For nearly 80 minutes it looked like the 2022 FIFA World Cup Final was going to be pretty straightforward. Lionel Messi and Argentina had dominated France and taken a 2-0 advantage, but Kylian Mbappé turned the game on its head over the final 10 minutes to force a thrilling extra-time period before a nerve-shredding penalty shootout.
In the end, it was undeniably the greatest World Cup final in the event's history. Argentina had played some thoroughly enjoyable football with 10 shots on target, but France made them suffer to earn a first title 1986.
Messi had to deliver again and again to repel Mbappé, but we also saw huge performances from Ángel Di María, Emi Martínez, Enzo Fernández and Alexis Mac Allister for Argentina. France really only got going after Didier Deschamps turned to his bench, but Mbappé was the Golden Boot winner after a memorable hat-trick in the final.
"I'll never forget it," said Argentina midfielder Rodrigo De Paul after the game. "We had to suffer but we deserved to win. We've beaten the last champions, it's a joy I cannot put into words. I'm proud of being born in Argentina and today we are on top of the world."
Viewers at home reached the heights as well through all the drama.
Social media reaction to the best World Cup final ever
— KFC (@KFC_ES) December 18, 2022
Felicidades Hermano #leomessi pic.twitter.com/5XClpQf15y— Neymar Jr (@neymarjr) December 18, 2022
I bloody love football.— Bethany England (@Bethany_Eng15) December 18, 2022
El mejor deporte del mundo.— FC Barcelona (@FCBarcelona_es) December 18, 2022
Congrats to Argentina and to the GOAT, Lionel Messi, for an amazing World Cup victory. https://t.co/TkPRhReOV9— Barack Obama (@BarackObama) December 18, 2022
Anyway, I think that might be the greatest single sporting event in history?— Matthew Doyle (@MattDoyle76) December 18, 2022
CONGRATULATIONS TO ALL US LIFELONG ARGENTINA FANS SINCE LIKE TWO HOURS AGO IT’S BEEN A LOT OF TRIALS AND TRIBULATIONS BUT WE FINALLY DID IT— Shea Serrano (@SheaSerrano) December 18, 2022
I love football.— Juan Mata García (@juanmata8) December 18, 2022
I’m glad I’ll be able to tell my kids I watched this World Cup final one day.— GAGA (@GabrielSlonina) December 18, 2022
Football is complete.— Fran Kirby (@frankirby) December 18, 2022
Is messi the best athlete of all time? Forget just football. What a man.— Andy Murray (@andy_murray) December 18, 2022
That was the best match I have seen in my entire life. #WorldCup— Daryl Dike (@DarylDike) December 18, 2022
Best football game ever. The best sport in the world. UNBELIEVABLE. pic.twitter.com/nOB39pmsgY— Fabrizio Romano (@FabrizioRomano) December 18, 2022
Wow. What am I seeing!!— Jack Grealish (@JackGrealish) December 18, 2022
The best football match I’ve ever seen! ⚽️❤️— Gary Neville (@GNev2) December 18, 2022
Ive never watched soccer before but this shit LIT— The Chosen One (@KiDCuDi) December 18, 2022
Best World Cup final ever? That's not in doubt is it?— Barney Ronay (@barneyronay) December 18, 2022
Best sporting final I have ever seen in any sport. I am so happy for #Messi and for the American public that now understand what this game is all about. It’s always been here and many more people are being exposed to it. #FIFAWorldCup— Taylor Twellman (@TaylorTwellman) December 18, 2022
The best #FIFAWorldCup Final ever.— FIFA World Cup (@FIFAWorldCup) December 18, 2022
Football.— Chelsea FC (@ChelseaFC) December 18, 2022
MESSI— LeBron James (@KingJames) December 18, 2022
Incredible from Mbappe but I was doing this shit in 2006 pic.twitter.com/eaRIH90Fgc— Peter Crouch (@petercrouch) December 18, 2022
Fox gonna try to make me watch the Bears after this. SMH.— Brendan Hunt (@brendanhunting) December 18, 2022
— Lindsey Horan (@LindseyHoran) December 18, 2022
GM! What a game!— Snoop Dogg (@SnoopDogg) December 18, 2022
Qatar: The 2022 World Cup will end with Lionel Messi lifting the cup while wearing a bisht, completing our glorious sportswashing initiative. It will be the most iconic photograph of the tournament.
— John Green (@sportswithjohn) December 18, 2022
That was one of the greatest works of art that our species has ever created.— John Green (@sportswithjohn) December 18, 2022
This is in fact the best sport in the world.— Sydney Leroux (@sydneyleroux) December 18, 2022
I can’t remember an NBA or NFL final game where 2 all time guys were all time in the same game. This is really something!— Bill Simmons (@BillSimmons) December 18, 2022
The best football match I‘ve seen so far in front of the TV! WOW!— David Alaba (@David_Alaba) December 18, 2022
My god, #FIFAWorldCup. This game is a gorgeous, evil curse. I love it so much make it stop.— Ryan Reynolds (@VancityReynolds) December 18, 2022
soccer is insane and I need to start watching it more that was incredible— timthetatman (@timthetatman) December 18, 2022
the revenge arc for this dude gonna be crazy pic.twitter.com/zrd3E7TTGI— ludwig (@LudwigAhgren) December 18, 2022