Messi vs. Mbappé! World Cup final weekend is here

The final between Argentina and France is a blockbuster, while we also get to see Croatia and Morocco battle for third place
One last step for Argentina's Lionel Messi to be crowned the greatest of all time. (ID 112227056 © Zeytun Images |

After a month of matches, we are down to the finals of the 2022 World Cup.

The tournament has seen surprising early exits of some of the world's top teams, including Germany and Belgium. It even had an inspiring story when Morocco became the first African and first Arab nation to ever reach the semifinals.

But Sunday's final will be played between two very familiar nations in the soccer world.

Argentina and France.

With two previous World Cup titles each, both countries have rich traditions in the sport and superstars galore.

Argentina played in the first-ever final in 1930. France are the defending champions, winning in 2018 in Russia.

They come from South America (Argentina) and Europe (France), the only two continents to ever have World Cup winners.

And they each boast the two leading goal scorers in this tournament: Lionel Messi and Kylian Mbappé.

The greatest ever versus the greatest now

Embed from Getty Images

Though they are teammates at Paris Saint-Germain, Messi and Mbappé will not be showing each other all love on Sunday. (Getty Embed)

Soccer is a team sport, and each of Argentina and France's rosters are loaded with exceptional players (such as Nicolas Otaméndi, Angel Di Maria, Leandro Parades for Argentina, or Antoine Griezmann, Aurélien Tchouaméni, and Olivier Giroud for France).

But there's little ignoring how much this final is all about two players going head-to-head. Messi and Mbappé.

Embed from Getty Images

Kylian Mbappé has scored five times at this World Cup. (Getty Embed)

They both wear the number 10 for their country (which is a hallowed number for players in the sport, often reserved for the team's best creative attacker). Their dazzling quick thinking and unparalleled skills mean that an incredible moment is always potentially seconds away.

They are even teammates in club football, as both play as forwards for Paris Saint-Germain (PSG).

But Sunday will see the two players face-off in a battle of greatness.

Messi is considered by many to be the greatest footballer of all time. Meanwhile, Mbappé is viewed as the greatest player right now. What a matchup!

One last shot

Embed from Getty Images

Against Croatia in the semifinal, Messi had maybe his best game of the tournament. (Getty Embed)

If you're either Argentinian or French, it's pretty clear who you want to win. But for many neutrals (fans without a favourite team in the match), the choice appears clear.

It's Messi.

In seventeen seasons at Barcelona, he won six Ballon D'Or awards as the world's best player (he added a record seventh in 2021 after arriving at PSG). He's won nearly every individual and team award you can name in the sport, and has won most of them multiple times.

But despite all of this greatness, he's never won a World Cup. (Mbappé, on the other hand, won one just four years ago at last World Cup.)

Back home in Argentina, he is loved by all, but he still lives slightly in the shadow of another great player, Diego Maradona. Maradona led Argentina to its only two titles, in 1978 and 1986.

Messi came close to tasting this glory in 2014, when Argentina lost 1-0 to Germany in the final.

Now he's back in a final. And at age 35, this almost certainly his last chance. Add a World Cup title to his already overflowing trophy case, and the beloved icon will have claimed every title the sport has to offer.

The match kicks off on Sunday, December 18 at 10 am EST. And to get your motor running, you can also catch the third-place match between last year's finalist Croatia and, the surprise of the tournament, Morocco, today (Decembr 17), also at 10 am EST.

1 commentWrite a message

Tell US what you think

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *


 :-)  ;-)  :-D  :-(  :-P  :-o  :-x  :-|  :-?  8-)  8-O  :cry:  :lol:  :roll:  :idea:  :!:  :?:  :oops:

The last 10 Sports articles