After a month of sixty-four high octane games, contested between the brilliant thirty-two nations that have given us so much to cheer about, it has finally come down to this: One final game to decide who takes home the crown of the Champions of the World.
This year, it has boiled down to Argentina taking on the current defending champions France. Will it be Lionel Messi who adds that long awaited final piece to his elite trophy cabinet, or will it be France who will become the first country to win back-to-back World Cups since 1962? Time will tell, but before we jump to kick-off, let’s take a quick look at the journey so far leading up to this very moment.
What we got
In truly one of the most unique editions of the FIFA World Cup, we’ve seen drama, crazy moments (on and off the pitch), and of course, goals galore that will live be immortalized in everyone’s memory.
The tournament kicked off with hosts, Qatar, falling to Ecuador in the opening game, and since then we have seen results that have not only surprised the common fan, but professionals and pundits alike! And that set the tone for how this unpredictable world cup would turn out.
With heavy expectations from nations with historic footballing pedigree and obvious talent, teams such as Brazil, Spain, Portugal, England, Netherlands, and Germany, who many expected to have the best chance of going the furthest, were felled by teams that no one truly saw coming.
Expect the unexpected
Some fantastic performances set the world alight, such as Saudi Arabia’s sensational triumph over current finalists Argentina, Japan’s victory over Germany, which resulted in Die Mannschaft failing to make it out of the group stages, to Croatia’s remarkable journey to the semi-finals, almost repeating their historic finals run of 2018, and more.
This motive however, was highlighted by one nation’s unexpected, yet incredible achievement, which can arguably be held as the most exciting story of this tournament, titled Morocco’s euphoric World Cup journey.
History was made for the Atlas Lions, by not only making it into the semifinals, against all odds imaginable, but also by making history as the first ever African nation to make it this far in the tournament. Truly a magical run, beating nations such as Belgium, Spain and Portugal to make it this far, but eventually facing a defeat at the hands of the current title holders France; regardless, they will have their heads held high as they inspired legions of fans and young players all around the world – that sometimes, all you need is heart.
Now we take a look at the two nations who will be contesting for football’s prized possession this Sunday on the 18th of December.
On one side, you have Argentina, a nation who have long been waiting for their moment to lift the trophy again since their last triumph in 1986, where a certain Diego Maradona led them to victory.
This year, as it has been over the last decade, all eyes will no doubt be on Lionel Messi, who aims to lead his country to victory on the global stage for the first time in his career. Bouncing back from their shock defeat to Saudi Arabia, they have since been a force to be reckoned with.
Having come close in 2014, with a Finals effort in vain to then-winners Germany, Argentina will aim to make no mistake this time around, and this time competing with tremendous talent all over the pitch, they have all the tools needed to go all the way.
But standing in their way is France, a team with players having experienced what it’s like to lift the trophy just 4 years ago. They have since arrived at this tournament and barely put a foot wrong, barring one speed bump in a sensational loss to Tunisia, due to the resting of key players.
With the likes of Kylian Mbappe shining throughout this tournament, Antoine Griezmann pulling the strings in a midfield role in the absence of key players coming into this tournament, and many more showcasing their ability for this champion nation, France will no doubt have all the capabilities to put Argentina’s World Cup dreams to bed and retain their World Cup title.
So, who will it be, and who are you rooting for?
Will France’s new golden generation showcase their talent and shine once again this time around, or will a determined Argentina side find a way to take all the glory, winning an accolade that has eluded them, and the legendary career of Lionel Messi for so long.
Show your support for either team by sporting one of their team branded kits, which you can find available right here at Sun & Sands Sports, through our website or application.