The final: Messi magic or Mbappé masterclass?

Who do you think will win football's ultimate prize?

The stage in Qatar is set as Les Bleus face La Albiceleste in the 2022 World Cup final.

Defending champions France outclassed the history-making Morocco side in the second semi-final of the FIFA World Cup 2022 on Thursday. Securing its second-successive berth in the summit clash of the FIFA World Cup, Didier Deschamps-coached France upstaged Morocco 2-0 at the Al-Bayt Stadium in Qatar.

Defender Theo Hernandez scored France’s quickest goal of the Qatar World Cup in the fifth minute of the game. Extending their lead in the second half, substitute Randal Kolo Muani scored the second goal for France as the defending champions ended Morocco’s dream run at the grandest stage.

A dazzling performance from Lionel Messi-led Argentina to their sixth World Cup final saw victory over Croatia at Lusail Stadium.

Messi now gets one last chance to win this most important piece of silverware that has eluded him in his trophy-laden career, but Manchester City’s 22-year-old striker Julian Alvarez also shone.

Messi looked to be struggling with a hamstring problem early on, but Argentina’s little genius recovered enough to break the deadlock from the penalty spot after 34 minutes following Croatia goalkeeper Dominik Livakovic’s foul on the marauding Alvarez.

Alvarez doubled Argentina’s lead five minutes later when he took Messi’s header just inside Croatia territory and embarked on a slaloming run, aided by fortunate bounces off Josip Juranovic and Borna Sosa, before beating Livakovic.

There was no fortune involved in a brilliant third after the break as Messi mesmerised Croatia’s excellent defender Josko Gvardiol on the byeline before playing in Alvarez for the finish.

Messi will now have the opportunity to make amends for the bitter disappointment of losing the 2014 World Cup final to Germany in Rio's iconic Maracana.

What to expect

Argentina are going to want the ball as much as possible, and may go with five at the back like they did against the Netherlands. But sitting back to defend, then going on the counter in this one, could it be that France will try to replicate that game plan? Having Morocco bombarding you in attack is much different than facing Lionel Messi and Julian Alvarez, so it will be telling early on in the final just exactly how France will approach it.

Mbappé became a global phenomenon by leading France to the World Cup title in Russia in 2018 and has a chance to cement his status as the sport’s new superstar when he comes up against the 35-year-old Lionel Messi, who has dominated the game along with Cristiano Ronaldo for the past 15 years.

For some that makes it the dream final, with France looking to become the first team to retain the title since Brazil in 1962 and Argentina on a mission to win soccer’s ultimate prize in what is likely to be Messi's last World Cup.

The World Cup trophy isn’t the only thing at stake on Sunday, with both Messi and Mbappé tied as the leading scorers with five goals as they chase the Golden Boot award.

Road to the final


Group Stage

France 4 – 1 Australia

France 2 – 1 Denmark

Tunisia 1 – 0 France

Round of 16

France 3 – 1 Poland


England 1 – 2 France


France 2 – 0 Morocco


Group stage

Argentina 1 – 2 Saudi Arabia

Argentina 2 – 0 Mexico

Poland 0 – 2 Argentina

Round of 16

Argentina 2 – 1 Australia

Quarter finals

Netherlands 2 – 2 Argentina (Pen: 3- 4)


Argentina 3 – 0 Croatia