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Top 2022 FIFA World Cup Final Takeaways

By Jeff Stinger

Lionel Messi leads Argentina to its third World Cup trophy after the most thrilling final in the history of the competition. The clash features a pair of elite nations from Europe and South Africa. France, spearheaded by forward Kylian Mbappe, looked on track to become only the second back-to-back World Cup winner. They dominated the group stage and performed flawlessly in the knockout stages. Meanwhile, La Albiceleste had a more dramatic trajectory to the final.

There were high and low moments during a controversial tournament in Qatar, but the ending delivered everything soccer and betting fans hoped for. With that, let’s look back at the top 2022 FIFA World Cup Final storylines brought to you by Nitrobetting.

Top Stroylines from the 2022 FIFA World Cup Final

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Lionel Messi completes his portfolio

For all the efforts Mbappe and the rest of the French national team created in Qatar, Messi’s appetite for a World Cup title stood strong. The Argentine captain was not ready to let his final chance slide. Messi sprang to life right after the opening whistle, picking the ball up in pockets of space between France’s midfield and defensive third, leading to multiple chances. The former Barcelona forward was involved in multiple build-ups, exchanging short and pinpoint passes on the edge of the box.

The 35-year-old displayed precisely why he deserves the Man of the Match and the Golden Ball award. He was relentless and sharp throughout the tournament, playing with precision and determination to win the trophy. Messi was pivotal in most of their attacks, opening the scoreline with a spot kick conceived by the French squad in the 23rd minute.

It’s no secret that winning the World Cup with Argentina has been Messi’s lifelong dream, and he did everything in style. At 35 years of age, many thought that Messi’s legendary status had diminished. Nevertheless, there have been multiple moments in Qatar where he exhibited class and skill. We’ve seen a familiar brilliance that fans have been used to seeing over the years. In possibly his last World Cup game, the Rosario-born Lionel Messi scored two goals and showed up in the most important game of his career.

Kylian Mbappe scores a bittersweet hat trick

The PSG forward seemed quiet throughout the game. Argentina dominated the first half and a good chunk of the second half. However, Les Bleus found new life in the 80th minute when the South Americans committed a clumsy foul in the box. Mbappe quickly capitalized on the opportunity to narrow down the deficit to one goal. Emiliano Martinez got a hand on the superstar’s shot but was too powerful to keep out.

Shortly after, not even two minutes after picking up the ball from the opposition’s net, Mbappe hit another one past Martinez to tie the game. This flash of skill turned things around and dragged Argentina back to where they started.

Mbappe scored an incredible hat trick in the 118th minute to level the match for a second time. Lionel Messi’s 108th-minute goal and the potential winner were spoiled by the 23-year-old and forced the game to a penalty shootout. Although the French national team failed to outscore the Argentinians and respond to a clutch Martinez save, Mbappe’s astonishing showmanship further confirmed his reputation as the future of the sport.

The French forward recorded four goals in the World Cup finals, the most of any player in history. Furthermore, the exceptional player is level with Pele on a total of World Cup goals, with plenty of time to spare and produce one of the top 2022 FIFA World Cup Final storylines.

The unsung hero: Emiliano Martinez

After the final whistle of extra time, the game headed to a decider and an ultimate dramatic close. Penalty shootouts are a heartbreaking way to decide a game, let alone the prestigious World Cup final. No matter how well an individual player performs, everything boils down to the goalkeeper and the penalty taker.

It was no surprise that the two national figures of Argentina and France stepped up first and slotted their respective kicks at the back of the net. But after the first two takers, Aston Villa’s starting keeper Emiliano Martinez was undoubtedly Argentina’s hero at that point in time. The penalty specialist denied Australia a last-chance equalizer in the first knockout stage. He also prevented Kolo Muani from a potential winner in the 123rd minute of extra time, pushing the game to penalties. Following cool and calm penalty kicks by his teammates, the 30-year-old denied Kingsley Coman’s shot and won the Golden Glove for the World Cup’s best goalkeeper.

The best World Cup Final in FIFA history

The world’s grandest sporting tournament delivered in its grand final. In the 2022 FIFA World Cup Final in Qatar, Argentina and France did not disappoint fans around the globe. After Argentina took a comfortable 2-0 lead going into the second half, many thought that the dominant side would coast to victory by the 90th minute. However, France’s Kylian Mbappe pulled out a few more tricks up his sleeve and responded in a two-minute span. After exchanging goals in extra time before La Albiceleste emerged victorious in a penalty shootout, many branded this as one of the best final matches ever and a surefire addition to our top 2022 FIFA World Cup Final storylines.

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