Lionel Messi ‘knew’ he was going to win World Cup final for Argentina against France


Lionel Messi has said he “knew God was going to give me” the 2022 World Cup.

Argentina beat France on penalty kicks in the greatest final in the history of the tournament on Sunday.

Messi opened the scoring for Argentina and his side appeared on course for glory when Angel Di Maria doubled their lead before the half-time interval.

But Kylian Mbappe hit back from the spot and then took the game into extra time after he scored a stunning volley.

Messi scored again for Argentina in extra time, only for Mbappe to complete his hat-trick minutes before the end of the game. Argentina prevailed on penalty kicks, however, with Kingsley Coman and Aurelian Tchouameni both missing from the spot.

“It is crazy that it has happened this way,” Messi said after the game.

“I wanted it very much. I knew that God was going to give it to me, I believed that it was going to be this way. Now to enjoy it.”

The Paris Saint-Germain forward added that he was looking forward to returning to Argentina to celebrate the country’s third World Cup win — and first since 1986.

He said: “We suffered a lot, but we made it. We can’t wait to be in Argentina to see how crazy it’s going to be that.”

“It was a game where we suffered,” added the Argentina goalkeeper Emiliano Martinez, who saved Coman’s penalty in the shootout.

“Two crappy shots and they (France) levelled. They give them another penalty, they scored. Thank God later I did my thing, what I dreamed of.

“There could not have been a World Cup that I have dreamed of like this. I was calm during the penalties.”

Argentina win World Cup final — more reading

(Photo: Getty Images)


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