ᑕ❶ᑐ 2022 World Cup: France win leads to final and long-awaited Messi-Mbappé duel
|Host country: Qatar Destination: November 20-December 18 Cover: Live on BBC TV, BBC iPlayer, BBC Radio 5 Live, BBC Sounds and the BBC Sport website and app. Daily TV programs – Full coverage details|
France had their World Cup dream dashed as Morocco’s campaign in Qatar came to a painful end at Al Beit Stadium.
In an emotional and raucous cacophonous night at Al Khor, hosts France put an end to romantic notions of the tournament’s spectacular surprise package, with Morocco going further by becoming the first African nation to reach the semi-finals. finals.
With thousands flocking to Doha to spray the stadium in red, Morocco’s magnificent support was tearful but proud as France finally spoke with class and efficiency. An interesting match with a score of 2:0.
- ‘No tears, just pride’ as Morocco’s dreams crumble
Another player was drawn into Sunday’s final at the Lusail Stadium as the Moroccan players, staff and their inspirational coach, Walid Regragui, were given a long and deserved standing ovation in front of adoring fans who had their dreams dashed.
That is, France – Argentina and Kilian Mbappe – Lionel Messi. The Paris Saint-Germain teammates will be international rivals on the sport’s biggest stage.
The 23-year-old Frenchman is aiming for a second World Cup winner’s medal, while the Argentine prodigy, 12 years his senior, has one last chance to claim the crown, which will strengthen his claims to be the greatest player to ever play the Games.
Mbappe’s status would be further enhanced by back-to-back World Cup victories as France aim to become the first nation to retain the trophy, albeit a different piece of silverware, in 60 years since winning it four times in Sweden and Chile in 1958. years. after.
He was the scorer in France’s 4-2 win over Croatia in Moscow in 2018 and has the power to add to his tally now and in the future. Pele is the only man with three winners’ medals. Only 21 men, including Pele, have won more than once. This opens up great opportunities for the French striker.
For Messi, the context is different.
He’s at the tail end of a career where he’s won everything the game has to offer, except for one big gap in his awards collection. It’s the biggest of them all, the World Cup, and it’s now or never after losing to Germany in Rio 2014.
This is Messi’s last World Cup game and Sunday is the day he could end it all, providing the perfect ending to his story with Argentina. Anything else would be hopeless and empty for the great sports icon of his country.
The World Cup final could be one for the ages and as evidenced by what we saw in Qatar, it is very close. It may even come down to a moment of genius from the two players most likely to deliver.
France got the job done in two tough knockout matches against England in the quarter-finals and here against Morocco.
They were both tested in different ways, with both England and the threat of attack, and Morocco with their reluctance to give in to adversity, but they came out the other side successfully.
The French kept their composure here despite Morocco’s pressure, their goals coming after five minutes through Theo Hernandez and the second after just 44 seconds from substitute Randal Kolo Muani, the third-fastest ever. A historic trophy and a first for France.
And for coach Didier Deschamps, Sunday’s final offers a place in history and a chance to add further decoration to his illustrious career.
Nicknamed “The Water Carrier” by French team-mate Eric Cantona, the 54-year-old led his country to the World Cup on home soil thanks to his tireless style and ability to hold the ball for his supposedly more attractive team-mates. . Land in 1998.
Deschamps is the fourth coach to lead a country to consecutive World Cup finals, following Vittorio Pozzo with Italy in 1934 and 1938, Carlos Bilardo with Argentina in 1986 and 1990, and Franz Beckenbauer with Germany in 1986 and 1990. He will be only second after that. Pozzo win twice.
He went about his business in his usual understated style despite missing out on Ballon d’Or-winning striker Karim Benzema as France landed in Qatar with 36-year-old Olivier Giroud.
Even here at this pressure point of the World Cup, he has lost Adrien Rabiot and Dayot Upamecano to illness, the latter being replaced by Liverpool’s Ibrahima Konate to give Deschamps a tasty selection challenge on Sunday.
So the World Cup comes down to it.
France vs Argentina. In the eyes of many, Mbappe and Messi.
It’s a World Cup final that many have predicted and a personal duel between two big names that has been long awaited.
- FIFA World Cup: the schedule and the road to the final
- World Cup TV coverage guide
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