Argentina vs France player ratings: Messi, Mbappe, Di Maria light up World Cup classic as Argentina prevail in Lusail
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Argentina defeated France in a penalty shootout to win a classic, dramatic World Cup final in Qatar.
Argentina started the game superbly and were full of drive and energy. Angel Di Maria won a controversial penalty on 23 minutes, which was put away with aplomb by Messi.
Lionel Scaloni's side made it two on 36 minutes, Di Maria finishing a superb team move by lifting the ball over Hugo Lloris from 12 yards.
France boss Didier Deschamps made two substitutions before half-time, with Ousmane Dembele and Olivier Giroud both being replaced.
For 80 minutes, the World Cup looked as if it was going to be lifted by Argentina for the third time. But everything changed when substitute Randal Kolo Muani drew a foul from Nicolas Otamendi, before Kylian Mbappe squeezed the ball beyond Emiliano Martinez.
From there, it felt like a different game. And Mbappe promptly levelled the scores to complete a remarkable comeback, volleying past Martinez from close range.
The last 15 minutes were end to end, with both sides pressing for the winner, but extra time was called for.
You could not call a winner at that stage, but it felt like it had to be either Messi or Mbappe, fittingly, that took their team to glory.
It was very nearly the former, Messi getting a vital boot on the ball to divert it over the line for 3-2.
But then, somehow, it was Mbappe that got his team back into the game. France won a penalty for handball, and the forward diverted it home with a calmness that seemed almost unthinkable.
Then, to penalties. And Emiliano Martinez was the hero, keeping out Kingsley Coman, whilst Aurelien Tchouameni hit his spot kick narrowly wide. Argentina, meanwhile, scored all four to win an iconic game of football.
Here is how we rated the players after 120 minutes of almost non-stop drama.
Emiliano Martinez - 8
Had very little to do in the first half. Got a hand on the first Mbappe penalty but not enough to keep it out. Then the save of his career to keep out Kolo Muani in the last minute. The hero of the shootout, saving from Coman.
Nahuel Molina - 7
Caused plenty of problems in the press and offensively. Had few issues against Mbappe before the PSG man moved to the centre, and came up against Kolo Muani as France got themselves back into the game.
Cristian Romero - 8
A giant in the air and superb in the tackle on most occasions. Top performance from the Spurs defender.
Nicolas Otamendi - 6
Slightly quieter than Romero but also looked mainly assured. Gave away the late penalty in the second half of normal time.
Nicolas Tagliafico - 8
Complemented Di Maria perfectly on the left side. Dealt with the threat of Dembele superbly before the Frenchman was substituted. Crunching tackle on Kolo Muani in the second half.
Angel Di Maria - 9
Lively in the early exchanges, combined well with Messi. Superb work to drive into the box and win the penalty. Deserved his emotional goal, took it with aplomb, and didn't slow down in the second half. Perhaps the performance of his career.
Rodrigo de Paul - 8
Started really brightly as he orchestrated play in midfield. Played a key role in the second goal from deep, and put in yet another energetic display. Magestic.
Enzo Fernandez - 8
Made his presence felt in midfield and also never stopped running. Tested Lloris with a long range effort in the second half. Two vital tackles to stop Kolo Muani from scoring the winner late on in normal time.
Alexis Mac Allister - 8
Tested Lloris with an early long range drive. Could have easily taken the shot on for the second goal, but provided a clever through ball to Di Maria instead. Had a fantastic tournament.
Lionel Messi - 9
Did what Lionel Messi does from the spot. Exquisite ball to Mac Allister in the build up to the second goal. Then in the perfect position for goal number three, before putting away his penalty in style in the shootout. A final fit for Messi, in truth.
Julian Alvarez - 8
A massive part of Argentina’s press and worked tirelessly in the 100 minutes before his substitution. Narrowly missed out on a superb assist in the second half. Capped off a fine tournament.
Marcos Acuna (on 64 minutes) - 6
Replaced the diminutive Di Maria.
Gonzalo Montiel (on 91 minutes) - 6
Straight swap from Molina at right-back. Wrote his name into football history by scoring the winning penalty.
Lautaro Martinez (on 101 minutes) - 6
Two big chances in the first half of extra time, one blocked superbly and one narrowly wide. Third chance in the second half saved by Lloris, but Messi was on hand to fire home.
Leandro Paredes (on 101 minutes) - 6
Added some extra aggression to midfield as an extra time substitute. Put his penalty away in the shootout.
German Pezzella (on 116 minutes) - N/A
The Real Betis defender replaced Mac Allister.
Paulo Dybala (on 122 minutes) - N/A
Another late substitution, for Tagliafico. Brought on for penalties and successfully fired his spot kick down the middle.
Hugo Lloris - 6
Good save early on from Mac Allister but sent the wrong way for the penalty by Messi. Saved well from Alvarez at the near post, and from Messi in extra time. Couldn't keep out Argentina in the shootout.
Jules Kounde - 5
Had the unfortunate task of coming up against an on-form Di Maria and struggled to deal with the Argentina man. Had an easier time after his opponent was substituted. Tried in vain to clear Messi's effort off the line.
Raphael Varane - 6
Didn't go a great deal wrong for France and gave everything, but ultimately not his evening.
Dayot Upamecano - 7
Made his presence felt on Messi early on and put in a couple of big challenges. Always looked to get France forward when on the ball. Key block to stop Lautaro Martinez making it 3-2.
Theo Hernandez - 6
Quiet first half and was up against an exceptional Mac Allister. Got further forward in the second half to try and provide some attacking edge and looked a threat before being substituted.
Aurelien Tchouameni - 6
Struggled to make his usual impact on proceedings - mainly due to Argentina's midfield - until he was lifted, as was the rest of the team, by Mbappe's double, and covered huge ground. Hit his penalty narrowly wide.
Adrien Rabiot - 6
Quiet first half. Vital tackle on Messi to stop him making it 3-0 in the second half.
Antoine Griezmann - 6
Put in a few dangerous crosses in the first half, but Argentina put pressure on him throughout, and he was unable to make a major impact. Substituted.
Ousmane Dembele - 5
Unfortunate to give away the penalty on Di Maria. Struggled to make an impact offensively and was substituted before half-time.
Kylian Mbappe - 9
Lively when given an opportunity but frustrated until the penalty, which he squeezed into the back of the net. Looked a different player after that, and produced a sensational volley for his second goal of the match. Put a third penalty away with precision in extra time for an incredible hat-trick. Couldn't do any more.
Olivier Giroud - 5
Powered a header over the bar in the first half. Also substituted before half-time.
Marcus Thuram (on 41 minutes) - 6
Replaced Dembele and presented the Argentinian defence with more problems with his hold-up play and running.
Randal Kolo Muani (on 41 minutes) - 8
Had a number of lively runs down the right and left side and put in an extremely energetic display. Drew the foul from Otamendi for France's penalty and generally a major threat. Unlucky not to win it late in extra time. A game-changer.
Eduardo Camavinga (on 70 minutes) - 7
Added extra steel at left-back with some crucial challenges. Another that has a bright future at international level, even if he has been played in a more unfamiliar position in Qatar.
Kingsley Coman (on 70 minutes) - 7
Gave France drive and energy when he came on and won the ball back for the move that resulted in Mbappe's second goal. Penalty saved by Martinez in the shootout.
Youssouf Fofana (on 95 minutes) - 6
Ibrahima Konate (on 112 minutes) - N/A
Replaced the exhausted Varane late on.
Axel Disasi (on 120 minutes) - N/A
Replaced Kounde but had little time to make an impact.