Lionel Messi’s wait for World Cup glory is finally over after Argentina beat France in a dramatic penalty shootout on Sunday.
It was a final for the ages, with momentum swinging both ways throughout a pulsating 120 minutes before Gonzalo Montiel scored the winning penalty after the game had finished 3-3 after extra time.
Messi, playing in his fifth and final World Cup, scored twice but France’s Kylian Mbappé netted a stunning hattrick — the first in a final since 1966 — as both superstars brilliantly slugged it out on the biggest stage of all.
Messi’s penalty and Angel di Maria’s first-half goal looked to have settled the tie but Mbappé scored two late goals — one from the penalty spot — in as many minutes to force the game into extra-time.
With both side’s feeling the effects of the scintillating finale, Messi looked to have scored a winner in the 108th minute but Mbappé, yet again, replied with an equalizer from the spot to take the game to penalties.
France’s Kingsley Coman saw his spot kick saved by Emiliano Martinez and Aurelien Tchouameni pulled his effort wide before Montiel secured Argentina’s third World Cup title.