Argentina will face defending champion France in the FIFA World Cup 2022 final at the Lusail Stadium today evening.
Defending champions France have made their way back to the summit of soccer, only to find Messi's Argentina squad at the top with them.
This year's tournament brought plenty of upsets and excitement, the final will ultimately be played between two of the pre-tournament favorites.
Argentina kicked the tournament off with a shocking 2-1 loss to Saudi Arabia. Messi-magic brought them back from the brink of elimination against Mexico before the supporting cast finally stepped up to beat Poland and top the group.
A momentary scare against Australia turned out to be nothing more than a blip, though plenty of drama would come. The Netherlands' 2-goal comeback felt like curtains, but Emiliano Martinez rose up to save the day.
Argentina qualified for the final after a comprehensive 3-0 win against Croatia in the semifinals, while France clinched a 2-0 win against Morocco to reach its second successive final.
France, for its part reached the World Cup final for the fourth time in the last seven editions of the tournament (1998, 2006, 2018 and 2022), at least twice more than any other nation over the period.
Les Bleus, coming into the FIFA World Cup 2022 as the defending champion, was subject to impediments even before starting its campaign in Qatar.
Paul Pogba and N'Golo Kante, two of its most important midfielders, and Presnel Kimpembe, one of its defenders, were all ruled out of the tournament with injuries.
To make matters worse, Ballon D'Or winner Karim Benzema was ruled out of the tournament, following a thigh injury during training on the eve of the World Cup.
However, France set up a heavyweight World Cup final against Argentina after an early goal by Theo Hernandez and a late one from Randal Kolo Muani ended battling Morocco's dream run via an action-packed 2-0 semi-final victory.
Argentina and France will face each other for the 13th time in their history, with both the teams looking to win its third World Cup title.
Out of the 12 matches they have played, Argentina has won six of them compared to France's three. Three matches have ended in a draw.
Argentina and France met for the first time in the group stages of the 1930 World Cup in Uruguay. Argentina won the match 1-0 courtesy of a Luis Monti strike in the 81st minute, that led to an early exit for France.
Both sides met again in the 1978 World Cup, that was being hosted in Argentina. It was yet another group stage match, where Argentina beat France 2-1 to knock it out of the tournament. Daniel Passarella scored for an Argentina lead in the first-half but Michel Platini equalized for France in the 61st minute. In the second-half, Leopoldi Luque's goal in the 74th minute turned out to be the match winner.
The last time both the sides met was in the Russia World Cup in 2018. It was a Round of 16 match, where France edged out a 4-3 win.
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