By Simon Peach, PA Chief Football Writer, Lusail
Lionel Messi is celebrating a dream, career-defining World Cup triumph as Argentina won the most dramatic final in history on penalties after Kylian Mbappe’s hat-trick had kept holders France alive.
After 63 matches and a thrilling month of action, Sunday’s breathless finale was the wildest conclusion anyone could have imagined to the first finals held in the Middle East and Arab world.
Messi came to Qatar looking to crown a glittering career by leading Argentina to a third World Cup triumph and managed just that after a staggering 3-3 draw ending in a 4-2 shootout victory against France.
Emiliano Martinez denied Kingsley Coman before Aurelien Tchouameni failed with his effort, with Gonzalo Montiel striking the decider to spark wild celebrations at Lusail Stadium.