WATCH: Lionel Messi scores Argentina's third in the World Cup final

Lionel Messi of Argentina scores the team's third goal past Hugo Lloris of France during the FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022 Final match between Argentina and France at Lusail Stadium on December 18, 2022 in Lusail City, Qatar.
(Image credit: Julian Finney/Getty Images)

Has Lionel Messi has scored the goal to win Argentina their third World Cup?

It had to be him: the little genius was on hand to start the move and finish it, knocking the ball in off a rebond. VAR had to confirm he was onside – and that it had crossed the line.

It was also the goal that put him ahead of Kylian Mbappe in the race for the Golden Boot.

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Argentina were much the better team for almost 80 minutes of the match, starting on top, dominating the ball and getting the breakthrough on 23 minutes after a controversial penalty was awarded for a foul on Angel Di Maria. Naturally, Lionel Messi – who all the talk was about before the game – stepped up to slot home from 12 yards

Di Maria was at the heart of everything for the second goal, too, capping off a beautiful team move. The Juventus star, returning to the line-up after struggling with injury throughout the tournament, converted to put the Albiceleste into what looked like an unassailable lead. Didier Deschamps reacted bravely, making a double substitution before half-time, as he took off Olivier Giroud and Ousmane Dembele for Randal Kolo Muani and Marcus Thuram. 

The game looked to be over, with France looking particularly lacklustre until Kylian Mbappe stepped up to change proceedings. Nicolas Otamendi gave a penalty away, bringing down Kolo Muani, giving the PSG forward the opportunity to convert and join an elite club of players to score in multiple finals. Less than 90 seconds later, it was Mbappe at the double – swinging towards the ball in a scissoring motion to put Les Bleus level. 

A win for Argentina sees them win their third World Cup trophy. 

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Mark White
Staff Writer

Mark White has been a staff writer on FourFourTwo since joining in January 2020, writing pieces for both online and the magazine. An encyclopedia of football shirts and boots knowledge – both past and present – Mark has also been to the FA Cup and League Cup finals for FFT and has written pieces for the mag ranging on subjects from Bobby Robson's season at Barcelona to Robinho's career. He once saw Tyrone Mings at a petrol station in Bournemouth but felt far too short to ask for a photo.