Argentina vs France latest as Messi and Mbappe go head to head

Sportem
Sportem
11 Min Read

02:43 PM

Teams again

Argentina: Emiliano Martinez, Cristian Romero, Nicolas Otamendi, Nahuel Molina, Nicolas Tagliafico, Rodrigo De Paul, Alexis Mac Allister, Enzo Fernandez, Angel Di Maria, Lionel Messi (captain), Julian Alvarez

France: Hugo Lloris (captain), Jules Kounde, Raphael Varane, Dayot Upamecano, Theo Hernandez, Antoine Griezmann, Aurelien Tchouameni, Adrien Rabiot, Ousmane Dembele, Olivier Giroud, Kylian Mbappe.

02:38 PM

All eyes

Or at least the ones not on Messi, will be on Mbappe.

Here is an exclusive interview done by Jason Burt on the French main man.

Kylian Mbappe exclusive: ‘I talked to Liverpool, but things were not over for me at PSG’

02:36 PM

Thanks to

my splendid colleague Andrew Quinn for the build-up. If I could award a prize for my person of the day so far it would be jointly shared between Andrew and Rio Ferdinand for THIS outfit. Alan Tyers now to take you through the match.

02:30 PM

Could Griezmann be the key man?

Although Kylian Mbappe has received many of the plaudits directed towards the French team, Antoine Griezmann has been magnificent in their run to the final.

Deployed in a deeper role than usual, Griezmann has created 21 chances, more than any other player in the tournament, with an average of 3.5 chances per game.

But his impressive form has not been restricted to attacking, as his defensive work has been extremely impressive. Against Morocco, whenever France lost the ball, he sat in front of the back four, offering protection. He made several good interceptions from dangerous Moroccan attacks and showed a real ability to win the ball back through tackles.

Before the World Cup, this is certainly something that wouldn’t have been associated with Griezmann, but he has demonstrated that he can play as an all-round midfielder, rather than just as a creative forward.

02:22 PM

Pictures: The closing ceremony

Artists perform during the tournament closing ceremony prior to the World Cup final soccer match between Argentina and France at the Lusail Stadium – Thanassis Stavrakis/AP

Fireworks explode as artists perform during the World Cup closing ceremony before the final soccer match between Argentina and France at the Lusail Stadium - AP/Hassan Ammar

Fireworks explode as artists perform during the World Cup closing ceremony before the final soccer match between Argentina and France at the Lusail Stadium – AP/Hassan Ammar

02:13 PM

The last time the sides met in the World Cup

02:11 PM

Pictured: Macron at Lusail Stadium

French President Emmanuel Macron (C) waves ahead of the start of the Qatar 2022 World Cup final football match between Argentina and France at Lusail Stadium in Lusail, north of Doha - Getty Images/Paul Ellis

French President Emmanuel Macron (C) waves ahead of the start of the Qatar 2022 World Cup final football match between Argentina and France at Lusail Stadium in Lusail, north of Doha – Getty Images/Paul Ellis

French President Emmanuel Macron (C) gives thumbs-up ahead of the start of the Qatar 2022 World Cup final football match between Argentina and France at Lusail Stadium - Getty Images/Kirill Kudryavtsev

French President Emmanuel Macron (C) gives thumbs-up ahead of the start of the Qatar 2022 World Cup final football match between Argentina and France at Lusail Stadium – Getty Images/Kirill Kudryavtsev

02:07 PM

Messi to become World Cup appearances record-holder

02:05 PM

Pictured: Fans gear up for the big match

A supporter of Argentina and another of France cheer on the stands ahead of the Qatar 2022 World Cup football final match between Argentina and France at Lusail Stadium - Getty Images/Franck Fife

A supporter of Argentina and another of France cheer on the stands ahead of the Qatar 2022 World Cup football final match between Argentina and France at Lusail Stadium – Getty Images/Franck Fife

Argentina fans show their support prior to the FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022 Final match between Argentina and France at Lusail Stadium - Clive Brunskill/Getty Images

Argentina fans show their support prior to the FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022 Final match between Argentina and France at Lusail Stadium – Clive Brunskill/Getty Images

France fans inside the stadium before the match - Bernadett Szabo/Reuters

France fans inside the stadium before the match – Bernadett Szabo/Reuters

Argentinian fans cheer before the the World Cup final soccer match between Argentina and France at the Lusail Stadium in Lusail - AP/Petr David Josek

Argentinian fans cheer before the the World Cup final soccer match between Argentina and France at the Lusail Stadium in Lusail – AP/Petr David Josek

01:56 PM

Varane starts despite illness

Raphael Varane had been a doubt as he had reportedly been by a virus which was going through the camp. Varane has won 12 out of the 13 finals that he has played in, so France will be hoping his streak continues.

Adrien Rabiot and Dayot Upamecano return after suffering from the same illness. They missed the semi-final win.

Ibrahima Konate had also been ill in the last few days, and he drops to the bench. Fofana, who also started against Morocco, is on the bench.

01:50 PM

Di Maria starts for Argentina

Angel Di Maria starts his first match of the knock-out stages for Argentina.

He started all three of the group matches, setting up a goal against Mexico. But he has only played eight minutes since, in a cameo against the Netherlands.

The 34-year-old is one of the more experienced players in the squad and scored a fantastic long-range goal against France in the quarter-final four years ago.

He missed the 2014 final through injury.

01:44 PM

The teams are out!

Argentina: Emi Martinez, Molina, Romero, Otamendi, Tagliafico, Di Maria, De Paul, Fernandez, Mac Allister, Messi, Alvarez.

Subs: Armani, Foyth, Montiel, Paredes, Pezzella, Acuna, Rulli, Palacios, Correa, Almada, Gomez, Rodriguez, Dybala, Lisandro Martinez, Lautaro Martinez.

France: Lloris, Kounde, Varane, Upamecano, Theo Hernandez, Tchouameni, Rabiot, Dembele, Griezmann, Mbappe, Giroud.

Subs: Pavard, Disasi, Guendouzi, Muani, Fofana, Veretout, Mandanda, Saliba, Coman, Areola, Konate, Camavinga, Thuram.

01:40 PM

Deschamps inspects the pitch

Can he become only the second manager to win the World Cup twice?

Didier Deschamps, fitness coach Cyril Moine and goalkeeping coach Franck Raviot - Carl Recine/Reuters

Didier Deschamps, fitness coach Cyril Moine and goalkeeping coach Franck Raviot – Carl Recine/Reuters

01:37 PM

Who will win the Golden Boot?

While Messi and Mbappe have scored five goals each and are the favourites to win the Golden Boot, two other players are very much in the running.

Olivier Giroud and Julian Alvarez both have four goals each, and you wouldn’t put it past either of them to score a brace.

01:33 PM

Match Predictor

Will Messi finally get hold of the World Cup? Or will Mbappe storm to his second win?

Let us know with our match predictor.

01:30 PM

Doha metro system overloading

FROM SAM WALLACE IN DOHA:

Reports that the metro system on Doha is massively over subscribed and that crowds at one of the main stations, Msheireb, where fans have to change to travel on the red line to the Lusail Stadium, are building up. Witnesses say platforms are full and it is becoming impossible to board trains. It appears that many ticketless fans are heading to Lusail just to be part of the experience. Doha’s new metro system has not really been tested like this thus far apart from some heavy-use periods before and after games.

01:28 PM

Messi vs Mbappe: the final Qatar wanted

Messi and Mbappe made into a mosaic - AFP

Messi and Mbappe made into a mosaic – AFP

Welcome to our live blog of the World Cup final between Argentina and France from the Lusail Stadium, 12 miles north of Doha in Qatar.

The kick-off time for UK viewers is 3pm and we will have team news an hour or so before that: who will be joining Lionel Messi of Argentina and Kylian Mbappe of France for a match that will define the sporting lives of all who play it?

Messi has said that this will be his last World Cup match and many neutrals are hoping that the best player of his generation and arguably the greatest player of all time exits this stage having plugged the one hole in his medal collection.

Argentina’s route to the final has been by turns thrilling, shocking and comfortable. They suffered arguably the worst World Cup upset ever in the group stages when they lost to Saudi Arabia, but then put Mexico and Poland away without too much fuss to set up a last-16 match with Australia. They looked to be cruising through that but then a late Enzo Fernandez own goal kept it interesting. The quarter-final match with the Netherlands was the most exciting of the World Cup: bitter, wild, pulsating and the Argentines eventually went through on pens. They strolled past Croatia in the semi.

France beat Australia and Denmark in the group stages, not entirely convincingly, and then their B team lost a dead rubber against Tunisia. Poland proved little trouble in the last-16 and then France narrowly squeaked past England in the quarters and then, despite a game effort from Morocco, always looked in control of the semi-final. Mbappe has been at times brilliant. They have had a virus in their camp, however, and it remains unclear what the impact of that might be.

It’s certainly the final that the Qatari moneymen wanted: PSG’s Messi versus PSG’s Mbappe. For the fan who sees the sport in terms of stars, it’s a romantic match-up of the greatest versus the crown prince. But this is a team game for all that and we eagerly await to see which side can get it together better on the day.

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