DOHA: A World Cup final for the ages delivered a crowning glory for soccer icon Messi on Sunday as Argentina beat reigning men’s champion France on penalty kicks in one of the most dramatic sporting events, the teams tied 3-3 after extra time, with the French ultimately missing twice in the shootout before Gonzalo Montiel converted to seal an exhausting and emotional victory.
The game capped a month of sporting drama and geopolitical controversy in Qatar. The tournament featured surprise results and fairy-tale runs, but the final saw two giants of the game compete for the title — headlined by a pair of diminutive stars.
Mbappé solidified his claim as the young pretender to Messi’s throne, with the speedy and skillful forward scoring a hat-trick as France came so close to being the first team to go back-to-back since Brazil in 1962.
But ultimately it was Messi who took the glory, securing the trophy that cements his status as perhaps the game’s greatest ever player as the 35-year-old bows out on the global stage by sealing a third title for his soccer-mad nation.
Lionel Messi is crowned a World Champion after what will go down as one of the best World Cup Final in history! Mbappe gave it his all as he almost single-handedly wrestled the tie away from Argentina but it wasn’t to be.
Argentina XI: E. Martinez; Molina, Romero, Otamendi, Tagliafico; De Paul, Fernandez, Mac Allister; Di Maria, Messi, Alvarez.
France XI: Lloris; Kounde, Varane, Upamecano, T. Hernandez; Tchouameni, Rabiot; Dembele, Griezmann, Mbappe, Giroud.
Commenting on the match, the President of the Saunders Club in Colombo, Rizmi Reyal told Club Times that it was a beautiful game and was a treat to the world football fans. “ Argentina has got back the trophy after 36 years, its their hard work and planning efforts coupled with Lionel Messi’s superb performance contributed to the success of the champion team. Messi has successfully succeeded Maradona,who was one time Argentina’s soccer star, he added.
Greeting the state of Qatar on its National Day, Reyal said that Doha did everything nice to help the participating teams to play in a sportive environment and provided an ideal platform for the teams as well as the spectators to enjoy the Fifa World Cup 2022. (sources:nbcnews)