Argentina will face France in the World Cup final, as both teams aim to lift the trophy for the third time.
The South Americans came through their semi-final in a flash, with Lionel Messi leading them to a 3-0 win over Croatia.
France fought hard to beat Morocco 2-0, with the North Africans proving tough opponents and dominating the game.
A total of 32 teams started the Qatar 2022 World Cup with high hopes, but only one winner can be crowned after the 64 matches played.
The tournament so far has been filled with upsets, surprise starts and dark horses.
England came through the group stages and beat Senegal 3-0 in the last 16, but were beaten 2-1 in the quarter-finals against France.
When is the 2022 World Cup final?
The final match will be on Qatar National Day, Sunday, December 18, 2022.
What time is kick-off?
The final will start at 3 p.m. GMT (10 a.m. EST).
Which stadium will host the final?
The showpiece clash to decide the winners of the World Cup will take place at the Lusail stadium. The state-of-the-art 80,000-seater stadium has a futuristic design with a roof that has been “carefully chosen to provide shade” given Qatar’s temperatures.
Once the tournament is over, organizers said the site “will be transformed into a community space including schools, shops, cafes, sports facilities and health clinics”.
Construction began in 2017 and ended in 2021, at an estimated cost of $767 million.
How have Argentina fared so far?
Lionel Messi and Julian Alvarez shone for Argentina in their 3-0 semi-final win. Messi scored the first goal from the spot after Croatian goalkeeper Livakovic slammed into Alvarez.
Shortly after, Alvarez doubled the lead from close range following a poor Croatian defence. In the second half, Messi showed his full potential, giving Josko Gvardiol the go-around before firing in Alvarez to score Argentina’s third goal.
In the quarter-finals, goalkeeper Emiliano Martinez staged a penalty-saving masterclass as Argentina beat the Netherlands after a remarkable 2-2 draw in which Messi scored one goal and assisted another.
Earlier in the tournament, Argentina beat Australia 2-1 in the round of 16. This game marked a return to form after a relatively difficult group stage that started with a shock defeat against Saudi Arabia, followed by 2-0 wins against Mexico and Poland.
Where is France so far?
Despite several injuries, the Blues looked solid in their bid to defend their title. Kylian Mbappe has terrorized defences, scoring five goals so far in the tournament, and he’s leading the Golden Boot race alongside Messi.
France led early on against Morocco, with an effort from Theo Hernandez putting them ahead. Morocco then dominated the periods of play, but struggled to create clear chances, before Randal Kolo Muani scored relatively late to confirm victory.
They fought hard to beat England 2-1 in the quarter-finals and were convincing in their 3-1 round of 16 win over Poland.
France’s only setback was a 1-0 loss to Tunisia in their last group game – but Didier Deschamps fielded a B team for that match as Les Bleus had already qualified.
What is Argentina’s World Cup record?
Argentina have won the World Cup twice: 1978 and 1986. The latter, won in Mexico, is one of the most emblematic triumphs in the history of the tournament with L’Albiceleste led by Diego Maradona, who was at the height of his powers.
Midway through his successful seven-year stint with Napoli, he created five and scored five, including the infamous Hand of God goal and the labyrinthine 60-meter run later voted ‘Goal of the Century’ in a 2-1 quarter-final. defeat England.
They also finished runners-up in 1990 and 2014, losing to Germany in one form or another in the final each time.
What is France’s World Cup record?
France is the defending champion having prevailed in Russia. They also won on their own ground in 1998. They were runners-up in Germany in 2006, losing on penalties to Italy after Zinedine Zidane’s infamous header on Marco Materazzi.
Only two countries – Italy and Brazil – have recorded back-to-back World Cup victories.
What is the history of results for Argentina and France?
Argentina and France have faced each other 12 times, with Argentina winning six, France winning three and the other three drawing.
Their last meeting dates back to the 2018 World Cup, where they played a fantastic quarter-final, in which France triumphed 4-3. Kylian Mbappe grabbed a brace that day.
They had only faced each other twice in the World Cup before. Argentia won 1-0 in the inaugural tournament and also triumphed 2-1 in the group stage in 1978.
What’s the latest news on the final?
France are battling a virus that swept through their squad ahead of the match.
Raphaël Varane and Ibrahima Konaté fell ill on Friday morning, both holders of the semi-final against Morocco, and are struggling to be in good shape for Sunday’s match.
Manchester United’s Varane and Liverpool’s Konaté have self-isolated in their rooms, with France imposing social distancing measures at their team hotel in an attempt to limit the impact of the virus.
Another defender, Dayot Upamecano, and midfielder Adrien Rabiot, fell ill with flu-like symptoms, headaches and stomach aches, and missed the semi-final. Kingsley Coman was also ill.
It has even been suggested that the disease was contracted during the quarter-final against England, with French staff trying to work out a timeline and its origin. But there is no evidence to support this.
The most likely explanation is that the bug was contracted as many people fell ill in Qatar during the tournament.
Where will the next World Cup take place?
The 2026 World Cup will be held in three host countries – America, Canada and Mexico – in a first tournament after the trio’s bid rebuffed a strong proposal from Morocco. The competition matches will be played in 16 different cities – 11 in America, two in Canada and three in Mexico.
History of the trophy
The original Jules Rimet trophy, named for FIFA’s longest-serving president, was replaced by the FIFA World Cup trophy for the 1974 World Cup, hosted in West Germany.
There were 53 designs for the new trophy submitted to Fifa who then selected the creation of Italian sculptor Silvio Gazzaniga. The trophy represents the joy of victory with two stylized players holding the world.
Crafted of solid 18 karat goal, the trophy stands 14.5 inches tall and weighs 15 lbs. The base, 13 cm in diameter, is made of two bands of semi-precious green malachite which have been restored several times, in addition to the application of a new layer of gold plating. After the most recent restoration in 2005, Fifa decided to no longer lend the original trophy to the winning team.
Holders of the cup were previously allowed to display it in their federation’s trophy cabinet before returning it to Fifa for the next World Cup. Since 2006, the original cup has only been presented to the team at the official awards ceremony before being collected by Fifa employees. The winning country then receives an exact replica of the original.
This article is regularly updated with the latest information.