It’s the match we’ve all been waiting for as the World Cup in Qatar concludes on Sunday. But before the closing ceremony and the handing over to World Cup 2026 host nations, the United States, Canada, and Mexico, there’s the little matter of the final to be played. France is here to claim two in a row after winning the same trophy in Moscow four years ago. Will Les Bleus be one of only a few nations to defend the trophy successfully? They look to have every chance and enter the match backed by many respected television pundits.
Then we have their opponents in Argentina, who are on the cusp of reliving the glory days. This team is full of passion, flair, and skill but hasn’t quite lived up to expectations recently. Will this year be different? The players have given themselves a great chance to be crowned world champions and hold onto that tag for at least the next four years. There’s also the Lionel Messi factor. This will be the PSG striker’s final match in the colours of his country before retiring. Will he bow out on a high by finally getting his hands on this trophy? Fans certainly hope so, and Argentina has been well-supported in Qatar.
The head-to-head stats show France and Argentina, despite being two huge names on the international football circuit, haven’t played as often as you might expect. The pair have met five times over the years, and Argentina has dominated proceedings, winning four of those games. Interestingly, France’s spare win came at the last World Cup when Kylian Mbappe scored a brace in a stunning 4-3 win for Les Bleus. Will we see a repeat or revenge in Qatar? Read on as our team of football writers attempts to solve the puzzle.
France is within touching distance
Could the French do a dramatic double and successfully defend the prize they won in Russia by repeating the feat in Qatar? They have given themselves a fighting chance by reaching the final, and that’s all their fans could have asked for. The champions have lived up to the hype throughout this tournament and lost only one match when surrendering the points in their final group game. That wasn’t such a big deal; it was a dead rubber with France already through to the Round of 16 as group winners. They rotated the squad, giving several fresh legs a chance to impress.
After coming through the group as winners, France met Poland in the Round of 16, which was an easy outing for Didier Deschamps’ men. They won that match 3-1, and the margin of victory could’ve been even more comfortable had they not taken their foot off the gas in the final few minutes. They had proven their points and backed them up with another quarter-final win. This time they defeated England in a thrilling match, going through thanks to a 2-1 scoreline last Saturday. Tchouameni broke the deadlock that day with a goal on 17 minutes before Giroud added a winner after Harry Kane had leveled things up from the penalty spot. The same player then blasted another penalty over the bar to make it 2-2, sending England home.
France then booked their spot in the final and gave themselves a chance to make it two World Cups on the bounce when beating Morocco 2-0 in the semi-finals on Wednesday. That was a match they were expected to win, and one they did, easing to the victory more convincingly than the bare result suggests. It was a show of strength from the champions, and we’re excited to say they haven’t yet hit top speed. There’s more to come from this team, and their experience will allow them to reach their potential in the final.
Messi is almost there
Is this the year Lionel Messi finally gets his hands on the greatest prize in international football? For that reason, neutrals seem to hope so and there will be a fair share of fans in the stadiums cheering on Argentina. They want to see the greatest player of his generation retire on a high, winning the World Cup and laying claim to be Argentina’s best player. Many already believe he is, but without getting his hands on the World Cup, he will always be in the shadow of Diego Maradona. His fate is in his own hands.
The PSG forward heads into this match as the joint top goalscorer in Qatar with five against his name, a tally matched only by Mbappe. In addition to the France v Argentina story and the Messi retirement aspect, this game could become a shootout between Messi and Mbappe for the golden boot. There are a few twists and turns left in this tournament, and we’re happy we got the final the competition deserved. It hasn’t always been popular, but Qatar 2022 has been exciting. There can be no denying that.
Argentina, like their opponents, also lost a match in the group stage but progressed to the next round without fuss. That defeat was inflicted by Saudi Arabia and will be remembered as the year’s biggest upset. It would go down in Saudi football history if they were the only team to beat Argentina on their run to become the world champion. And it could happen too.
France v Argentina prediction
We make no apologies for repeating ourselves here, but this will be a classic final and a match deserving of being a World Cup decider. The two best teams from the winter World Cup are ready to battle for the trophy. France has been there and done it, but it would be foolish to write off Messi in a match that means so much to him.
World Cup odds
The pre-match betting odds available at 22bet on Sunday’s World Cup final has France at 2.78 with Argentina 2.79 and the draw 2.99.
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