And then there have been two.
Despite a event which featured numerous twists and turns and plenty of shock outcomes, the winner can be determined by a blockbuster matchup between a pair of favourites.
After 63 matches and over 5670 minutes of jam-packed motion between 32 hopeful nations, 90 minutes of regulation is all that separates unbridled pleasure and heartbreaking devastation for the 2 groups left standing.
The World Cup ultimate will happen at 2am on Monday AEDT as Argentina face France at Lusail Stadium.
It is the primary time in historical past La albiceleste will tackle Les Bleus in a World Cup ultimate.
While Argentina can be keen to interrupt an almost 40-year drought and take house their third World Cup, the fixture can be France’s alternative to turn out to be simply the third staff in historical past and first in 60 years to win back-to-back World Cups.
Read on for all key data in our FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022 Final Ultimate Guide!
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Croatia edge Morocco to assert third place | 02:31
LOCATION AND KICK OFF TIME
Monday, December 19 at Lusail Stadium, Doha, 02:00am AEDT kick-off.
Lusail Stadium capability: 88,966.
Sunny 22 levels at kick off. Lowest temperature can be 17 levels, with the very best anticipated to succeed in 26 levels within the afternoon.
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HOW TO WATCH
The match can be proven reside on SBS TV and SBS On Demand.
You can observe all of the motion in our Fox Sports reside weblog.
HEAD TO HEAD RECORD
This would be the fourth World Cup assembly between Argentina and France.
La albiceleste received two of the earlier three, however misplaced the one such encounter within the knockout stage, after Kylian Mbappe impressed a well-known 4-3 comeback victory for Les Bleus inRussia 2018’s Round of 16 conflict.
Overall, that is set to be the thirteenth assembly between Argentina and France in all competitions, with the French successful simply three of the earlier 12 (D3 L6).
ROAD TO THE FINAL
Argentina recovered from a shock 2-1 defeat to Saudi Arabia of their opening group match to complete high of Group C, because of consecutive 2-0 victories over Mexico and Poland.
In the final 16, La albiceleste survived a late rally from Australia – who ultimately have been thought of unfortunate to not take the sport to further time after a deflected purpose from Craig Goodwin sparked a serious revival – to hold on for a 2-1 victory over the Socceroos.
That arrange a fierce and fiery quarterfinal in opposition to the Netherlands, which ended 2-2 after 120 minutes, earlier than the Argentines controversially taunted the downtrodden Dutch after they’d booked a spot within the ultimate 4 on penalties 4-3.
It was all a technique site visitors within the semi-final as La albiceleste cruised previous Croatia 3-0 to advance to their sixth World Cup ultimate and first since 2014.
Only Germany have participated in additional finals (8), however a loss tomorrow would see Argentina stage Germany with the joint-most World Cup ultimate losses in historical past (4).
Messi takes the mickey in ABSURD show | 01:03
In distinction, France’s begin to the event had no such trials and tribulations, as they eased previous the Socceroos 4-1, regardless of conceding first.
A 2-1 victory over Denmark ensured Les Bleus qualification to the knockout levels and high spot in Group E, which allowed them to play their reserves in a meaningless 0-1 defeat by Tunisia.
The French locked in an enormous quarterfinal conflict with England by simply dispatching an outclassed Poland, 3-1, within the Round of 16.
France survived a serious scare within the quarterfinal – after being outplayed for lengthy intervals, earlier than securing a 2-1 win because of Harry Kane’s late penalty miss – breaking English hearts to advance to the ultimate 4.
Les Blues have been beneath their finest of their semi-final match, however the French had an excessive amount of high quality for his or her Moroccan opponents reserving a spot of their second consecutive World Cup ultimate because of a 2-0 victory, ending Morocco’s fairytale run within the course of.
France have reached the World Cup ultimate for a fourth time (all since 1998) and need to turn out to be solely the third nation to win back-to-back World Cups, after Italy (1934 and 1938) and Brazil (1958 and 1962).
France finish Morocco’s Cinderella run | 01:50
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MESSI VS MBAPPE
While the ultimate is a match between Argentina and France, all eyes can be on the intriguing battle between PSG teammates Lionel Messi and Kylian Mbappe.
Although neither will line up instantly reverse one another on the pitch and can doubtless solely encounter one another earlier than and/or after the sport, each males’s skill to affect the sport will go an extended strategy to deciding which of their respective staff’s wins the competition.
Kylian Mbappe is simply 23 years previous however he already pockets the very best wage within the soccer world – reportedly a whopping €630 million ($1bn AUD) over three seasons.
He can be the face of France’s world champion staff, the razor-sharp slicing fringe of an assault that has scythed by way of opponents this World Cup.
That staff is already in rarefied air as considered one of a choose few to succeed in the ultimate of the event as defending champions. On Monday morning (2am AEDT), they face Lionel Messi’s Argentina in a bid to turn out to be simply the third staff in Cup historical past to go back-to-back, and the primary since Brazil in 1962.
Four years in the past, the groups met within the Round of 16 in Russia. On that day, Mbappe introduced himself on the world stage by instigating a outstanding 4-3 comeback in one of the crucial memorable and thrilling video games of the event.
Mbappe earned a penalty with a shocking 75-yard run early within the match, earlier than scoring two targets in fast succession within the second half to ship the Albiceleste packing. In a match of two masterful No 10s – Messi and Mbappe – it was the teen who dominated proceedings and introduced himself as a very world-class participant, and doubtlessly the long run finest participant on the earth.
Little did the 2 superstars know that they’d turn out to be membership teammates earlier than Qatar. It has been a rocky street to superstardom for Mbappe, rocked by ugly drama for membership and nation.
But on Monday morning, ought to he repeat the feats of 2018 and lead France to victory, he can put these dramas behind him – and maybe proclaim himself the perfect participant on the earth.
In the ultimate, Mbappe will face his PSG teammate in Lionel Messi. The golden boot race is stage, with each gamers on 5 targets. Both are in with a robust probability of successful the golden ball in addition to participant of the event.
Should Mbappe get the higher hand, he’ll – at simply 23 – have lifted the World Cup trophy twice and enshrined himself in soccer historical past.
In doing so, he may simply show himself the perfect participant on the earth.
As teammate Aurelien Tchouameni advised TyC Sports: “For me, Kylian is the perfect … and he’ll show it on Sunday.”
Mbappe is getting ready to a momentous milestone.Source: AFP
Standing in Mbappe’s manner is Argentine legend Lionel Messi who has performed like a person possessed as he appears to avenge his nation’s heartbreaking 2018 deafeat.
Five Budweiser Player of the Match awards says all of it about Messi’s greatness in Qatar.
Despite having walked for 30km throughout all of Argentina’s video games, the 35-year-old famous person has confirmed to be lethal when it issues most with 5 targets and three assists to his title which ought to got here as no shock given he’s created probably the most possibilities of anybody in Qatar with 14.
His most up-to-date help was maybe his most particular when he turned Gvardiol right into a pretzel en path to placing it on a platter for Julian Alvarez to attain.
Lionel Messi, although, feels like a person content material to experience off into the sundown, win or lose.
In an interview with Guillem Balague of CBS Sports and BBC Radio, Messi acknowledged that Sunday’s 2022 World Cup ultimate, by which Argentina will play France, will “virtually actually” be his final match at a World Cup, and expressed an appreciation for every part that’s introduced him to this stage.
“I’m having fun with it and for a while, I’ve been having fun with it another way than prior to now,” Messi mentioned in Spanish.
“Not solely with the nationwide aspect, however in life, too.”
This would be the second World Cup ultimate for Messi, as Argentina misplaced to Germany on Mario Götze’s extra-time winner in 2014.
It can be Argentina’s first World Cup title since 1986, when Diego Maradona led them previous West Germany in Mexico City.
For Messi, it’s a probability to cement his legacy on the worldwide stage, the place he received his first main trophy solely final summer season within the Copa America, when Argentina beat Brazil within the ultimate.
His relative lack of success with the Albicelestes in comparison with the membership stage with Barcelona has at all times been a knock on his legacy, notably again house in Argentina.
In his final World Cup, although, Messi has been wonderful, with a penalty kick purpose and a blinding help within the semifinal in opposition to Croatia being arguably his finest efficiency in a event the place he has been the standout participant. Argentina will go into the ultimate with confidence.
“The reality is that it’s a very highly effective group, very robust,” Messi mentioned.
“We mentioned it after we misplaced our first sport [to Saudi Arabia] which none of us anticipated, that we had belief in ourselves as a result of we all know what we’ve on this group, the energy that it has and ultimately, that helped us develop, made us stronger and we knew that we might obtain this.
“Numerous happiness, clearly, to have the ability to obtain this, to have the ability to end my profession within the World Cup enjoying my final sport in a ultimate and the reality is that every part I skilled on this World Cup is one thing very thrilling, what the individuals right here have skilled and the way the individuals again in Argentina are having fun with it.”
Win or lose, Messi confused the achievements of the Argentine nationwide staff, which went 36 matches in a row unbeaten earlier than the beautiful loss to Saudi Arabia, and received a serious trophy for the primary time because the 1993 Copa America final summer season.
“Obviously all of us need to increase it, we need to be World Champions, nevertheless it’s a soccer match, something can occur,” Messi mentioned.
“And sure, hopefully this time it is going to be completely different from Brazil .”
If Messi can lastly seize the World Cup trophy that has so lengthy eluded him he could lastly put to mattress the lengthy working GOAT debate with Portugal famous person and arch rival Cristiano Ronaldo.
This abstract on Messi initially appeared on the New York Post and has been reposted with permission
Heartfelt Message to Messi from reporter | 00:37
PREDICTED STARTING XI
(4-4-2, proper to left): 23. E. Martinez (GK) — 26. Molina, 13. Romero, 19. Otamendi, 8. Acuna — 5. Paredes, 7. De Paul, 24. Fernandez, 20. Mac Allister — 10. Messi, 9. Alvarez
Argentina’s solely damage doubt is Papu Gomez, who missed out on the semifinal win over Croatia with an unspecified challenge.
Fullbacks Marcos Acuna and Gonzalo Montiel can be each be accessible after serving a one-match suspension, although solely the previous ought to begin.
Head coach Lionel Scaloni’s largest name is whether or not to stay with the 4-4-2 formation that he used final outing or match up France and produce Angel Di Maria again right into a entrance three.
(4-3-3, proper to left): 1. Lloris (GK) — 5. Kounde, 4. Varane, 18. Upamecano, 22. T. Hernandez — 8. Tchouameni, 7. Griezmann, 14. Rabiot — 11. Dembele, 9. Giroud, 10. Mbappe.
Injured: L. Hernandez.
France coach Didier Deschamps was sweating on the health of a number of key gamers on Saturday as his staff battled a thriller virus on the eve of the World Cup ultimate in opposition to Argentina.
As reigning champions France put together to face Lionel Messi and Argentina at Doha’s Lusail Stadium, they’re struggling to include a viral outbreak that’s believed to have affected 5 gamers to date.
Central defenders Raphael Varane and Ibrahima Konate, and winger Kingsley Coman have been the most recent gamers to be laid low by the sickness, and have been pressured to overlook a coaching session on Friday.
That got here two days after Adrien Rabiot and Dayot Upamecano have been dominated out of Wednesday’s semi-final victory over Morocco.
Players, workers and sources near the French squad have spoken of a variety of signs affecting the staff in current days together with fever, abdomen ache and complications.
“We try to take as many precautions as attainable, to adapt as needed and get on with it,” Deschamps mentioned at a press convention.
“Obviously it might be higher if this wasn’t occurring however we’re dealing with it in addition to attainable with our medical workers.”
There was a extra encouraging bulletin from the French camp later Saturday in spite of everything 24 members of Deschamps’ squad took to the sphere at the beginning of a ultimate staff coaching session.
It was not clear if all gamers performed a full half within the session, nonetheless, which was solely open to the media for the primary quarter-hour.
The virus scare threatens to derail France’s bid to turn out to be the primary staff to win back-to-back World Cups since Brazil achieved the feat in 1962.
Aurelien Tchouameni (hip) and fullback Theo Hernandez (knee) additionally missed coaching on Friday and stay doubts. The French physios are apparently happy that Tchouameni can be prepared in time.
Star striker Karim Benzema was rumoured to be making a shock re-entrance to the squad, having been ruled-out of the event earlier than France’s first match with damage.
Tongues started wagging after it was reported by Mundo Deportivo that his membership Real Madrid had authorised his launch to rejoin the French squad for the ultimate ought to France supervisor Didier Deschamps require his companies.
The Ballon d’Or winner additionally posted a video of him understanding on a motorbike to his Twitter with a caption that merely learn “Motivation”.
Deschamps opted to not change the striker, that means he’s nonetheless accessible to play regardless of flying house from Qatar.
However, the Real Madrid ahead ended any extra hypothesis with a moody Instagram publish with a caption that interprets to “I’m not ”.
As the 34-year-old was not formally faraway from Deschamps’ 26-man squad, he’ll nonetheless get a winners or runners-up medal for France’s efforts in Qatar.
Referee: Szymon Marciniak (Poland)
Goalkeepers – Franco Armani (River Plate), Emiliano Martinez (Aston Villa), Geronimo Rulli (Villarreal)
Defenders – Marcos Acuna (Sevilla), Juan Foyth (Villarreal), Lisandro Martinez (Man United), Nahuel Molina (Atletico Madrid), Gonzalo Montiel (Sevilla), Nicolas Otamendi (Benfica), German Pezzella (Real Betis), Cristian Romero (Tottenham), Nicolas Tagliafico (Lyon)
Midfielders – Rodrigo De Paul (Atletico Madrid), Enzo Fernandez (Benfica), Alejandro ‘Papu’ Gomez (Sevilla), Alexis Mac Allister (Brighton), Exequiel Palacios (Bayer Leverkusen), Leandro Paredes (Juventus), Guido Rodriguez (Real Betis)
Forwards – Julian Alvarez (Man City), Thiago Almada** (Atlanta United), Angel Di Maria (Juventus), Paulo Dybala (AS Roma), Angel Correa* (Atletico Madrid), Lautaro Martinez (Inter Milan), Lionel Messi (PSG)
*Replaced the injured Nicolas Gonzalez; **Replaced the injured Joaquin Correa
Goalkeepers – Alphonse Areola (West Ham), Hugo Lloris (Tottenham), Steve Mandanda (Rennes)
Defenders – Axel Disasi (Monaco), Lucas Hernandez* (Bayern Munich), Theo Hernandez (AC Milan), Ibrahima Konate (Liverpool), Jules Kounde (Barcelona), Benjamin Pavard (Bayern Munich), William Saliba (Arsenal), Dayot Upamecano (Bayern Munich), Raphael Varane (Man United)
Midfielders – Eduardo Camavinga (Real Madrid), Youssouf Fofana (AS Monaco), Matteo Guendouzi (Marseille), Adrien Rabiot (Juventus), Aurelien Tchouameni (Real Madrid), Jordan Veretout (Marseille)
Fowards – Karim Benxema (Real Madrid), Kingsley Coman (Bayern Munich), Ousmane Dembele (Barcelona), Olivier Giroud (AC Milan), Antoine Griezmann (Atletico Madrid), Kylian Mbappe (PSG), Marcus Thuram (Bor. M’Gladbach), Randal Kolo Muani (Monaco)
*Will miss the remainder of the event by way of damage
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Result – Argentina $2.80, Draw $3.10, France $2.70
Normal Time (90 minutes plus damage time). Excludes Extra Time and Penalty Shootout
To Lift Trophy – Argentina $.190, France $1.90
Includes Extra Time and Penalty Shootout if performed
Odds Courtesy of TAB