Argentina win dramatic World Cup final on penalties

 In one of the greatest World Cup finals in tournament history, Lionel Messi finally realized his ambition of winning the World Cup as Argentina won their third title on penalties.

After a magnificent match that culminated in the eagerly anticipated matchup between Kylian Mbappe of France and 35-year-old maestro Messi of Argentina, the game ended in a 4-2 Argentina victory.

The first hat-trick in a Fifa World Cup final since 1966 was scored by France's own superstar, but the team still lost at Lusail Stadium.

Argentina sailed into a two-goal lead, and Messi appeared to be securing the one major trophy still missing from his brilliant collection with ease.

All of this changed when Mbappe, who scored two goals in the final two minutes of this frenzied, wonderful duel for the ages, made an explosive intervention.

Following Ousmane Dembele's foul on Angel di Maria in the 23rd minute, Messi gave Argentina the lead from the penalty spot. He became the only player in the annals of the World Cup to score in the group stage, round of 16, quarterfinal, semifinal, and championship match.

Then, 13 minutes later, Brighton's Alexis Mac Allister set up Di Maria for the second goal after he made a precise touch during a great counterattack.

Up until the very end, Argentina was unchallenged, but Mbappe gave France a chance from the penalty spot with nine minutes left before tying the score with an incredible volley seconds later.

In extra time, Messi gave Argentina the lead again, but Mbappe scored his third goal from the penalty spot two minutes before the end of the frenzied, chaotic period.

As a result, penalties were used, with the two best players scoring first. However, goalkeeper Emiliano Martinez of Argentina and Aston Villa stopped Kingsley Coman before Aurelian Tchouameni missed, giving Gonzalo Montiel the chance to win the World Cup.

Messi, who had finally won the World Cup, fell to his knees in the center of the field and was surrounded by his delighted Argentina teammates.

Tearful Messi reaches peak

As Argentina finished the World Cup final, Messi was at the height of his career, but his fierce adversary Mbappe threatened to derail him and leave him in despair.

Instead, this World Cup handed the legendary Argentine the outcome he desired, cementing Messi's name forever along with a championship game that will go down in history.

In his final World Cup match, Messi dominated for 80 minutes as Argentina dominated a strangely labored France. Messi easily converted his penalty and was a crucial part of Argentina's second goal, a stunning team effort that Di Maria finished off.

Mbappe then arrived. France then followed.

Lionel Scaloni's team had to recover from Mbappe's two blows while the massed columns of Argentina supporters were beginning to celebrate triumph in an atmosphere of amazement.

Inevitably, Messi gave them new hope by scoring a scrambling goal in the area in the second extra period, but Mbappe responded once more, proving he was willing to do the hard job.

However, Argentina won on penalties, and Messi was in the spotlight when Montiel swished the winning penalty past France goalie Hugo Lloris.

Messi broke down in tears and lifted his arms in the air amid raucous celebrations before he vanished beneath a mound of teammates.

After achieving his Holy Grail and adding more proof to the case that he is the best player in the world, Messi then turned to the euphoric crowd of Argentina and addressed them.

Mbappe the history-maker in defeat

Mbappe became the second player to score a hat-trick in a World Cup final, after Sir Geoff Hurst, when England defeated West Germany in 1966, solidifying his place among the game's modern greats. The 23-year-old was nonetheless hurt by his loss, though.

For the first 80 minutes, Mbappe was as anonymous as the majority of his team. He was misplaced in the midst of an unbelievable poor performance from France, who were attempting to become just the third team in history to win the trophy after Italy did so in 1934 and 1938.

Before halftime, manager Didier Deschamps even made two changes, bringing on Marcus Thuram and Randal Kolo Muani in place of Olivier Giroud and Dembele.

Although Mbappe scored France's third goal from the penalty spot after Messi had given Argentina the lead back, it was Mbappe who gave France life in those thrilling seconds when they moved from looking like timid losers to possible champions.

France could have won in a dramatic overtime period in which both teams traded chances, except for a superb last-ditch save by Martinez with his outstretched boot from Muani.

As he was embraced by his teammates and French President Emmanuel Macron at the conclusion of this riveting event, Mbappe will instead find no solace in history.