Despite Kylian Mbappé completing the first hat trick in a World Cup final in 56 years, Argentina defeated France 4-2 on penalties after a 3-3 draw Sunday to win its third title. Messi scored two goals in regulation and another in the shootout.
There is no longer a point of contention. With Diego Maradona, the late Argentine legend with whom Messi was frequently compared, and Pelé, the record-breaking three-time World Cup champion from Brazil, Messi is unquestionably in the pantheon of soccer’s all-time greats.
Messi dominated a World Cup for Argentina, matching what Maradona did in 1986. One day, the torch will be handed to Mbappé, whose late goals fueled one of the most thrilling finals in the competition’s 92-year history and imitated Geoff Hurst’s hat trick for England in 1966, but not right now.
“Let’s go, Argentina!” after competing in a record-setting 26th World Cup game, Messi yelled into a microphone on the field during the post-game celebrations.
Messi’s PSG peer Neymar Jr. congratulated his win. “Felicidades Hermano,” or ” Congratulations brother,” he wrote.
From the off, Messi was in excellent form. He scored Argentina’s opening goal from the penalty spot and assisted Angel Di Maria in making it 2-0 after 36 minutes.
Mbappé, on the other hand, remained unnoticed until forcing overtime with two goals in a 97-second stretch, one of which was a penalty and the other a shot from just inside the area.
Argentina was once again on the verge of winning the tournament when Messi scored his second goal in the 108th minute. However, there was still time for Mbappé to score another penalty and send the enthralling game into a shootout.
After Argentina goalkeeper Emi Martinez saved a shot from Kingsley Coman and France’s Aurelien Tchouameni missed, Argentina’s Gonzalo Montiel converted the game-winning penalty kick.