France vs Argentina final proof Australia’s Socceroos are ‘third best team’

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If you want to win the FIFA World Cup, you’ve got to beat the Socceroos first.

The Socceroos enjoyed their best ever World Cup campaign in Qatar, reaching the round of 16 and recording more wins than even the golden generation of 2006.

Wins over Denmark and Tunisia ensured Australia progressed to the knockout stage and in an interesting quirk, the only two teams that managed to beat the Socceroos are now in the final.

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France and Argentina will square off in the final on Monday morning (AEDT) as Lionel Messi chases footballing immortality and France aims to become just the third country to win back-to-back World Cups.

The match-up between the two football powerhouses hasn’t gone unnoticed by Socceroos fans, who are cheekily arguing it’s proof Australia is the third best team in the world.

In fact, FIFA’s official tournament standings will see the Socceroos finish in 11th place, behind only Japan and Senegal as the third best team to be knocked out of the round of 16.

The Socceroos’ world ranking is also expected to rise 11 places to No. 28 when FIFA’s list is updated.

The Socceroos are the third best team in the world and we won’t be told otherwise. (Photo by Robert Cianflone/Getty Images)Source: Getty Images

The France vs Argentina match-up continues an intriguing pattern from Australia’s six World Cup campaigns.

The Socceroos have been beaten by the eventual winners four times and on the other two occasions, were beaten by the team that won the third place playoff.

In their first campaign in 1974, Australia lost in the group stage to West Germany, who went on to win the World Cup.

Then who could forget the heartbreak of 2006 when Lucas Neill was penalised in the dying seconds of the round of 16 clash with eventual winners Italy.

Lionel Messi and Kylian Mbappe had to get past the Socceroos en route to the final. (Photo by Gabriel BOUYS and Jewel SAMAD / AFP)Source: AFP

The Socceroos lost to Germany in 2010 and the Netherlands in 2014 as the European nations went on to finish third.

In 2018, Australia lost to eventual World Cup winners France in the group stage.

And whatever happens in the final on Monday morning, the Socceroos can hold their head high knowing that once again, whoever wins the World Cup had to beat them first.

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