Lionel Messi wins his World Cup by beating Kylian Mbappe, France
It's about damn time. Lionel Messi led Argentina to their third World Cup title and the first since Diego Maradona left this world to watch La Pulga conquer France from the sky.
The no. 10 of Argentina and no. 30 of PSG made Kylian Mbappe bit the dust with another two-goal performance that looked over by the 80th minute but turned into the greatest final ever played at the largest of stages.
Mbappe, who scored a hat-trick himself, had to go home with his hands empty after having won the World Cup already in 2018 while still a teenager.
Messi, already 35 and clearly closer to retirement than his teens, finally shut all haters' mouths and lifted the ultimate piece of football gold in the Jules Rimet trophy on Lusail soil.
After 64 games played, Argentina ended up winning it all against a France team that looked disinterested and not really invested in winning another World Cup for the major part of the regulation. A penalty brought them into the action and lead to a 2-2 draw when all was said and done and getting into overtime.
Lionel Messi and Argentina became World Cup champions for the third time setting multiple records
With 30 more minutes tucked on and a final 3-3 score, a penalty shootout gave Messi and Dibu Martinez, the best goalkeeper of the World Cup and a class act, the chance to finally win the Cup for Argentina after a long road through the desert. No pun intended.
Messi will now retire having played the most World Cup games ever with 26, sitting all by himself at the top of that particular leaderboard.
Messi, of course, entered the final as Argentina's leading goalscorer (11) in the history of the tournament after overtaking Gabriel Batistuta (10), and added two more on Sunday to bring his tally to 13. Not even Pele (12) can't claim that feat.
Another record that was never seen before but fell to the feet of Messi saw the little genius scoring in each and every phase of the tournament: the group stage, the Round of 16, the quarter-finals, the semi-finals, and the final.
Messi also became the first player in the history of the World Cup to have assisted at least one goal in five different editions of the tournament.
Obviously, that also makes Messi one of five players to have appeared in five World Cups along with legends such as Lothar Matthaus, Rafa Marquez, and Antonio Carbajal.
After the game, Messi said that he has no plans of retiring from international competition and that he would like to play with Argentina as a World Cup champion. And truth be told, he very well deserves it.