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Argentina are the World Champions!

Argentina won their third World Cup in an extraordinary final on Sunday.

They beat France 4-2 on penalties after Lionel Messi scored twice in a 3-3 draw that featured a hat-trick for Kylian Mbappe as the holders recovered from 2-0 down.

It was one of the all-time great finals and capped a wonderful tournament as its two star players delivered performances of a lifetime, on the biggest stage.

For Messi, after winning seven Ballon d’Ors, lifting 38 trophies and playing over 1,000 games in his career, the World Cup was the pinnacle of his career.

The match swung from one extreme to another.

Argentina looked to be cruising to a one-sided victory after Messi’s penalty and a brilliant goal by Angel Di Maria in the first half.

However, Mbappe converted an 80th-minute penalty and volleyed in an equaliser a minute later to take the game to extra time.

Messi put Argentina ahead again but Mbappe levelled with another penalty, becoming the second man to score a World Cup final hat-trick after England’s Geoff Hurst in 1966.

In the penalty kick lottery, France’s Kingsley Coman saw his spot kick saved by Emiliano Martinez, who was named as the tournament’s best goalkeeper.

To make matters worse for France, Aurelien Tchouameni pulled his effort wide before Montiel secured Argentina’s third World Cup title and a first since 1986.

In the process, Messi matched his hero Diego Maradona, who guided Argentina to the World Cup 36 years ago, and further staked his claim as the greatest player in history.

Despite not being enough to inspire France to successive World Cup titles, Mbappé’s third goal secured him the Golden Boot, given to the tournament’s top scorer.

He netted eight goals in Qatar.

Midfielder Enzo Fernandez of Benfica was adjudged the Best young player of the tournament while Messi was honoured with the Best Player of the Tournament award.

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