Yearender 2022:Lionel Messi reaches promise land as Argentina end 36-year wait to win FIFA World Cup
Lionel Messi reached the promise land in the month of December after he guided his team to the FIFA World Cup 2022 glory. After an entertaining contest, Argentina and Messi prevailed on penalties as the La Albiceleste won their third World Cup title to end their 36-year drought. In doing so Messi and Co also ended the South American drought of 20 years who had not seen a World Title since Brazil’s triumph in 2002.
In a crazy final on Sunday (December 18) at the Lusail Stadium Messi’s and his troops had raced away into a 2-0 lead before Kylian Mbappe came out with his old tricks and saw the score 2-2. However, after another see-saw battle in the extra time, it was the penalty shootout that settled the score as Messi came out with the World Cup trophy in his hand.
Argentina dominated for the opening 80 minutes and looked to be cruising to their first World Cup title since 1986. Messi fired his side ahead from the penalty spot in the 23rd minute after Ousmane Dembele was judged to have tripped Angel Di Maria - although it looked to be a soft decision.
Juventus winger Di Maria added Argentina's second after a fine sweeping move - spearheaded by Brighton's Alexis Mac Allister - as France looked to be suffering from the effects of illness in camp during the week.
But Les Bleus came roaring back into the tie when they were handed a lifeline in the 79th minute as the impressive substitute Randal Kolo Muani was tripped by Nicolas Otamendi. Mbappe scored from the spot for his first of the evening, before adding a stunning second just 90 seconds later to take the game to extra-time.
Messi thought he had won it for his side as his rebounded strike was given by goal-line technology in the 108th minute. But, with mere minutes to play, France were awarded another penalty after Gonzalo Montiel was penalised for handball.
Golden Ball Winner for Best Player in the FIFA World Cup 2022
Most Assist in the tournament – 8
Silver Boot winner for second-most goals – 7
Most World Cup appearances (all time) – 26
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