France and Argentina Meet in a befitting World Cup final

France celebrate their second goal at Al Thumama Stadium on their way to a 3-1 win over Poland on December 4, 2022 [Showkat Shafi/Al Jazeera]

By: Baboucarr Fallaboweh

Defending champions France will lock horns with Argentina in the 2022 FIFA World Cup tournament finals at the Lusail Stadium on Sunday, December 18.

France is looking forward to becoming the first country after Brazil in 1962 to win the world cup back to back, whereas the South African Are chasing their third title since 1986.

The two teams have met thrice in the history of the World Cup, with Argentina winning once in 1978, whereas the French has won twice. The last encounter was in Russia four years ago, where ‘Les Bleus’ won by four goals to three.

Argentina produced a dominant display against a Croatian side who had knocked Brazil out of the World Cup in the quarterfinals [Sorin Furcoi/Al Jazeera]

The grand finale on Sunday promises lots of fireworks; the French have been superb with impressive displays against Australia, Mexico, Tunisia, Poland, England, and Morocco, whereas Argentina recovered from a 2-1 defeat to Saudi Arabia in their first game to go all the way to the finals.

Two players will be critical to the fortunes of their respective games. Kylian Mbappe has been ruthless for France, scoring five goals, while Messi is also on five goals, three scored from penalties.

Messi, 35, has hinted this World Cup will be his last [Sorin Furcoi/Al Jazeera]

Any of the two players can decide the outcome of the finals at the Lusail Stadium.

Argentina has depended solely on Lionel Messi upfront, with their backline not convincing enough. It will be interesting to see how Nicolas Otamendi fare against Olivier Giroud, Kylian Mbappe, Antoine Griezmann, and Ousmane Dembele in Deschamps 4-2-3-1 formation.


Denmark’s goalkeeper Kasper Schmeichel was tested several times by France’s Kylian Mbappe during the World Cup group D match [Thanassis Stavrakis/AP]

In any case, there will be lots at stake as this could effectively be the last world cup for both Lionel Messi and Olivier Giroud.

Any team that remains clinical upfront and resolute at the back can win the day.

France ranked fourth in the FIFA Men’s rankings, is the reigning champions, and is looking to become the first team since Brazil in 1962 to retain the World Cup title. They have won five of their six games in the competition thus far and overcame Morocco 2-0 in the semi-finals.


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