One of the best World Cup finals in history, if not the greatest, was held at the Lusail Stadium on December 18, 2022. Argentina defeated France 4-2 on penalties following a nail-biting 120-minute deadlock of 3-3 to win their third World Cup in 36 years.

Prior to Kylian Mbappe’s spectacular equaliser that sent the game into overtime, Argentina had been dominating for the majority of the game. As opportunities swirled about at both ends, the football became even wilder.

Also read: Lionel Messi scores penalty, gives Argentina lead vs France in FIFA World Cup 2022 final: Watch

Argentina appeared to have won the game with a late goal from Lionel Messi in the second part of extra time, but only a few seconds later did they give up a penalty. The faultless Mbappe converted that as well, making history by scoring a hat-trick in the World Cup final. But in the end, Argentina won the penalty shootout, and he was on the wrong side of the outcome.

Watch Lionel Messi kissing the World Cup after the win.

For many supporters, Messi’s achievement of winning the highest award that had escaped him during his whole career also ends the G.O.A.T. (greatest of all time) discussion. He was unquestionably one of the finest players to ever play the game, but his career was frequently criticised for having a hole the size of a FIFA World Cup trophy in his trophy case.

No longer. Messi has led his football-obsessed nation to the top of the international game, much like his footballing forerunner, Diego Maradona.

Also read: Ángel Di María in tears after scoring second goal for Argentina vs France in 2022 FIFA World Cup final: Watch

Football’s most contentious discussion, which elicits passionate opinions and a great deal of disagreement, is the G.O.A.T. dispute. Due to fan allegiances, the discussion frequently drives people to extreme stances, elevating one player while demeaning another.

In the end, there is no precise criterion to assess the “greatness” of players across eras and contexts. But before forming an opinion, it is possible to engage in dialogue that respects the context of football.