Messi, Argentina defeat France to win 2022 FIFA World Cup

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Ricardo Mazalan

Argentina's Lionel Messi celebrates at the end of the World Cup quarterfinal soccer match between the Netherlands and Argentina, at the Lusail Stadium in Lusail, Qatar, Saturday, Dec. 10, 2022. Argentina defeated the Netherlands 4-3 in a penalty shootout after the match ended tied 2-2. (AP Photo/Ricardo Mazalan)

LUSAIL, Qatar — Lionel Messi has finally reached soccer’s highest summit.

Argentina defeated France in a penalty shootout on Sunday to win the 2022 FIFA World Cup. This is Argentina’s third World Cup victory ever.

Argentina looked to be in the driver’s seat for the majority of the match and led 2-0 at halftime, but Kylian Mbappe scored twice in the final 10 minutes of regulation to keep France alive.

With the scored knotted 2-2 after 90 minutes, the match went to extra time.

The first 15 minutes came and went with no goals but plenty of chances. Then, at the 110th minute, Messi was able to tap the ball over the goal line to take the lead.

But France was awarded a penalty just eight minutes later after Gonzalo Montiel committed a handball in the box. Mbappe converted to bring things back even and force a penalty shootout.

Both Messi and Mbappe converted their penalties, but Argentinian goalkeeper Emi Martinez stood tall to give his nation a chance to win. With history and redemption at his feet, Montiel converted his penalty kick and brought the World Cup to Argentina for the first time since 1986.

The win checks the last empty box  on a long list of accomplishments for Messi, considered by many to be the best player in the history of the sport. He has won every trophy there is to win with FC Barcelona and has continued his winning ways with Paris St. Germain. For his nation, he brought home an Olympic gold medal in 2008 and won the Copa America last year.

Throughout his career, Messi has been compared fellow Argentinian soccer legend Diego Maradona, who won the World Cup in 1986. Now, Messi has a World Cup to his name as well.