where Argentina have dominated in possession, territory and threat, then France could be in for an even worse evening.
How do you say debacle in French?
Close! Nobody arrives but it looked like it was whipped in dangerously.
Free kick for Griezmann to cross in...
Enzo booked for being a pest.
Last minute of the half.
France try to break away with Kolo Muani, but he's fouled.
I haven't said much about the added time but it's because Argentina just keep kicking the ball out for throw ins.
Deschamps has got a very angry face on right now.
Thuram shows his teammates that if you run with the ball, it goes closer to goal. Some of his friends then try it, but they run into the defenders instead of around them.
France have not had a single chance all half. Super impressive from Argentina in all areas.
Thuram, by virtue of being a busy body, manages to find some space down the left. His cross is blocked.
7 minutes added.
Messi absolutely fires himself back to defend as France get a few yards closer to goal, tackling Kolo Muani. Could be the biggest cheer of the night, that.
We're into the last minute of the half, and France have had their longest sequence of possession so far, about 90 seconds.
Di María, again with space on the right, works it well but Koundé sees it out for a goal kick.
Wow, that is bold from Deschamps, who is obviously not happy.
That's the most obvious thing I've ever said in my life.
SUBS FOR FRANCE!
Dembélé and Giroud OFF!
Kolo Muani and Thuram on.
Koundé fouls Di María, who has been utterly superb all half.
5 to go until half time.
Argentina have bossed this game. They've seen France want to give them the initiative, well they've taken it and have shoved it down their throats!
France look shellshocked! This atmosphere is like the most daunting away game on the planet!
If the Lusail Stadium bounces any more, it will end up in the Gulf!
A PERFECT COUNTER ATTACK
Messi flicks to Julián, who plays it to Mac Allister. The Brighton midfielder burns down the right channel on his own before laying off a perfect pass to Ángel Di María who scores his first goal of the World Cup
ÁNGEL DI MARÍAAAAAAAAAAAAA PUTS ARGENTINA 2-0 UP IN THE WORLD CUP FINAL
5 shots for the South Americans so far, 2 on target. Nil poi for France.
France just haven't got going so far. Argentina seem to have them at arm's length.
We know what that means.
Messi goes on that run inside from the right, scaring every soul in France except Upamecano, who challenges well.
Uff, lovely from De Paul, who looks as though he is about to give up possession but instead flicks it to Messi, completing a lovely one-two. Argentina turning on the style against France's press.
The ball is opened to Di María, but his cross is too high for Julián Álvarez, who is not 8 metres tall, and it flies out of play.
The Argentinian muchachos song rings around the ground. Now that's a tune, never mind the official anthem.
He's back on and immediately forces a corner. Quite good, isn't he.
He's back on now. All good.
Messi has come off as it was a head injury.
Messi is holding his face after that. Seems to have taken a knock. For now, he looks OK.
Cleared away. Messi fouled in the process and the referee has blown for a free kick to Argentina. Theo clashed with him as they challenged for the ball.
Free kick for France, 40 yards out. Griezmann to cross in from the right.
DiMaría, despite the doubts that surrounded his inclusion, has been the difference-maker so far. He wormed past his marker then like, well, Messi.
The stadium is rocking on all four sides. What a fantastic atmosphere.
Argentina 1-0 France
Di María made a great run from the left side into the box and Dembélé tripped him from behind. The referee didn't hesitate to blow his whistle.
Argentina have started the better side and now it's up to France to get themselves back into the game.
HE SENDS LLORIS THE WRONG WAY, PUTTING THE BALL TO THE BOTTOM RIGHT CORNER.
THE STADIUM HAS JUST ERUPTED
Penalty confirmed, Messi to take...
DEMBELE FOULED DI MARIA
PENALTY TO ARGENTINA!!!!!
How does Messi take so many steps in such little time? It's like watching a millipede run.
GIROUD JUST OVER THE BAR!!!
I swear these French players read this feed and decide to attack just as I say they're being quiet.
There you go, again! Theo bursts down the left wing and De Paul brings him down in a dangerous area out wide. Free kick.
France, apart from that half-half-chance from Mbappé, which wasn't even that, have had pretty much nothing to show for so far.
But we know what that means. Watch out for them.
CHANCE FOR ARGENTINA!
Messi finds De Paul down the right who puts the ball back across goal. Di María arrives inside the box but he hits it with his right foot and the ball flies over the bar.
Over 50% of possession for Argentina, who are passing it around the back, looking for gaps in the French block.
Messi almost slips in Di María!
Ah, offside. Good work nevertheless from Koundé to spot the pass.
There we go. France spring into action as Mbappé links up with Rabiot on the edge of the box. Argentina defended well.
So far, Argentina have had the better possession, but those pesky French rattlesnakes know where to hide before they pounce.
A lovely ball from Messi out wide to Di María causes some trouble for the France defence, but Tchouaméni covers well.
We're back underway.
Lloris is sat on the pitch, taking a minute to get his breath back. Signals he's OK to continue.
Lloris is down after being shoved by Romero in the corner mosh pit.
The corner is poor from Messi. It falls to De Paul who whips a cross in, but the mess of bodies in the box causes the referee to blow his whistle.
CHANCE FOR DE PAUL!! CORNER!
He had the ball on the edge of the box and struck a shot that deflected wide.
Di María breaks away down the left but Dembélé tracks back well
France have had a few passes from the back intercepted by the Argentinian midfielders in the opening minutes. Scaloni's team are pressing well.
It's a nervous start from everyone, with lots of frantic pressing from both sides.
Messi penalised for a foul on Theo.
Mac Allister finds space on the edge of the box and hits a shot. Lloris saves easily.
Di María has started on the left and is up against Koundé. He looks very lively.
Messi fouled by Upamecano after they both jumped for a header.
FIRST CHANCE OF THE GAME FOR ARGENTINA!!
De Paul chips over for Álvarez but he misses the ball. Offside.
Ooohh! Dibu Martínez takes a while to kick the ball away and Griezmann nearly caught him out!
First foul of thr game from De Paul on Rabiot.
France are pressing very high up the pitch in a 4-3-3 as Argentina play around at the back.
Tchouameni immediately fires a long ball towards the left corner and it's a throw for Argentina.
The World Cup final has begun!
Griezmann kicks us off from right to left.
Here are the lineups:
France XI: Lloris; Koundé, Varane, Upamecano, T.Hernandez; Griezmann, Tchouaméni, Rabiot; O.Dembélé, Mbappé, Giroud.
Argentina XI: Martínez; Molina, Romero, Otamendi, Tagliafico; Di María, De Paul, Fernández, Mac Allister; Messi, Álvarez.
We are ready to go!
Argentina in their home shirt, white shorts and white socks; France in dark blue from head to toe.
Here they come! The two squads are lined up, waiting for the national anthems.
Argentina first, and it is absolutely belted out by the majority of the stadium. And Messi, who screamed it.
Now for France, a very happy tune as well. Well sung by all, albeit a bit quieter than the 40,000 Argentina fans, as you might expect.
The players are in the tunnel. Serious faces all round.
The World Cup final is about to begin!
The pre-match light show is underway!
Yes, the huge World Cup is there, don't worry.
French president Macron in the house
French president Emmanuel Macron ready for the final against Argentina, with his wife Brigette alongside him.
Team warm ups are over!
Both sides have retreated to the dressing rooms and are now having their final team talks - we've only got 15 minutes to go!
I just got all nervous when I looked at the clock - there is less than half an hour to go!
So, who is the most likely team to win? Check out the odds. Oh, and an attempt at a prediction.
Yes, I know I like to speak about Griezmann a lot
He has been the player of the tournament for some (me) and once you look at the range in those statistics, where he contributes so heavily both in attack and defence, you can see why!
Here's official confirmation of the Argentina lineup:
Just as the squad takes their first steps on the pitch... the noise in the Lusail Stadium just jumped up to crazy levels! 40,000 screams of joy!
France are out for the warmup!
Both squads have started to get ready for the game, but there are still plenty of seats to be filled. Apparently there are problems with the metro for fans arriving at the stadium.
France were loudly booed as they came out of the tunnel - the majority of fans inside the stadium are Argentina shirt wearers.
Acuña is not in the starting XI for Argentina due to injury.
I *think* it's finished. I can only hear the Argentina fans now, who seem to have enjoyed that greatly.
I'm finding it quite hard to keep up with which pop singer is on now, but there's someone spinning round in circles wearing a huge body warmer, who I believe is Davido.
During the chorus of the song, I've realised that it's what I've been humming away to all month without noticing. There you go.
The exercise balls actually have little drone arms on them, and the Argentina and France balls have now flown away. I'd like to see Messi try to score with one of those.
Here comes the 'Official World Cup song', with *checks notes* Davido, Aisha, Ozuna and Gims.
Now there are lots of people on the pitch with huge exercise balls of all the flags of the World Cup, forming a circle, spinning round.
The closing ceremony is underway!
We've got a singer doing a nice version of What a Wonderful World. It sounds good, they should get her on the national anthems later.
Now there are some flying whales, seriously.
Today is a special day in Qatar for two reasons, one of them the World Cup final (of course), but do you know the other?
One hour to go!
The team news is in, both squads are in the stadium that is filling up as we speak (I'd say it's about halfway to being full)... the countdown is well and truly on!
They have Argentina down in a 4-4-2 shape, which would put Álvarez up with Messi and Di María further back. He will have a tough job on his hands today with Molina to keep Mbappé quiet!
Here is the official confirmation of the France XI:
Theo, Varane, Rabiot, Upamecano and Tchouaméni have all overcome their problems and have been deemed fit to play.
France XI confirmed!
Koundé - Varane - Upamecano - Theo
Tchouaméni - Rabiot - Griezmann
Dembélé - Mbappé - Giroud
The France squad have arrived at the stadium
Les Bleus may already be at the stadium, but the Argentinian fans are the ones making all the noise!
The Argentina team is in!
Molina - Romero - Otamendi - Tagliafico
Mac Allister - Enzo - De Paul
Di María - Messi - Álvarez
The last time they met...
Will we have another game like this one?
France, with an incredibly young-looking Kylian Mbappé, came out on top of a crazy match in 2018. Both Messi and Kylian himself had a huge part to play in the goals.
Of course, Argentina were eliminated here, and France went on to win the trophy with their star-studded squad.
The French dressing room is ready...
The countdown is well and truly on! Just over 90 minutes to go!
Diego Maradona in Mexico...
Can Messi cement himself into history even further with an iconic photo like this one?
The 1986 World Cup final at the Estadio Azteca was the culmination of one of the greatest individual sporting performances ever seen: Maradona in Mexico has gone down as one of the most important periods of football history. It was a time in which Diego carried the team to the final, putting in match-winning moments of genius time after time, dancing round defences and scoring impossible goals in games of extremely high pressure and an entire nation's dreams riding along with him. Remind you of anyone?
Since we don't know yet, here's how Argentina could line up, given the injuries and suspensions within Scaloni'ssquad.
The manager has a choice to make on how he will start the game, as we have seen various versions of his team so far at the World Cup. Against the Netherlands , Scaloni went with a back 5 to neutralise Dumfries, which worked well. Against Croatia , he flooded the midfield and played Paredes in a 4-4-2.
What will we see today? How will he try to stop France's fantastic four?
We've got some early team news...
It looks as though the Camel Flu that has flown throughout the squad has, well, flapped its wings and gone off to the horizon. That's a pretty much full-strength XI for France, if L'Équipe have got it right.
There is a lot of talk about the two teams having two stars on their shirt and that at the end of the day one of them will have three, but what do they mean and where do they come from?
Just two hours to go!
OK, plus a couple of minutes.
If you've just joined us, welcome to the AS live feed of the World Cup final between Argentina and France!
It's Joe here and I'll be providing all the details of the game!
Jorge Valdano won the World Cup with Argentina - and Maradona - in 1986, scoring the second goal in a crazy 3-2 win over West Germany.
He analysed Sunday’s final and the battle between Messi and Mbappé.
When it's all over, we're going to play a game
I'm not wishing away the game, far form it, I'm just giving you a warning!
My team of the tournament is coming up after the game's finished, with one player from each nation maximum - but I want to see yours!
Get in touch @English_AS or @j4brennan on Twitter.
We were always going to do it at some point, right?
Here are the two kings, the figureheads of each team, one the present, the other the future.
Messi vs Mbappé in the World Cup final, both with the chance to make history in different ways is something you might try to achieve on a video game with heavy levels of in-game manipulation and control over both controllers. But it's real, it's genuinely happening today and when you stop to look at the numbers, it becomes incredibly obvious as to why it has occurred.
Messi currently leads Mbappé in overall rating, and in terms of the eye test, the Argentinian looks in a hotter streak of form than his PSG teammate, coming into the final on the back of match-winning performances in multiple knockout rounds of the competition.
Mbappé has somewhat stalled in the latter stages of the competition after a whirlwind start to his World Cup campaign. Yes, he set up Kolo Muani's tap in against Morocco for the majority of the game he was reasonably quiet and the same goes against England, where he was kept tame by Southgate's system.
The biggest difference in the statistics shown in the graphic is key passes, with Messi averaging a mind-bogglingly high 3 per game; Kylian is just under 2. This owes to the Argentinian's importance in how he functions within the system: Scaloni's team plays to Messi and for Messi. Specific players within the system (I'm looking at you, Rodrigo De Paul) change their role minute by minute to suit whatever it is Messi needs, whether it be to cover him, manipulate space, create doubt in the opposition player's mind by giving them another player to mark, or simply move away from Messi to give him a chance to play his own game, the chameleonic Argentinian system will warp around their star player to facilitate him.
Player to watch: Julián Álvarez
OK, so the answer is Messi, but let's take a look at Julián Álvarez for something different.
The Manchester City striker, were it not for Messi and his penalties, would be Argentina's top scorer. And he wasn't even supposed to start. Lautaro Martínez was Messi's partner in the first game of the tournament against Saudi Arabia, but is now out of favour in Scaloni's plans.
Álvarez has stepped in wonderfully, getting on the end of assists and having the underrated quality of being in the right place at the right time. His goals against Croatia were the perfect examples of just what he does best: for the first one he did his best Messi impression, glueing the ball to his boot and running wildly down the pitch; the second one was a cool finish after finding enough space in the box for Messi to play the ball to him.
Not a bad comparison!
Maybe a wake up call was the best thing that could have happened to Argentina, as nobody on the team would have wanted angry Messi to come out so early... they'd have wanted to save that guy for the final!
France's injury list: a blessing in disguise?
France came into the tournament with an injury list as daunting as an ancient scroll:
And then Benzema got injured on the eve of the tournament, just before Lucas Hernández tore his knee ligament.
These absences forced Deschamps to change things up, putting in Giroud up top and switching out Lucas for his brother, Theo. The two 'substitutes' have arguably been, along with Mbappé and my boy Griezmann, France's best players during the competition.
Without these players missing, France would not have used Giroud and Griezmann in the way we have seen them and would perhaps not have performed to the same brilliant level. I know, in an imaginary world of impossible-to-prove alternate universes, they could have won every game 6-0 - but they haven't. Instead, they've been brilliant without shining, using an alternative plan, and they've made it all the way to the final.
Hugo Lloris on the verge of making history
France's goalkeeper and captain Hugo Lloris could make history today were he to lift the World Cup at the end of the game.
If so, he would become the first captain to win the World Cup trophy in two consecutive editions.
Only two teams have won consecutive World Cups: Brazil (1958 & 1962) and Italy (1934 & 1938). However, on both occasions the winning captains were different, meaning that Lloris would become the first.
Added to that, he has already become the player with the most appearances ever for France, with 143 games. He is also the goalkeeper with the most World Cup appearances (19), along with Germany's Manuel Neuer. He will break that record today (if he starts).
And the answer is...
Thiago Almada of Atlanta United!
Did you get it?
Pub quiz question #2!
Which current MLS player could get on the pitch at the World Cup final?
(hint: he plays for Argentina )
Messi vs Maradona: the battle for the crown of best ever
Today is, for many people, rightly or wrongly, a chance for Messi to cement himself as the greatest player of all time. Some would say that he's already there, that team trophies - and especially national team ones - shouldn't be counted, as it does not entirely come down to the player but the squad and the moment in which they find themselves.
But for others, to see Messi with the World Cup trophy in his hands, one that has evaded him in the cruellest way possible, one that looked impossible to achieve, would be the crowning moment for his status as the best ever.
It would certainly put him on the same level as Diego Maradona, the player who a lot of people, and Argentinians in particular, saw holds the accolade. He certainly does in term of symbolism, with that famous 1986 win being the image that is plastered across bedroom walls, social media and, most importantly, in the minds of everyone who loves football. Today Messi could have his own.
Here's a delightful graphic from Sofascore that I've pulled out of my bag of tricks which compares the two Argentinian geniuses.
Didier Deschamps said "it helps" to play multiple finals. But which of his players was he talking about?
Here are two pieces about the survivors of each team from their last time in a World Cup final.
The context of a final is always special. There is an emotional side that can be different for every player.
When it's the first final for a player, there are less references and data. Playing in lots of finals helps. The emotional management is important.
In 2018 there were 7 players that are here today. It's not actually the same team as before. I'm not going to compare them, it makes no sense.
Argentina can do different things, but so can we.
Kylian needs calmness, serenity. He's in a great frame of mind.
I am proud and very motivated for the moment we are in. They're very beautiful times to enjoy.
The group is in their best moment yet, at the door of the final. I have the starting XI already decided. Our way of playing goes further than the system and the players that we choose will be the ones we think will do France the most damage.
France isn't just Mbappé. It's a team of players that make him better.
The final is Argentina against France, it's more than Messi against Mbappé. There are other players who can decide the game, not just those two.
And the answer is...
5 goals - Lionel Messi
5 goals - Kylian Mbappé
4 goals - Julián Álvarez
4 goals - Olivier Giroud
Did you get them all? Of course you did, well done.
Before I reveal the answer to the greatest pub quiz question of all time, here's everything you need to know about Szymon Marciniak, today's referee.
Let's have a pub quiz...
I'll be quiz master. We will start off with an easy one:
Who are the current 4 top scorers of the World Cup?
(hint: they could all play today)
Did you know? A curious kit coincidence...
Argentina will be in their famous blue and white striped home shirt for the game today. The French will also be sporting their traditional colour of deep blue, which is nice for all of us who love football shirts and lovely colours.
The last time Argentina wore their home shirt in a World Cup final was 1986, which they won. The other two times they reached the final, in 1990 and 2014, they wore their away shirt. They lost both of those games.
Will this curious kit coincidence continue?
We need to talk about Grizi
I'm going to spoil the fun now before I've even decided on the rest of my awards: Antoine Griezmann is my player of the tournament.
The Atlético Madrid [insert position here] has become the everything-man within Didier Deschamps' team, and the tactical surprise of the World Cup was only put there to fill the tremendous gap left by the three million injuries that France suffered prior to the competition.
It's amazing, Grizi has contributed in both attack and defence like never before: he has the most assists and has the most chances created at Qatar 2022, all while being the defensive scampering dog that helps out with ball recovery.
Against Morocco, he performed 101 pressures (according to Opta) - the most by any French player during a World Cup 2022 game!
Griezmann is key to unlocking defences for France, as he slips past players as they get all shaky about Mbappé and Theo Hernández down the left side. Keep an eye on the boy.
Isn't this lovely!
The cool people at Sofascore have prepared this very snazzy graphic so we can hold hands and walk down memory lane, remembering all the fun we had along the journey to the World Cup final.
You like it? There's more to come. Trust me. I've got loads.
Here is everything Didier Deschamps had to say in the build up to the game, including whether or not Ballon d'Or winner Karim Benzema is set to return to the squad for the final.
Team news: Argentina
Suspended pair Marcos Acuña (also known as 'the egg') and Gonzalo Montiel served their suspensions in the Croatia victory and will be ready to return to the side, should Scaloni choose to do so.
Ángel Di María is as fit as he is can be and will most likely feature at some point, even if he doesn't start. My inkling is that Scaloni will choose a midfield four of Mac Allister, Enzo, De Paul and Paredes, but there could be some surprises.
Papu Gómez is a doubt for the game and may not be fit to play, but we're not sure.
Leo Messi seems to be fit, despite holding him hamstring and giving us all a fright against Croatia.
Team news: France
"With regards to the virus from yesterday, the players are still sleeping so I can’t tell you", said Deschamps in his pre-match press conference, when asked about the fitness of Coman, Upamecano, Varane and Konaté, who all appear to be suffering from the Camel Virus that has affected the French squad. Rabiothas also been affected by the virus and missed the Morocco game, but should be well enough to play.
As such, they are all doubts for the game.
In terms of injuries, Theo Hernández and Aurelién Tchouaméni missed training in the week and were doubtful for the match, but they should be OK to play.
The newest and worrying-est news is that Olivier Giroud is a doubt for the final with a slight kneeinjury. Missing one of the fantastic four would be a huge blow for France and Mbappé in particular, who uses Giroud's amazing powers of attraction to his benefit, taking advantage of the space left behind.
Argentina: the story so far
Do you remember that Saudi Arabia game? It feels so long ago but the feeling of my eyes dropping down and falling out of my mouth in shock is still there.
After the game, Messi was asked for his thoughts:
"The truth? Dead. It’s a very hard blow because we did not expect to start in this way.’ We expected to get the three points that would have given us calmness. Things happen for a reason. We have to prepare for what is coming, we have to win, and it depends on us."
They put away Australia in slightly less convincing fashion than France had done before going all the way to penalties with the Netherlands: you rememberthat Wout Weghorst goal, right?
Croatia came next, last time's runners-up, in a match that had all the makings of a tough affair for Scaloni's team. But they pierced through them with a bit of Messi sprinkled throughout, who rotated (defender of the tournament) Gvardiol's soul in his ribcage before laying the ball off to Julián Álvarez to make it 3-0.
France: the story so far
Les Bleus , as mentioned, have made it this far by being brilliant in moments, like fireworks, if that's your thing.
Their first result of the tournament, a 4-1 win over Australia, led us all to believe that they would be a fluid attacking unit that relentlessly went about like a giant dinosaur, scything teams to shreds. But no. They're something much scarier than that.
Much scarier than a dinosaur? Yes. Against Denmark they slept under the water and waited for the dark horses to come and have a drink at the lake, getting too close before they jumped out and grabbed them, dragging them in. They beat the Danes 2-1 with a Kylian Mbappé double. With qualification already confirmed, they lost the final game 1-0 against Tunisia having fielded a heavily changed side.
A 3-1 win over the most lacklustre Poland side ever in the Round of 16 was a routine performance, before they squeezed past England using all of their best tricks, namely that attacking front 4. Griezmann teed up Giroud for a header late on but it was a Harry Kane penalty that went into orbit that meant Deschamps side carried on in the tournament.
Then came the surprise of the tournament, Morocco, and we saw the real France. With an early goal in their pocket they sat back, allowing the Atlas Lions all the rule of the pitch, before a late Kolo Muani tap in crushed the dreams of everyone's new favourite country.
And now they're here, in the final. Waiting to crush Argentinian dreams.
World Cup Final preview:
This is, as you might expect, quite a tough one to call. France have worked their way through the World Cup being quite unspectacular in a very spectacular way. They don’t dominate the ball, using a Pep Guardiola style 2-3-5 to attack like interchanging butterflies twisting in formation. Instead, they wait. Like sleeping lions. 18 hours a day of rest, if needs be. They allow you to control the ball, mark your territory, maintain the tempo you want, how kind of them. Then they snap.
And when that crazy front 4 get going, nobody has the antidote. Kylian Mbappé, Olivier Giroud, Antoine Griezmann and Ousmane Dembélé will tear you apart just as you get comfortable in your chair, and you can’t do anything about it. Against Morocco the story was just like that. The reigning champions sat back, relaxed, with a lovely cup of tea, and decided to strike when Mbappé hopped, skipped and squirmed through 15 defenders before his deflected shot was tapped in to make it 2-0.
Against the French, you don’t get to choose how you play. It’s like building a house of cards with a petulant child, it doesn’t matter how long you spend lining them up, one on top of the other, if the kid wants to blow it down, they will.
Argentina , though, have a magic key. Like a fantasy film, they always use the get-out-of-jail superpower that just so happens to perfectly suit what they need to do. La Albiceleste have that in a player who is really good at football. It’s like they brought him on purpose. I don’t even need to name him.
Yes, Messi can decide the came in a moment of genius, which is what might well happen, and Scaloni will know that. But he will also be aware that France too love to do exactly the same thing with their PSG forward, so his team might reflect some feelings of precaution. It could probably come in the shape of a midfield 4, with Paredes dropping in instead of Ángel Di María, who will feature at some point, just maybe not from the start.
Here’s a couple of in-depth tactical breakdowns of the two teams:
Today's coverage is going to be humungous. We'll have everything from stats to predictions to lovely pictures of footballers, and more.
Thanks again for joining and thank the clouds Morocco didn't make it because otherwise I'd be on the Bono pun train all day long. We'd (I'd) be digging around in B-sides and unpublished newsletters for anything, so at least we don't have that.
My, oh my, welcome to the World Cup final coverage from AS. It’s Joe here today and I’ll be guiding you through all the laughter, tears and most importantly, the football, of the day.
How do I say this in a non-screaming yet very loud and excited way?
It’s the World Cup final!
Yes, Argentina vs France go up against each other for the third golden star, the golden trophy and lots of gold confetti in game 64 of 64 of this, the strangest tournament we’ve ever seen, Qatar 2022. But what a final we have.