Updated Dec 18, 2022 - Sports

Messi wins first World Cup as Argentina downs France

Lionel Messi of Argentina celebrates after scoring the team's third goal during the FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022.

Lionel Messi of Argentina celebrates after scoring the team's third goal during the FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022. Photo: David Ramos-FIFA/FIFA via Getty Images

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.

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.

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.

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