‘God of football’ Lionel Messi (35, Argentina) and ‘next-generation soccer emperor’ Kylian Mbafe (24, France) will face each other in the Qatar World Cup final. The two are teammates who play together at Paris Saint-Germain (PSG) in the French Ligue 1, but will meet as enemies in this World Cup wearing national team uniforms. This is the 5th and last World Cup for Messi, so a match between the two on the World Cup stage is a big match that will never be seen again.
France, the ‘defending champion’, advanced to the final after winning 2-0 in the World Cup semi-final match against Morocco held at Albaite Stadium in Alcor, 메이저사이트 Qatar on the 15th. Argentina was waiting for the final after defeating Croatia the day before. The finals between the two teams will be held on the 19th at 0:00. Both teams are aiming for a third championship in their career, with France aiming for the second consecutive championship and Argentina’s first championship in 36 years since the 1986 Mexico Championship.
When the final matchup between Messi and Mbappe was concluded, the British BBC said, “The final is a match between Argentina and France, but many people see it as a confrontation between Messi and Mbappe.” Mbappe led France to victory in the 2018 World Cup debut in Russia, scoring four goals. The ‘Young Player Award’, equivalent to the rookie award, was also his share. ‘Football Emperor’ Pele (82, Brazil) also pointed out Mbafe as his successor. Mbappe, who celebrated his 24th birthday on the 20th, the day after the final, left his name as the player who scored the most goals (9) in the World Cup before turning 24.
Messi, who stepped out on the World Cup stage ‘Last Dance’, is aiming for his first win. Messi, who played all six games in this tournament until the semifinals, tied for first place (25 games) in the most appearances in history. If you go to the finals, you will be ranked first. He added 5 goals in this tournament, bringing his total to 11 goals in the World Cup, and also set a new record for the most goals by an Argentine player. Messi and Mbappe faced off only once in an A match (national competition). It was the round of 16 of the World Cup in Russia four years ago, and Mbafe scored two goals and Messi scored two assists. France won 4-3.
The two, who play together at PSG, led the team to the league title last season. PSG welcomed the team’s signature players to advance to the finals through the club’s social media, saying, “Two Parisians (people living in Paris) will face each other in the World Cup finals.” Messi and Mbappe compete not only for the championship trophy, but also for the top scorer and Golden Ball (best player). In this tournament, Mbappe has 5 points and 2 assists, and Messi is recording 5 points and 3 assists. It is tied for first place in scoring, but the leading scorer may be split in the final.
The Golden Ball winner is selected by a press vote after the International Football Federation (FIFA) Technical Research Group selects candidates. Individual skills and team contributions are evaluated, but since Romario (56), who led Brazil to victory in the 1994 U.S. competition, no Golden Ball winner has emerged from the winning country.
In an interview with the New York Times in September, Mbappe said, “I am a new generation without limits. Now (old generation) Messi has to stop,” he showed confidence. “Mbappe will be one of the best players in the next few years,” said Messi. In his one remaining game, Mbappe wants to show that he is the best player to lead a new era, and Messi wants to show that his era is not over yet.