30 teams have been knocked out from the World Cup a month after the start of the tournament. Argentina and France will battle for their third star in a game that is expected to be thrilling. They have both been the best teams of the entire World Cup objectively, which is why their presence in this final is well deserved.
Both teams will look to make history next Sunday. On one side, Leo Messi’s Argentina want to be world champion again after 36 years. And they want it more than any other country. We just have to take a look at the astonishing quantity of Argentinian fans that have travelled all the way to Qatar in order to support Scaloni’s squad since day one.
A crowd that feels prouder than ever before of their players and who has seen their team winning absolutely all their finals (Mexico, Poland, Australia, Netherlands and Croatia) after an unexpected defeat in their debut against Saudi Arabia that arose many uncertainties.
On the other side we have Kylian Mbappé and company’s France. Just a quick reminder that France would pull off a historical achievement for them by winning two consecutive World Cups if they manage to get the victory on Sunday. In fact, they have shown the same voracity and conviction to Russia 2018 throughout the entire tournament.
Not even a huge list of injuries (Kanté, Benzema, Kimpembe, Lucas Hernandez, Nkunku…) has stopped the team coached by Didier Deschamps.
Their path to the final has been very similar to Argentina’s. Two victories (Australia and Denmark) and a defeat (Tunisia) in the group stage and three more wins against Poland (3-1), England (2-1) and Morocco (2-0).
The final of next December 18th is not a simple game. It is the game. The game that can definitely impact the career of Leo Messi as the best player in the history of football or the one that can put Kylian Mbappé closer to his first Golden Ball and to Pelé’s three World Cups.
All in all, a lot of things can happen in 90 minutes (or 120). In fact, they will take place. And whatever happens in that game will change the history, present and future of football, fair or not.
Translated by Guillermo Bermejo.
Main image: Edit José Manuel Calviño.