Soccer Football – FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022 – Final – Argentina v France – Lusail Stadium, Lusail, Qatar – December 18, 2022 Argentina’s Lionel Messi lifts the World Cup trophy alongside teammates as they celebrate after winning the World Cup REUTERS/Kai Pfaffenbach

Lionel Messi finally achieved his World Cup dream as Argentina won their third crown on penalties in one of the greatest finals in the tournament’s history.

Argentina won the shootout 4-2 after a spectacular game which developed into the much-anticipated confrontation between the 35-year-old maestro Messi and his France opposite number Kylian Mbappe.

France’s own superstar scored a hat-trick – the first in a Fifa World Cup final since 1966 – but still ended up on the losing side at Lusail Stadium.

Messi looked to be securing the one major honour missing from his glittering collection in comfort as Argentina cruised into a two-goal lead.

This all changed when an explosive intervention from Mbappe, who scored two goals inside two minutes late on, turned this frantic, magnificent match for the ages on its head.

Messi had given Argentina the lead from the penalty spot in the 23rd minute following Ousmane Dembele’s foul on Angel di Maria. It made him the first player in World Cup history to score in the group stage, last 16, quarter-final, semi-final and final of a single tournament.

He then contributed a delicate touch within a magnificent counter-attack that ended with Brighton’s Alexis Mac Allister setting up Di Maria for the second 13 minutes later.

Enzo Fernandez, Lionel Messi, Emiliano Martinez and Kylian Mbappe
Argentina trio Enzo Fernandez, Lionel Messi and Emiliano Martinez all won individual awards, alongside France’s Kylian Mbappe

Argentina’s Lionel Messi was named best player and France’s Kylian Mbappe won the Golden Boot award following a sensational World Cup 2022 final.

Messi, 35, led Argentina to their third World Cup title, scoring twice in the final as they beat France in a dramatic penalty shootout.

He netted seven goals in seven games and became the first player to score in each round of the same World Cup since the last-16 round was introduced in 1986.

He is also the first player to win the Golden Ball award twice since it was introduced in 1982 after also winning the honour in 2014.

Mbappe was top scorer with eight goals, including a hat-trick in the final.

It was the first treble in a World Cup final since Sir Geoff Hurst’s in 1966, when England beat West Germany.

Mbappe, 23, scored twice in normal time and once in extra time as 2018 champions France lost the showpiece at Lusail Stadium.

The Paris St-Germain forward also created history when he became the first player to score four goals in a World Cup finals, having also netted in France’s 2018 victory over Croatia.

Mbappe, who took his total tally of World Cup goals to 12, became the youngest player to reach double figures in the competition.

He joined Brazil’s Vava and Pele, West Germany’s Paul Breitner and France’s Zinedine Zidane as the only players to score in multiple World Cup finals.

Messi, who captained Argentina in what is expected to be his last tournament, netted his 97th and 98th goals for his country in the final.

He has scored 13 goals in the competition and has contributed to 21 total goals in World Cup history – more than any other player.

Messi also won the Silver Boot for finishing second in the goalscoring charts, while Frenchman Olivier Giroud took the Bronze Boot for netting four goals in six matches.

Mbappe was named the Silver Ball winner as the second best player in the tournament and Croatia’s Luka Modric picked up the Bronze Ball after guiding his country to third place.

World Cup 2022 top scorers
Kylian Mbappe scored eight goals and assisted two in seven matches at the 2022 World Cup

Golden Glove – Emiliano Martinez (Argentina)

Emiliano Martinez
Emiliano Martinez kept clean sheets against Mexico, Poland and Croatia

Aston Villa goalkeeper Emiliano Martinez kept three clean sheets as he helped Argentina win the World Cup and was given the Golden Glove award.

He played every minute of the tournament and saved Frenchman Kingsley Coman’s spot-kick in the final shootout.

Morocco’s Yassine Bounou and England’s Jordan Pickford also kept three clean sheets as their sides reached the semi-finals and quarter-finals respectively.

Young player of the tournament – Enzo Fernandez (Argentina)

Enzo Fernandez
Enzo Fernandez played in all seven of Argentina’s matches at the 2022 World Cup

Argentina and Benfica midfielder Enzo Fernandez, 21, was named Young Player of the Tournament after a string of impressive performances in Qatar.

He started the final win over France and scored his only World Cup goal in the 2-0 victory over Mexico in the group stage.