The World Cup final is happening because Argentina has so many incredible storylines against France, the most notable being Lionel Messi vs. Kylian Mbappe.
DIRECT ARGENTINA – FRANCE
Will the master, Messi, finally get the World Cup he undoubtedly deserves? Or will apprentice Mbappe claim his second World Cup? Both have been sensational in this tournament and are in contention for the Golden Boot and Ballon d’Or.
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The closing ceremony will take place before the final as the curtain comes down on the tournament in Qatar. Polish referee Szymon Marciniak will handle the biggest showdown in the men’s game. This is the last game before the Premier League and the other top leagues around the world will return.
As for Argentina, they have grown up in this tournament and Lionel Scalloni has created a hungry side capable of sitting back, then charging into challenges and flying forward, with Messi pulling the strings and the brilliant Julian Alvarez stretching the opposition defence. There is a sense of destiny when it comes to this Argentinian side.
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France willed their way to the final as they are rarely at their best in this tournament, but with all their injuries leading up to it, we can see just how deep this France squad is as they prepare for back-to-back World Cups. titles under Didier Deschamps. Like Argentina, they prefer to sit back and attack teams, and of course that means finding Mbappe as often as possible.
Here’s everything you need to know about Argentina vs France in the World Cup final.
How to watch Argentina vs France live streaming link and start time
Start10:00 a.m. ET – Sunday, December 18
StadiumLusail Iconic Stadium, Lusail
TV channels in Español. Telemundo
Streaming en Español: Peacock (all 64 matches)
Key stories, players to watch closely
The pivotal battle and plot is obviously the master against his apprentice. Will 35-year-old Lionel Messi win the World Cup he has longed for in his long legendary career? Or will his PSG teammate Kylian Mbappe, 23, lead France to back-to-back World Cups and the second of his young career? In other parts of the pitch, the main battle will take place in the midfield.
The midfield four of Enzo Fernandez, Rodrigo de Pol, Alexis McAllister and Leandro Paredes have been sensational for Argentina, while in defense they are flexible to switch between four and five backs. The return from suspension of Montiel and Acuna presents Lionel Scaloni with a selection headache as he looks to lead the Argentines to their third World Cup and their first since 1986, when the great Diego Maradona led them to glory in Mexico. Can Messi do the same in Qatar? However, Messi is suffering from a hamstring problem this week and all eyes will be on him (naturally) and his form.
As for France, they have struggled in this tournament and the reigning champions have hardly been electric. But they got the job done and are one win away from becoming only the third team in history to win back-to-back World Championships. Didier Deschamps suffered huge injuries before this World Cup, but his side have recovered extremely well as the youngster has matured. Ibrahima Konate came into the semi-final and excelled, but like Argentina, France still look a little shaky defensively. In midfield, Antoine Griezmann is rolling back the years playing in his new deeper playmaking role, while Aurelien Chouamine is excellent in the holding role. In the top half, Kylian Mbappe, Ousmane Dembele and Olivier Giroud roar and give France incredible balance. Many players have been affected by the sickness bug in the France camp, something to watch out for. There were also reports that Karim Benzema could return to the France squad for this final after he withdrew with an injury shortly before the start of the tournament and was never replaced, but now he is back fit. Deschamps refused to speak at length on the subject, and Benzema is not expected to be included in the squad.
Fast facts about France
[ MORE: Argentina’s history at the World Cup ]
Current FIFA ranking table: 4
World Cup titles: 2 (1998, 2018)
Performances at the World Championship: 15
How did they qualify? automatically qualified from UEFA (won Group D)
Coach: Didier Deschamps
Key players: Kylian Mbappe, Hugo Lloris, Antoine Griezmann, Raphael Varane
Road to the 2022 World Cup finals. The first position of group C has ended. Beat Australia 2-1 in last 16; defeated the Netherlands in the quarter-finals with penalty kicks. In the semi-final, he beat Croatia 3:0
Quick facts about Argentina
[ MORE: France’s history at the World Cup ]
Current FIFA ranking table: 3
World Cup titles: 2 (1978, 1986)
Performances at the World Championship: 17
How did they qualify? automatically qualified from CONMEBOL (2nd place)
Coach: Lionel Scalloni
Key Players: Lionel Messi, Emiliano Martinez, Nicolas Otamendi, Julian Alvarez
Road to the 2022 World Cup finals. The first position of group D has ended. beat Poland 3-1 in the round of 16; beat England 2-1 in the quarter-finals; Defeated Morocco 2:0 in the semi-finals