Lusail distributes the third star

Lusail distributes the third star

Mbappé challenges Messi, who in his ‘last dance’ seeks to emulate Maradona with Argentina and prevent France from revalidating the title


The teams from Argentina and France will try to win this Sunday at the Lusail Stadium (4:00 p.m. / La 1), in the final of the World Cup in Qatar, their third star, a match in which the ‘Bleus’ aspire to defend the title for the first time in 60 years and in which the albiceleste, with Leo Messi at the helm, dreams of lifting the cup 36 years later.

Two titles contemplate the ‘Bleus’ (1998 and 2018), current champions, and another two to the Argentines (1978 and 1986), and this Sunday one of the two will sew a new star on his shirt to get closer to Brazil, five-time champion ( 1958, 1962, 1970, 1994 and 2002), and Germany (1954, 1974, 1990 and 2014) and Italy (1934, 1938, 1982 and 2006), with four wounds each. All in a final that goes much further.

For Argentina, lifting the cup would mean the culmination of Leo Messi’s career, to whom his compatriots have always denied comparison with Diego Armando Maradona for lacking the golden trophy. It was precisely the ‘Fluff’, who died in 2020, the last Argentine to win a World Cup, in Mexico ’86.

Now, 36 years later, another ’10’, who was not even born when Maradona raised the trophy to the sky at the Azteca Stadium, wants to continue increasing his legend in his fifth World Cup, surely the one of his farewell at 35 years of age and the that could take away the ‘thorn’ of the final lost in Brazil 2014.

And it is that Lionel Scaloni’s men have gone from less to more in a tournament that began with a surprising defeat against Saudi Arabia. Victories against Mexico and Poland allowed them to advance to the qualifiers, where they beat Australia before surviving the dramatic and controversial duel against the Netherlands, resolved on penalties, in the quarterfinals. In the semifinals, Croatia did not even worry the albiceleste (3-0).

Opposite, history also awaits France, which aspires to become the first team to revalidate the title since Pelé’s Brazil achieved it in 1962 (1958 and 1962), also emulating Italy in the thirties (1934 and 1938). It would also be his third star in 24 years, and all with a common denominator: Didier Deschamps.

The now French coach made history by achieving the first star for the ‘Bleus’ in 1998, and two decades later, in Russia, he was sitting on the bench when the team won their second. In Qatar, only four years later, he wants to continue being the charm of the French team.

To do this, he will have the invaluable help of Kylian Mbappé, the fashionable striker who, at only 23 years old, aspires to become a two-time world champion. The whole planet will watch him in his duel with Messi, his teammate at Paris Saint-Germain, on the biggest football stage in the world.

After the victories against Denmark (2-1) and Australia (4-1) and the insignificant defeat against Tunisia (1-0) in the group stage, Poland (3-1), in the round of 16, and England (1-2) , in the quarterfinals, they fell to the defending champions, who defeated Morocco (2-0) to sneak into their second consecutive World Cup final.

All in a match marked by the so-called ‘camel virus’, a type of coronavirus that has affected several French players in recent days but will not prevent Deschamps from having all his men, including those ‘touched’ Varane, Tchouaméni , Konaté, Theo Hernández and Coman, in the final.

Hugo Lloris and ‘Dibu’ Martínez, decisive in this tournament, will challenge each other in a match in which, in addition to facing Messi and Mbappé, they will have to grow in the face of the good momentum of the rival attackers. Olivier Giroud, already the top scorer for the French team, and Antoine Griezmann, key to the French success, will examine the Argentine goalkeeper, while Julián Álvarez, who has won the position against Lautaro Martínez with four goals in the last four games, will put in the spotlight the captain of the ‘Bleus’.



ARGENTINA: Martinez; Nahuel Molina, Otamendi, Romero, Acuña; De Paul, Enzo Fernandez, Mac Allister, Paredes; Messi and Julian Alvarez.

FRANCE: Lloris; Kound, Varane, Upamecano, Theo Fernandez; Tchouameni, Rabiot; Dembele, Mbappe, Griezmann and Giroud.

–ARBITRO: Szymon Marciniak (POL).

–STADIUM: Lusail.

–TIME: 4:00 p.m./La 1, World Goal and Movistar+.