Lionel Messi is Finally a World Cup Champion

Caleb Pickett, Staff Writer

With the United States soccer team team getting knocked out in the first round of 16 led many Americans to find other countries and players to cheer for as a lot of Americans supported 35 year old Soccer legend Lionel Messi as he had announced publicly this would be his last World Cup and the soccer phenom had never touched the trophy before.

Argentina hadn’t won a World Cup since Mexico 1986 while France was trying to go back to back and defend their World Cup from Russia 2018.


This match had been simplified down into Kylian Mbappé vs. Messi – the 23-year-old French star ready to assume the mantle of the world’s greatest player from his 35-year-old Paris Saint-Germain teammate.


Mbappé was defending France’s 2018 win at the tournament in Russia, Messi was playing in his final World Cup match, looking to claim the trophy which has eluded him for so long and which would enable him to match Diego Maradona’s achievement of winning the 1986 competition.


The opening 79 minutes was all about Messi. Argentina’s captain converted the penalty to give Argentina the lead. Next, his amazing pass that looked like he kicked it with the back side of his foot was key in springing the move which led to La Albiceleste’s second goal for Argentina..


Then in the closing stages of normal time, Mbappé single-handedly took a grip of the game, scoring two goals in two minutes and sending the final to extra time.


Messi looked shot and Mbappé looked like he was just getting going.


Except for the fact that Messi knew he needed to do something big to come home with the trophy as he netted his second goal of the game on a penalty and restored his team’s lead in the 109th minute.


Refusing to accept defeat, Mbappé rallied his teammates, scoring a second penalty to grab his hat-trick only the second ever in World Cup final history and first since 1958 and with that goal he took France to a penalty shootout.


Both Mbappé and Messi scored in the shootout but in the end – with France missing two penalties – it was the Argentina captain who was mobbed by his teammates as his World Cup dream was lived out in real time.


A penalty shootout is arguably unlike anything else in sports – it’s a modern day duel and a World Cup final with so much at stake only heightens the tension and drama.


Over two hours of soccer, these were two players – at two different points of their careers – demonstrating the beautiful game. Many news reporters and sports broadcasters have already been talking this World Cup final might just go down as the best in history.