World Cup 2022 reaction LIVE: Lionel Messi ‘to continue’ as Karim Benzema retires from France duty

Messi magic helps Argentina win World Cup 2022 against reigning champions France

Lionel Messi was finally able to end his quest to lift the World Cup trophy, after his Argentina side beat France 4-2 on penalties following a thrilling 3-3 draw after extra time.

The game’s most revered No10 also won the Golden Ball award for the second finals run, while Kylian Mbappe pipped him to the Golden Boot after netting all three of Les Bleus’ goals in Lusail.

While France boss Didier Deschamps says he’ll be delaying any decision on his future until the new year, opposite number Lionel Scaloni had nothing but praise for his players after ending the nation’s wait of more than three decades to win their third World Cup.

There were also tributes paid to the iconic Diego Maradona in the post-match celebrations, with the 1986 winner having passed away two years ago.

Follow all the reaction to the final and the World Cup as a whole in our live blog, below:


‘The people needed this’: Argentines put problems aside to celebrate World Cup win

It was the country’s third World Cup title, and the first since 1986.

“I’m very happy, we really deserve this. The team suffered quite a bit, but it recovered as time went on,” said Josefina Villalba, a 55-year-old nanny who joined hundreds of fans at one of the many public plazas where giant screens were set up to watch the long- awaited match.

Millions of Argentines cried, yelled and hugged as they followed the game, which was a rollercoaster of emotions.

“I feel an immense happiness in my heart because this is the first World Cup I truly enjoy,” Hector Quinteros, a 34-year-old security guard, said as his eyes welled up with tears. This always happens. They always make us suffer.”

Karl Matchett19 December 2022 22:30


Emiliano Martinez: How good is Argentina’s goalkeeper at saving penalties?

The Aston Villa keeper has won four successful shoot-outs with club and country, with his last defeat coming in 2019 when he was with Arsenal.

Argentina beat both the Netherlands and France on penalties to seal their World Cup victory, with Martinez to the fore.

He saved from Virgil van Dijk and Steven Berghuis against the Dutch, marking the second save with a jig of delight, and also denied France’s Kingsley Coman.

Aurelien Tchouameni then fired wide – but only after having to retrieve the ball with a wry smile after Martinez flung it into the corner of the penalty area. The Argentina keeper went on to collect a yellow card in the shoot-out for his continued antics before Randal Kolo Muani’s successful attempt.

Karl MatchettDecember 19, 2022 22:15


World Cup 2022: How Lionel Messi and Kylian Mbappe dominated the tournament

Argentina’s Messi finally got his hands on the trophy in his record 26th appearance at the tournament, but not before France’s Mbappe had become the first man to score a hat-trick in a World Cup final since Sir Geoff Hurst in 1966.

Messi’s seven goals took him to 13 in total, the most by an Argentina player and joint-fourth on the all-time list.

Mbappe, who celebrates his 24th birthday on Tuesday, is set to surpass him having netted eight times in Qatar to take his overall tally to 12 in 14 appearances.

The two number 10s were streets ahead of anyone else at the tournament, with Mbappe top-scoring and Messi adjudged to be the best player in what is set to be his final World Cup.

Karl Matchett19 December 2022 22:00


‘Crazy and cruel’: Newspapers in France react to World Cup final defeat

It had looked as if France had failed to turn up when Argentina took a two-goal lead, but Les Blues He responded as Mbappe scored twice in two minutes before equalising again in extra time.

Given France were champions four years ago and that the outcome resulted in Messi winning the World Cup for the first time, the national newspapers instead reflected on the contribution they had played in making the final the greatest of all time.

Karl MatchettDecember 19, 2022 21:45


Emi Martinez: The grit and the git who won Argentina the World Cup

Emiliano Martinez, world champion. That might have seemed far-fetched four years ago when he sat on the stands as just another Argentinian fan in Russia, watching France win 4-3 in an epic World Cup knockout game.

There Martinez had told his brother sitting next to him that he would be playing in the next World Cup. It was ambitious to say the least. He was then 25, a back-up at Getafe on his sixth loan from Arsenal; Another followed at Reading where his status rose, before an unlikely opportunity opened at Arsenal when Bernd Leno suffered a freak injury.

By 2021 he was Argentina’s No. 1 goalkeeper. Soon he was Copa America champion, his vital saves in denying Richarlison and others at the end of a tense final at Rio de Janeiro’s Maracana, the place where Lionel Messi and co had lost the World Cup final in 2014. Martinez was at the heart of their salvation.

Karl Matchett19 December 2022 21:30


Kylian Mbappe produces the most memorable fight back only to end with the most ingratiating despair

The best World Cup ever, Gianni Infantino had said. It turned out Fifa’s propagandist of a president was merely missing a word. The best World Cup final ever? The case grew stronger as the game grew more illogical, more credibility-defying, more dramatic.

France’s responses – two goals in two minutes of mayhem, a further one in the 118th minute – amounted to the greatest comeback in World Cup final history.

Karl MatchettDecember 19, 2022 21:15


‘We have the best players here’: Lionel Messi’s hometown of Rosario celebrates World Cup win

The streets of Lionel Messi’s hometown of Rosario erupted in celebration on Sunday after Argentina football beat France football to win their third World Cup 2022 title.

“We’re champions, which is all we wanted, more than anything for (Messi) and for the whole team,” Santiago Ferraris, 25, said.

Rosario, just like the rest of the country, was paralyzed during the nail-biting match that ended in a penalty shootout, which Argentina won 4-2.

Karl Matchett19 December 2022 21:00


Deschamps to wait before deciding future

France manager, Didier Deschamps, said he will meet with the French Football Federation in the new year before deciding on whether or not to continue managing the national team.

Les Bleus twice came from behind force the World Cup final into a penalty shootout with Kylian Mbappe bagging a brace in under two minutes to take the match to extra-time before completing a hat-trick to cancel out a supposed winner from Leo Messi.

Deschamps, who has led France to consecutive World Cup finals, as head coach says that he would have been reassessing his future regardless of the final result.

“Even if we had won, I wouldn’t have been able to answer that question tonight,” Deschamps said when asked about his future plans.

“Of course, I am very sad for all my players and staff but I will have a meeting with the president at the beginning of next year and then you will find out.”

Karl MatchettDecember 19, 2022 20:45


‘I’ve written my story’: Karim Benzema hints at international retirement from France

The 35-year-old striker, who has won 97 international caps for France and sits fifth on their all-time scorers list with 37 goals, also played no part in their 2018 World Cup victory.

Benzema was not selected by France for six years, between 2015 and 2021, over his role in an alleged blackmail plot against international team-mate Mathieu Valbuena.

The Real Madrid captain was recalled by France manager Didier Deschamps for the Euro 2020 finals last summer, which also came amid the best form of his career.

Michael JonesDecember 19, 2022 20:30


France set to be greeted by fans in Paris upon return from World Cup final loss

Kylian Mbappe and his teammates, who left Qatar on Monday, are expected to go to the Place de la Concorde in the evening to greet supporters, according to a statement from the French Football Federation.

In contrast with 2018, when France won the World Cup in Russia, the players will not have a parade on the Champs-Elysees avenue.

In his first message published on Instagram and Twitter following Sunday’s defeat, Mbappe posted a photo of himself, head down, behind the World Cup trophy with the message: “We will be back.”

More than 24 million people — eight out of 10 viewers — watched the final on French TF1 television, a record high.

Michael JonesDecember 19, 2022 20:15

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