|Event||2022 FIFA World Cup|
|After extra time|
Argentina won 4–2 on penalties
|Date||18 December 2022|
|Venue||Lusail Stadium, Lusail|
|Man of the Match||Lionel Messi (Argentina)|
|Referee||Szymon Marciniak (Poland)|
22 °C (72 °F)
|Part of a series on the|
The 2022 FIFA World Cup Final was a football match, the culmination of the 2022 FIFA World Cup, the 22nd edition of FIFA's competition for men's national football teams. The match was played at Lusail Stadium in Lusail, Qatar, on 18 December 2022 and was contested by Argentina and France. The final took place in front of 88,966 supporters, and was refereed by Szymon Marciniak from Poland.
Argentina led 2–0 at half-time, but a hat-trick for France by Kylian Mbappé and an additional goal for Argentina left the match tied 3–3 after extra time. Argentina won the ensuing penalty shoot-out 4–2 to earn their third FIFA World Cup title and first since 1986. The 2022 FIFA World Cup final was widely praised for its back-and-forth nature and several commentators described it as being among the best football matches of all time and possibly "the best World Cup final ever".
The defending champions from the 2018 World Cup were France, which made this the first time since the 2002 final in which a team had consecutive appearances at the finals, and the first since 1998 where the title holders qualified for the subsequent final – both were achieved by Brazil. France has claimed two World Cups, in 1998 and 2018. The French also reached the 2006 final, but fell to Italy on penalties. Under the management of Didier Deschamps, who won the 1998 tournament as a player, the French failed to conquer the 2014 World Cup, UEFA Euros 2016 and 2020, but successfully clinched the 2018 World Cup title. Due to the status as the world champions, France also entered Qatar as one of the favourites to win. France also aimed to emulate the achievement of Italy in 1934 and 1938 and Brazil in 1958 and 1962 as the third country to successfully defend the World Cup title. Didier Deschamps was seeking to become the second manager to win two FIFA World Cup titles, after Vittorio Pozzo with Italy in 1934 and 1938. Having won the 1998 tournament as a player, Deschamps was also seeking to become the third person to win three FIFA World Cup titles, after Brazilian legends Pelé (all as a player) and Mário Zagallo (two as a player, one as a manager).
Argentina, similar to France, have won the World Cup twice before, in 1978 and 1986. They have also finished as losing finalists thrice, in 1930, 1990, and 2014. After the 2014 final loss, they went on to lose two consecutive Copa América finals to Chile, in 2015 and 2016. After a string of disappointing performances in the 2018 FIFA World Cup, where they lost to eventual champions France in the first knockout round, and the 2019 Copa América, where they finished third, newly-appointed coach Lionel Scaloni led Argentina to their first international title in 28 years, as Argentina defeated Brazil 1–0 in the 2021 Copa América Final, handing captain Lionel Messi his first international title with Argentina. After winning the 2022 Finalissima, beating European champions Italy 3–0, Argentina entered Qatar as one of the favourites to win.
The two nations are meeting in the knockout stage for the second straight World Cup. In 2018 in Russia at Kazan Arena in the round of 16, France won the encounter 4–3 in what The Independent called "one of the greatest World Cup games of all time". Antoine Griezmann opened the scoring with a penalty before Ángel Di María and Gabriel Mercado put Argentina in front, with France then scoring the next three goals courtesy of Benjamin Pavard's volley outside of the box – which was later voted as the goal of the tournament – and then Kylian Mbappé twice. Sergio Agüero reduced the deficit to one in stoppage time, but Argentina was unable to equalise and send the match to extra time.
The match ball for the 2022 FIFA World Cup semi-finals, third place match, and final was announced on 11 December 2022. It is a variation of the Adidas Al Rihla named the Adidas Al-Hilm, meaning 'The Dream' in Arabic, a reference to every nation's dream of lifting the FIFA World Cup. Whilst the technical aspects of the ball are the same, the colour is different from the Al-Rihla balls used in the group stages and preceding knockout games, with a Gold Metallic, maroon, Collegiate Burgundy, and red design, a reference to the national colors of host nation Qatar and the golden colors shared by the final's venue Lusail Stadium and the FIFA World Cup Trophy. It is the fifth special ball for FIFA World Cup final matches, after the +Teamgeist Berlin, Jo'bulani, Brazuca Final Rio, and Telstar Mechta.
The final was played at Lusail Stadium in Lusail, located about 15 kilometres (9.3 mi) north of the city centre of Doha. The stadium was intended to host the final as part of Qatar's World Cup bid, and was confirmed as the final venue on 15 July 2020. The stadium was allocated to also host nine other matches, with six in the group stage and three other knockout fixtures.
The Lusail Stadium, owned by the Qatar Football Association, was built as part of Qatar's winning bid for the World Cup. The stadium was designed by British firm Foster + Partners and Populous, supported by MANICA Architecture. The stadium uses solar power to be cooled and is claimed to have a carbon zero footprint. Construction began in April 2017, and was planned to finish in 2020. Completion of the stadium was postponed, with construction ultimately finished in November 2021. The stadium hosted its first match, the Lusail Super Cup, on 9 September 2022, later than expected.
Drawn in group C and coming off a three-year, 36-game long unbeaten streak, Argentina were defeated in their opening game 2–1 by Saudi Arabia. Lionel Messi's opener from the penalty spot was followed by several disallowed goals which were ruled offside. Immediately after half-time, Saudi Arabia stunned Argentina with two goals from Saleh Al-Shehri and Salem Al-Dawsari in a span of five minutes, before shutting out any further attempts by the South Americans in a disciplined defensive performance. However, the Argentines bounced back from the shock loss to overcome Mexico 2–0 after a long-range effort by Messi who then assisted Enzo Fernández for the second, reigniting their World Cup hopes. Boosted by the win, Argentina then beat Poland with the same scoreline with goals from Alexis Mac Allister and Julián Álvarez despite a first-half penalty miss from Messi, taking first place in Group C and condemning both Mexico and Saudi Arabia to World Cup elimination.
In the round of 16, the Argentines found themselves against group D runners-up Australia; Messi's first ever knockout-stage goal was followed by an astute goal by Álvarez, who intercepted Australian goalkeeper Mathew Ryan to finish into an empty net, as Argentina overcame Australia 2–1, despite an own goal from Fernández creating a frantic finish which required a late save from point-blank range by Emiliano Martínez. Facing the Netherlands in the quarter-finals, a rematch of the semi-finals meeting in 2014, Argentina got a two-goal lead by Nahuel Molina and a penalty from Messi, but succumbed to two late goals by Wout Weghorst as the game ended 2–2 in 90 minutes; neither could find the breakthrough in extra times and penalties were used to decide the winner. Emiliano Martínez saved the first two Dutch penalties from Virgil van Dijk and Steven Berghuis, while only Fernández missed for Argentina as Lautaro Martínez scored the decisive last kick of the game to send Argentina to the semi-finals to meet 2018 runners-up Croatia. In a rematch of the 2018 encounter when Croatia had won 3–0, Argentina avenged their loss, decisively beating Croatia by the same scoreline. Lionel Messi scored a first-half penalty before Álvarez scored a solo effort five minutes later. Messi then assisted Álvarez for his double in the second half, as Argentina booked their place in the final for the second time in eight years.
France started their World Cup campaign as the defending world champions, having won the most recent tournament in Russia, and was drawn in group D. Their first meeting was against AFC representative Australia. The French suffered a shock deficit after nine minutes due to a goal by Craig Goodwin, but were able to stage a comeback with a double from Olivier Giroud, together with goals from Adrien Rabiot and Kylian Mbappé, to win 4–1. Empowered by the win, France overcame a highly organised and threatening Denmark side with Mbappé striking twice in the second half, despite conceding an equaliser from Andreas Christensen, winning 2–1 and becoming the first team to progress to the knockout stage of the World Cup in Qatar, the first European world champions to do so since 1994. With progression assured, France rotated most of their team, resting their key players for the final game against a desperate Tunisia; France resultantly lost 1–0 courtesy of a goal by French-born Wahbi Khazri before having an equaliser by Antoine Griezmann disallowed. France maintained top of the group due to superior goal differences to Australia.
In the round of 16, France overcame group C runners-up Poland 3–1 with goals from Giroud and Mbappé, despite conceding a late penalty from Robert Lewandowski. The quarter-finals saw France battling old rivals England in a tense match, with France defeating England 2–1 with goals from Aurélien Tchouaméni and Giroud; England found an equaliser courtesy of a penalty by Harry Kane but a second penalty to equalise the game was squandered by Kane, granting France a place in the semi-finals. France then faced the biggest underdog of the tournament, Morocco, who had beaten both Iberian representatives Spain and Portugal in the process; the French were able to end the history-making run by the African nation with two goals from Théo Hernandez and Randal Kolo Muani, France reaching their second consecutive World Cup final for the first time in history.
Polish referee Szymon Marciniak was named as the referee of the final on 15 December 2022, with fellow Poles Paweł Sokolnicki and Tomasz Listkiewicz appointed as assistant referees. Marciniak became a FIFA referee in 2011, and had previously served as a referee at the UEFA Euro 2016 and 2018 FIFA World Cup, as well as during the 2018 UEFA Super Cup. Earlier in the tournament, Marciniak officiated the France–Denmark group stage game, as well as Argentina–Australia match in the round of 16. It was the first time that a Polish referee led the team of officials at a World Cup final, and the second time that a Polish referee was included among the officials during such a match, after Michał Listkiewicz (father of Marciniak's assistant Tomasz) served as a linesman during the 1990 FIFA World Cup Final.
Ismail Elfath and Kathryn Nesbitt of the United States were appointed as fourth official and reserve assistant referee, respectively, while another Pole, Tomasz Kwiatkowski, led the video assistant referee team. Venezuelan Juan Soto served as assistant video assistant referee, American Kyle Atkins was the offside video assistant referee, while the role of support video assistant referee was assigned to Mexican Fernando Guerrero. German Bastian Dankert and American Corey Parker served as stand-by video assistant referee and stand-by assistant video assistant referee, respectively.
Several heads of state were in attendance, among them Qatari Emir Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani, Turkish president Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, and French president Emmanuel Macron. Various members of the FIFA Council and FIFA president Gianni Infantino were also in attendance. Argentine president Alberto Fernández did not attend after having reportedly refused to travel to Qatar due to potential political backlash.
Argentine singer Lali Espósito sung the Argentine National Anthem. Egyptian mezzo-soprano Farrah Eldibany sung the French National Anthem before the match.
France kicked off the match at 18:00 local time (15:00 UTC) in front of a crowd of 88,966. Argentina were awarded a penalty in the 23rd minute when Ángel Di María was fouled in the penalty area by Ousmane Dembélé as he cut in from the left. Lionel Messi scored the penalty with a low shot to the right corner. They doubled their lead with a Di Maria goal in the 38th minute. France made two substitutions in the first half and went into half-time trailing 0–2. France failed to make an attempt on goal until after the 70th minute, and were then awarded a penalty as Randal Kolo Muani was brought down in the penalty area. Mbappé scored the penalty and added a second goal less than two minutes later to equalise the score. With the score tied, the match went to extra time. Messi scored again for Argentina in the second period of extra time. Mbappé was awarded a second penalty in the 115th minute after his initial shot hit the arm of Gonzalo Montiel. Mbappé scored his third goal, becoming the second player to score a hat-trick in the final of a World Cup. With the score tied at 3–3, the match was decided on a penalty shootout. Argentina won the final after scoring all four of their penalty kicks, winning 4–2.
Argentina won their third FIFA World Cup title to surpass France and Uruguay, only ranking behind Brazil's five titles and the four titles of Italy and Germany. They also became the first South American and non-European side to win the World Cup since Brazil in 2002, and the first reigning champions of the Copa América to win the World Cup. It was the tenth World Cup title for a South American side, and the eighth South American victory in the eleven finals facing European opposition. France became the third defending champions to lose in the following final, after Argentina in 1990 and Brazil in 1998. The match was the third FIFA World Cup final to be decided by a penalty shoot-out, after 1994 and 2006, the latter of which France also lost. The six goals in the final brought the total number of goals in the tournament to a record 172, surpassing the 171 goals scored in 1998 and 2014.
FIFA president Gianni Infantino was present on the pitch stage during the awards ceremony to hand out the medals and present the trophy to the Argentine captain Lionel Messi. He was joined by Emir of Qatar Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani, French president Emmanuel Macron, Argentine Football Association president Claudio Tapia, French Football Federation president Noël Le Graët, CONMEBOL president Alejandro Domínguez and UEFA president Aleksander Čeferin. Sergio Batista and Nery Pumpido, World Cup winners with Argentina in 1986, brought the trophy onto the pitch for the ceremony. Messi was given a bisht to wear by the Emir prior to the trophy celebration.
Messi was named as the player of the match, and won his second Golden Ball award after 2014 as the best player of the tournament, becoming the first player to receive the award twice. He also won the Silver Boot award with the second-most goals at the tournament, seven. Messi's appearance also meant he surpassed Lothar Matthäus as the player with the most appearances in the World Cup. With his goals, Messi also became the second player to score in the round of 16, quarter-finals, semi-finals and final of a World Cup tournament, after Hungary's György Sárosi in 1938. France's Kylian Mbappé became the second player to score a hat-trick in a men's World Cup final, following Geoff Hurst for England in 1966. Having also scored once in the previous final, Mbappé became the highest-scoring player in the final of the World Cup with four goals, surpassing the three of Hurst, Pelé, Vavá and Zinedine Zidane. In addition, with his three goals he surpassed Messi to win the Golden Boot award as the top scorer of the tournament with eight goals, the most in a World Cup since Brazil's Ronaldo in 2002, and also was awarded the Silver Ball as the second-best player of the World Cup. Argentina's Emiliano Martínez won the Golden Glove award as the best goalkeeper of the tournament, while his teammate Enzo Fernández won the Young Player Award as the best player at the World Cup who is at most 21 (born on or after 1 January 2001).