Posted: Saturday, December 17, 2022. 5:00 pm CST.
Photo Credit: FIFA
By Rubén Morales Iglesias: The world will come to a standstill on Sunday at 9:00 am when the 2022 FIFA World Cup Final between Argentina and France kick off at the 90,000-seater Lusail Stadium in Al Daayen, Qatar.
Lionel Messi will be leading Argentina in his quest to capture the only top international title he played in that he hasn’t claimed yet. His Paris Saint Germain teammate Kylian Mbappé is leading World Champions France in their bid to become back-to-back champions.
Whichever team wins, they will become triple champions as both have captured the title twice before. Argentina won in 1978 at home and in 1986 in Mexico. France have claimed the title in 1998 at home and in 2018 in Russia.
This time around, Argentina started out with a 2-1 loss to Saudi Arabia but have since turned things around. They are hoping to emulate Spain’s title-winning run in South Africa 2010. France for their part, did away with ‘the curse of the champions’, avoiding the ‘bad luck’ experienced by Italy, Spain, and Germany who after winning in 2006, 2010, and 2014, respectively, crashed out in the group stage in the following World Cup. Les Bleus have made an undeterred run to the Final, with the exception of their 1-0 loss to Tunisia when coach Didier Deschamps fielded several substitutes as they had already qualified to the Round of 16.
But while all the talk is on Mbappé, who really runs France is workhorse Antoine Griezmann. Grizi is the brain piece of the French squad defending, breaking up opponents’ advances, recovering the ball, creating the plays, and setting up the forwards like Mbappé and Olivier Giroud.
For Argentina, Messi is the genius, the mastermind; though Enzo Fernández is stepping up his level playing behind and Julián Álvarez has come into his own scoring a number of fabulous goals on Messi’s cue.
As it stands, Mbappé and Messi go into the finals as joint top scorers with five goals each, while Giroud and Álvarez are hot on their tails with 4 apiece. It’s safe to say that the winner of the Golden Boot will be one of them.
The question is who are going to be the World Champions, Les Bleus or La Albiceleste? Who’s your pick?
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