Doha, Qatar: When France take the field against Argentina this Sunday at the Lusail Stadium in Qatar, it will be one hell of a contest and a joyride.
Both France and Argentina have won two World Cup titles each and now it is time for them to go for the third one. Defending champions France ousted underdogs Morocco on Dec 14, in the all-important semi-finals. With this, the French have made it to the FIFA World Cup finals for the second time in a row.
Both teams have been dominating their games and have been clinical in their ways during the tournament.
While France are the defending champions and are expected to give a run for their money, Argentina carry the weight of not just a nation contemplating to end its 36-year World Cup drought, but also a continent that has not seen World Cup glory since Brazil in 2002.
More importantly, it will be history on the cards for Messi no matter what happens on Sunday.
Leonel Messi will play his second World Cup final on Dec 18, with a chance to lift the sport’s most coveted trophy. The final gives the little magician from Argentina the chance to claim five more records for his enviable collection. He will surpass Lothar Matthäus’ record for most FIFA World Cup appearances with 26 while another fine display will see his legacy get forged as the greatest of all time.
France is playing in a fourth final in a span of seven tournaments — including the 2006 final lost to Italy in a penalty shootout after Zinedine Zidane was sent off. It’s a dynastic era not seen since Brazil’s two decades at the top through 1970.
Mbappe on the flip side has also been the shining light once more for France who have been curtailed with multiple injuries before and during the World Cup. Mbappe has two assists compared to Messi’s three while his overall play has been brilliant having chipped in with important goals at several points in the World Cup.
Messi and Mbappe are also locked in for the Golden Boot battle race for most goals, and are swift contenders to win the Golden Ball as well.