Messi finally claims World Cup glory as Argentina beat France on penalties

Lionel Messi’s wait for World Cup glory is finally over after Argentina's stunning win over France.
Lionel Messi’s wait for World Cup glory is finally over after Argentina's stunning win over France. Copyright Petr David Josek/AP
By Euronews with AP
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Argentina win third World Cup title despite France's Kylian Mbappé scoring the first hat trick in a final in 56 years.

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Lionel Messi’s once-in-a-generation career is complete. The Argentina superstar scored two goals and then another in a shootout as Argentina beat France to be crowned World Cup winners in Qatar.

They claimed their third title despite France's Kylian Mbappé scoring the first hat trick in a final in 56 years.

Now there’s no debate. Messi is definitively in the pantheon of soccer’s greatest-ever players, alongside Pelé - a record three-time World Cup champion from Brazil - and Diego Maradona, the late Argentinan great with whom Messi was so often compared.

Messi achieved what Maradona did in 1986 and dominated a World Cup for Argentina. The torch will one day pass to Mbappé, whose late goals lit up one of the most dramatic finals in the tournament's 92-year history and emulated Geoff Hurst's hat trick for England in 1966, but not just yet.

“Let's go, Argentina!” Messi roared into a microphone on the field in the post-match celebrations after playing in a record 26th World Cup match.

Messi was in scintillating form from the start, putting Argentina ahead from the penalty spot and playing a part in Angel Di Maria's goal that made it 2-0 after 36 minutes.

Mbappé, on the other hand, was anonymous until scoring two goals in a 97-second span - one a penalty, the other a volley from just inside the area - to take the game to extra time.

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