Lionel Messi-inspired Argentina win World Cup after beating France in thrilling final


Lionel Messi’s wait for World Cup glory came to an end after Argentina defeated France in a dramatic penalty shootout on Sunday.

It was a final for the ages, with momentum swinging both ways throughout a pulsating 120 minutes before Gonzalo Montiel scored the winning penalty after the game ended 3-3 after extra time.

Messi, playing in his fifth and final World Cup, scored twice, but France’s Kylian Mbappe scored a stunning hat-trick – the first in a final since 1966 – and the two superstars duked it out on the biggest stage.

Messi’s penalty and Angel Di Maria’s first-half goal looked to have leveled the tie, but Mbappé scored two late goals – one from the penalty spot – to send the game into extra time.

Messi looked to have won in the 108th minute as both sides felt the effects of a thrilling final, but Mbappé again equalized from the spot to take the game to penalties.

France’s Kingsley Coman saw his spot-kick saved by Emiliano Martinez and Aurelian Choumeni extended his effort before Montel sealed Argentina’s third World Cup title.

More to follow.

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