Messi wins first World Cup as Argentina downs France
Lionel Messi won his first-ever FIFA World Cup on Sunday after Argentina beat France in a penalty kick shootout in the tournament's thrilling final match.
Why it matters: Messi, one of the greatest soccer players of all time, secured the elusive trophy in what is likely his final World Cup.
- Argentina now holds three World Cup trophies, sitting behind only Germany (4), Italy (4), and Brazil (5) for most all-time titles.
What happened: The dramatic final concluded after 90 minutes of regulation, two halves of extra time and a penalty kick shootout.
- Argentina took the lead early and scored twice in the first half. Messi finished a penalty kick and Ángel Di María scored Argentina's second goal.
- In a stunning reversal, France mounted a late-stage comeback and star Kylian Mbappé scored twice in just over 90 seconds in the 80th minute, sending the teams to extra time.
- Messi and Mbappé each scored for their teams during extra time, but neither team pulled away, forcing the game into a penalty kick shootout.
- Argentina beat France 4-2 in the penalty kick shootout.
- Mbappé's hat trick secured him the Adidas Golden Boot award, which is reserved for the player who scores the most goals during the tournament.
Flashback: Argentina stamped its ticket to the final with a 3-0 win over Croatia, overcoming a shaky start to the tournament.
- Argentina lost its opening World Cup match to Saudi Arabia in a shocking upset.
- The team rebounded with 2-0 wins over Mexico and Poland to round out the group stage.
- Argentina struggled slightly in the knockout round. After defeating Australia in a dramatic 2-1 affair, Las Albicelestes were nearly eliminated by the Netherlands in a penalty shootout.
What we're watching: Messi, 35, said earlier this year that the Qatar 2022 World Cup would likely be his final go-around. Now that he's secured the trophy, that seems all the more likely.
- “This will be my last World Cup — for sure. The decision has been made," Messi told Sebastián Vignolo on his show “In First Person."
Of note: Messi made his 26th tournament appearance on Sunday, setting a men's record.
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Editor's note: This story has been updated with additional details.