Lionel Messi achieved the pinnacle of an already star-studded career, lifting the World Cup for Argentina after a dramatic final.
Argentina took a 2-0 lead over France with a first half penalty from Messi and a second half goal from DiMaria, but the score was levelled in the last 10 minutes of regular time with two quick goals from Kylian Mbappe.
Messi added a second goal in the second half of extra time, before Mbappe scored a third of his own from the penalty spot to take the game to a penalty shootout.
The 2022 Qatar World Cup win marks the first time Argentina have won the tournament since Mexico 1986 and finally gives Messi the prize he missed, lifting him out of the shadow of his countryman Diego Maradona.
Lionel Messi caps off a career that’s seen seven Ballon d’Or awards, four Champions League titles, 10 La Liga titles and seven Copa Del Rey wins with Barcelona, as well as the Copa America with Argentina. He has scored over 750 senior goals for club and country, the most goals for a single club.
Messi’s journey to the trophy started back in 2006, but finishes here with his last World Cup game and ends in glory, with his side prevailing on penalties after a final that will surely go down in history as the greatest to date.
Argentina took a two goal lead into the last 15 minutes, before France roared back with two goals from their superstar Kylian Mbappé.
Messi then scored his second of the game and seventh of the tournament, bundling across the line to seemingly secure victory.
That wasn’t to be though, as a handball gifted Les Bleus another lifeline, which Mbappé took.
The 23-year-old Paris Saint German superstar is now just the second player to score a hat-trick in a world final, joining Geoff Hurst who scored three for England in 1966.
Then, Emi Martinez became the hero in the Argentine goal, saving a penalty from Kingsley Coman.
Another missed penalty handed Argentina the opportunity to put Messi at the top of the world in what could be his last international game.
The 35-year-old then looked as happy as he ever has – and why not? – when he lifted the trophy above his head, before he was once again enveloped by his teammates.
He will now surely go down as the greatest player of the modern era, and potentially the best to ever kick a ball.