The 2022 FIFA World Cup final was a football game that marked the conclusion of the tournament, which was the 22nd iteration of FIFA’s tournament for men’s national football teams. On December 18, 2022, the game was played in Lusail Stadium which is located in Lusail, Qatar. Argentina won its third World Cup title by defeating France 4-2 on penalties after a 3-3 draw that featured two goals from the 35-year-old Messi and a hat trick from France forward Kylian Mbappé in undoubtedly the most unpredictable final in the 92-year history of the competition.
BEFORE THE MATCH
On December 15, 2022, Polish officials Pawe Sokolnicki and Tomasz Listkiewicz were named as assistant referees, and Szymon Marciniak was chosen as the official referee for the final. Prior to his 2011 appointment as a FIFA official, Marciniak worked as a referee at the UEFA Euro 2016 and 2018 FIFA World Cup, as well as the 2018 UEFA Super Cup. Marciniak presided over the match between Argentina and Australia in the round of 16, as well as the encounter between France and Denmark at the group round of the competition. The 1990 FIFA World Cup Final saw Micha Listkiewicz, the father of Marciniak’s helper Tomasz, serve as a linesman. This was the first time a Polish referee served as the team captain during a World Cup final and the second time a Polish referee was among the officials during such a match. American officials Ismail Elfath and Kathryn Nesbitt were chosen to serve as the fourth official and reserve assistant referee, respectively, while Tomasz Kwiatkowski, a Pole, oversaw the team of video assistant referees. Juan Soto of Venezuela served as the assistant video assistant referee, Kyle Atkins of the United States served as the offside video assistant referee, and Fernando Guerrero of Mexico served as the support video assistant referee. As the stand-by visual assistant referee and stand-by assistant visual assistant referee, respectively, it was the German Bastian Dankert and the American Corey Parker. Recep Tayyip Erdoan, the president of Turkey, and Emmanuel Macron, the leader of France. Additionally present were other FIFA Council members and Gianni Infantino, who serves as the organization’s president. Alberto Fernández, the president of Argentina, reportedly declined to visit Qatar because of possible political fallout. As a result, he did not go. The national anthem of Argentina was sung by Argentine musician Lali Espósito. The French National Anthem was sung prior to the game by Egyptian mezzo-soprano Farrah Eldibany.
At 18:00 local time (15:00 UTC), France kicked off the game in front of an audience of 88,966 spectators. When Ousmane Dembélé fouled Angel Di Mara in the penalty area as he dribbled in from the left in the 23rd minute, Argentina was given a penalty. With a low strike into the right corner, Lionel Messi converted the penalty. Following a ball from Alexis Mac Allister on the right in the 36th minute, Di Maria increased the score to 2-0 by finishing with his left foot over the goalkeeper to the right corner of the net.
In the first half, there were two substitutions made for France and trailed 0-2 at the break. Randal Kolo Muani was hauled down in the penalty area by Nicolás Otamendi, and France was subsequently given a penalty after waiting until after the 79th minute to attempt a goal. The penalty was scored by Kylian Mbappé in the low left corner. Marcus Thuram’s return pass over the top set him up for his second goal, which he scored two minutes later to tie the score at 2-2 with a right foot volley into the right corner of the goal. The game went into extra time with the scores tied. Following Hugo Lloris’ stop on a shot from Lautaro Martnez on the right, Messi scored once more for Argentina in the second overtime period. He raced to the net from close range. After his powerful shot struck Gonzalo Montiel in the arm, Mbappé was given a second opportunity in the 118th minute. Mbappé scored his third goal, and became the second player to score a hat-trick in a men’s World Cup final following Geoff Hurst for England in 1966, with a shot to the left that fooled the goalie. With the score level at 3-3 and Kolo Muani’s late low attempt blocked by Emiliano Martnez, the game was settled by a penalty shootout.
In the penalty shootout, Mbappé and Messi converted the first two of their tries, but Argentina goalkeeper Martnez stopped Kingsley Coman’s shot low to his right. Argentina now leads 2-1 thanks to a goal from Paulo Dybala that went in the middle of the goal. After Leandro Paredes scored, Aurélien Tchouaméni missed the goal with his shot to the left, putting France in danger of losing. During his opportunity, Kolo Muani kept France in the game, giving Montiel a chance to compensate for his late handball by giving Argentina the championship. Argentina won the World Cup for the third time and first time since 1986 when Montiel scored a low, left-side goal. With the exception of substitutes made during halftime, just before extra time began, and during halftime of extra time, each team was permitted just three chances to make replacements, with a fourth chance during extra time. Although France’s goalkeeper Emiliano Martnez did not actually foul any of their players, the fact that the referee gave him a yellow card for acting in an unsportsmanlike manner nevertheless counts as a foul.
- 90 minutes.
- Plus 30 additional minutes if needed.
- a penalty shootout if the scores are still tied.
- Maximum of fifteen named replacements.
- A Maximum of five substitutes, with a sixth permitted during overtime.
- Concussion substitutions are limited to one.
Messi and Mbappé both converted their first penalties for their respective teams. Emi Martinez, the goalkeeper for Argentina, stopped a shot from Kingsley Coman, and when Aurelien Tchouameni missed for France, Gonzalo Montiel had the chance to put the game to an end. He successfully converted the penalty to the left, setting up frenzied celebrations.
AFTER THE MATCH SCENE:
Once their team triumphed in the World Cup, there were raucous parties in the avenues of the Argentine city, Buenos Aires. While placing only behind Brazil’s five titles, Italy’s four, and Germany’s four, Argentina won their 3rd FIFA World Cup trophy, surpassing France and Uruguay in the process. As well as becoming the first defending Copa América champions to win the World Cup, Argentina became the first South American and non-European team to do it since Brazil in 2002. Argentina lost their opening game before defeating Spain to become the second nation to win the FIFA World Cup. Gianni Infantino, the president of FIFA, was present at the awards ceremony on the pitch stage to give the trophy and medals to the Argentina captain Lionel Messi. Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani, the Emir of Qatar, accompanied him along with French President Emmanuel Macron, Claudio Tapia, the president of the Argentine Football Association, Noel Le Graet, Alejandro Dominguez, the president of CONMEBOL, and Aleksander Eferin, the president of UEFA. Messi was handed a bisht (The bisht is a traditional piece of clothing, particularly in Qatar, worn by Arab warriors after a victory in battle, and also by royals) by the Emir before the trophy ceremony, which included the Emir and Infantino presenting him with the trophy. Instead of confetti like in prior competitions, fireworks and lights were used during the trophy presentation, which had a new setting.
As the winner of the game’s MVP award and the Golden Ball award for the best player in the competition, Messi made history by becoming the first person to win the honour twice. He also won the title as the best player of the tournament in 2014. Also, with second-most goals scored at the tournament, seven, he was also given the Silver Boot trophy.
With his appearance, Messi surpassed Lothar Matthäus as the World Cup player with the most appearances. With his goals, Messi joined György Sárosi of Hungary from 1938 as the only players to score in the round of 16, quarterfinals, semi-finals, and championship of a World Cup competition. Following his single goal in the first World Cup final, Mbappé’s hat-trick gave him four goals overall, surpassing Hurst’s three as well as those of Pelé, Vavá, and Zinedine Zidane. While Enzo Fernandez, another member of Argentina’s team, earned the Young Player Award as the World Cup’s top player under the age of 21, Emiliano Martnez, the finest goalkeeper in the competition, received the Golden Glove title as the best keeper of the competition.
In Argentina, there were celebrations all over the place, but especially in the capital city of Buenos Aires and in Messi’s hometown of Rosario. The joy in the roads of Buenos Aires on December 20 following the arrival of the Argentina players drew a crowd that the local media pegged at over 4 million people. France saw nationwide riots in towns like Paris, Lyon, and Nice that were strikingly similar to those that occurred following their victory in 2018 and after wins over England and Morocco early in the tournament.
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