Lionel Messi fulfilled a lifelong dream by leading Argentina to the World Cup title after a thrilling final against France.
After one of the greatest finals in football history, the winners were decided on penalties as the match ended 2-2 in regular time and 3-3 after extra time.
Kylian Mbappé put in a massive effort, scoring a hat-trick to keep France hopeful. But Argentina kept their cool in the penalty shootout. Kingsley Coman converted his penalty and Aurélien Tchouameni missed the target, earning the South Americans the world title.
Messi, 35, was out of his mind when he scored twice to win the first World Cup of his illustrious career.
“Obviously I wanted to end my career with this. I can’t ask for more,” Messi told Argentine television.
“My career is coming to an end because these are my last years. What else can happen after this?
But he said he would continue to play for the Argentina national team. “I want to play a few more matches as world champion.”
The epic final was watched by some 90,000 fans at Lusail Stadium and billions of viewers around the world, especially after broadcasters decided to show the final for free on YouTube and free-to-air channels.
For their efforts, Argentina took home the World Cup trophy and a huge winners check.
What is the prize pool?
FIFA has set a total prize pool for the 2022 World Cup of $440 million. The prize fund is distributed as follows:
Champions (Argentina): $42 million
Prize-winners (France): $30 million
Third place (Croatia): $27 million
Fourth place (Morocco): $25 million
Fifth-eighth place: $68 million ($17 million per team)
9th-16th place: $104 million ($13 million per team)
17th-32nd: $144 million ($9 million per team)
Is the prize pool bigger than last time?
This year the prize pool has increased significantly. In 2018, winners France received $38 million for their triumph, while runner-up Croatia received $28 million.
The total prize fund in 2018 was $400 million.
Who received the main awards at Qatar 2022?
Messi received the Ballon d’Or as the best player in this year’s World Cup after leading Argentina to victory in the final.
Mbappe finished second behind Messi but received the Golden Boot as the tournament’s top scorer with eight goals, one ahead of the Argentina captain.
Argentinean Emiliano Martinez received the Golden Glove as the best goalkeeper of the World Cup, and his compatriot 21-year-old Enzo Fernandez was recognized as the best young player.