FIFA World Cup 2022 Final preview – Argentina v France
December 18, 2022 - The FIFA World Cup final takes place at the Lusail Stadium, in Qatar, as Argentina clash with reigning World champions France, with both teams looking to secure their third title.
Argentina, winners in 1978 and 1986, topped Group C after recovering from a shock opening defeat to Saudi Arabia. In the Last 16, they edged Netherlands in a feisty encounter -- winning in a penalty shoot-out -- before easing into the final with a victory over Croatia. Talismanic captain Lionel Messi is set to play his final FIFA World Cup match, aiming to add the World Cup trophy to the Copa America title he hoisted for his beloved Argentina in 2021.
While France, winners in 1998 and 2018, topped Group D with assured displays against Australia and Denmark. In the knock-out stage, they dispatched a strong England team before ending Morocco’s fairytale to reach their fourth final in their last seven tournaments. Striking sensation Kylian Mbappe has surpassed Brazil legend Pele (7) for most FIFA World Cup strikes before his 24th birthday (9 goals).
The pair have met 12 times previously, with four World Cup meetings -- Argentina winning in 1930 and 1978, before Les Bleus secured a 4-3 victory in a pulsating Last 16 clash in 2018.