Carrying The World on Their Shoulders: Argentina Beats France in The FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022 Final

Sara Paredes, Feature Editor

Every four years, each match, goal and blow of the whistle that occurs within the four weeks of the most-watched sporting event in the world culminates in one magic moment — the FIFA World Cup Final. On Sunday, Dec. 18, Argentina defeated France in a thrilling, historic match ending in a penalty kick shootout, after a 3:3 final score in extra time, confirming their stance as world champions. 

“To put it simply, after waiting 36 years to finally earn our third world cup win, it feels amazing. In Argentina, soccer is everything. Kids are born dreaming of winning a World Cup, so take player Julian Alvarez for example. After the win, he posted a picture of him holding a World Cup trophy when he was a little boy and compared it to a photo of him winning the World Cup on Sunday. Bringing the trophy back home after 36 years is incredible and it really means the world to me and my people,” Miami Palmetto Senior High junior Kaitlyn Castro said. 

Argentina’s Ángel Di María and Lionel Messi’s goals, completing the first half of the game with a 2:0 score, were quickly countered by France’s Kylian Mbappé, who scored two goals in a span of 90 seconds in the 80 and 81-minute mark, tying the game and sending the match into extra time. 

 “Although I love Argentina with my entire heart, France was a very strong opponent for Argentina to face. Both teams played an excellent match and both deserved to win, this has to be the greatest World Cup final of all time. Every second of the game was unpredictable and had me on the edge of my seat. Mbappé played a phenomenal game and he is the future of the sport, but in the end, Messi and Argentina were victorious and Messi finally was able to achieve his ultimate goal of winning the World Cup,” Castro said. 

With a previous World Cup win in 2018, the French national soccer team reached the final for the second consecutive time this year. 

“[Coming so close to winning the World Cup] means a lot for the French people, even if we won last time, soccer take a big place in people’s life in France, everyone follows the team of our cities but when the French team is playing we are all together to support them, and we really love and we are so proud of our French players,” MPSH sophomore and French foreign exchange student Gliane Barbier said. 

Before officially awarding the World Cup trophy, players who set themselves apart throughout the tournament receive individual awards — a Golden Ball for the best player of the tournament (Messi; Argentina), a Golden Boot for the most goals scored (Mbappé with eight goals; France), Golden Glove for the best goalkeeper (Emilio ‘Dibu’ Martinez; Argentina) and Best Young Player award (Enzo Fernandez; Argentina).  

With their last World Cup win being in 1986, the captain of the Argentinian team, Messi, has made his final appearance on the World Stage and led his country to victory. For Argentinians all over the world, the match symbolizes the end of an era for Messi, completing his World Cup career with the highest honor in the sport.   

“Seeing Messi finally get a hold of the World Cup trophy that was so close to being his in 2014 was very emotional. Messi is a great and humble player who truly deserves to be a world champion and I honestly believe that he was the greatest player of all time before this moment but this cements both his greatness and legacy in soccer,” Castro said.