Story by Mthokozisi Dube
Reigning World Cup champions, France will be out to defend their crown when they take on Argentina in the final of the 2022 FIFA World cup tournament later today.
Football fans have chosen to narrow the final between France and Argentina as a contest between seven-time Ballon d’ Or winner Lionel Messi and his Paris St Germain team mate, Kylian Mbappe.
The match is, however, much more than competition between Messi and Mbappe as both France and Argentina have other players who can rise to the occasion.
France are in the final for the fourth time in seven editions and a win for them at Lusail Stadium will put them in the Guinness Book of Records as the first team to retain the trophy after Brazil in 1962.
For the enterprising young Mbappe , winning a back-to-back World Cup will be an icing on the cake. Mbappe has been enterprising in this campaign, tearing his opponents to create chances for his teammates and likewise, Messi has been phenomenal, thrusting the South Americans into the final.
Now in the twighlight of his playing career and playing in his fifth World Cup final, Messi hopes to cap his career with a trophy.
The final is talk among football fans who however have divergent views.
“It has been a month full of surprises and now with the final, I think France are going to defend it,” a supporter said.
Another noted, “A tricky encounter, but I am running with Argentina on this one. We have seen some exploits by Messi and like wise he will be the only difference today.”
“The French are a good side and anyone is capable of scoring in that team. So, watch out for them,” added another fan.
In yesterday’s third and fourth place play off, Croatia snatched bronze after edging Morocco 2-1.
Morocco eventually occupied fourth place, the highest an African side has gone in the world’s highest football showpiece.