The Argentina-France World Cup 2022 final will take place on Sunday, December 18, at the Lusail Aiconic Stadium in Lusail.
Regardless of one’s personal attitude toward Lionel Messi, it is impossible to deny that this World Cup, and especially the final, revolves largely around his figure. Will Leo be able to become world champion or will he remain without the trophy? Another legendary footballer, Cristiano Ronaldo, who has never won the World Cup, had already said goodbye to his dream when Portugal crashed out in the quarterfinals, losing to Morocco with a minimum score. Messi, like Ronaldo, had also declared that this was his last World Cup, and he confirmed this after the semi-final. At the same time, Lionel said exactly about his last match at the World Cups, and not in the Argentina team as a whole.
At this tournament, both finalists have won all but one match. Argentina, meanwhile, started with a defeat, relaxing too much after dominating the first half against Saudi Arabia (with poor execution) and eventually losing 1:2. After that, Mexico and Poland were beaten in games with no margin for error – assuming that the Argentines surely wanted to take first place and not go against the same French already in the 1/8 finals. In the playoffs, Messi and company did not easily defeat Australia, lost 2-0 with the Netherlands, but still came out stronger in the penalty shootout, and then unexpectedly defeated Croatia (3-0).
In the group, the French defeated the Australians and the Danes, before losing to Tunisia 0-1 in a match that had no tournament significance. At the start of the playoffs, Kylian Mbappe’s double helped to deal with Poland, which finished second in the group with Argentina. Then quite clumsily was beaten England, with Harry Kane scoring one penalty, but blurred the second – and in the semi-finals the Tricolors stopped the Morocco team, which still had the best result among all African teams in the history of the World Cup. By the way, Mbappe had not scored since Poland, and by the final Messi had caught up with him in the list of the tournament’s top scorers – both now have five goals each.
The teams met a little less than 4.5 years ago, in the 1/8 finals of the World Cup in Russia. At that time France prevailed 4:3 in a very bright match, where the initiative changed hands several times. At this World Cup both teams also play effectively, and it is unlikely that a defensive tactic for the final will work for either of them. Yes, the beginning may be cautious, but the exchange of goals and at least three goals scored look very likely here. As for the result, the Argentines in the playoffs, especially in the semi-finals, made a more pleasant impression with their play.
The French bounced back from overtime against the English, while the victory over Morocco was more difficult than the scoreline suggests (2-0). Perhaps the teams will not have enough time, but the Argentines have a better chance to win in 90 minutes. If it comes to a penalty shootout, the unaccustomed Hugo Llauris may wince, but we suggest limiting our bets to the regular time.