Argentina vs France in the World Cup final.

Messi vs Mbappe. Argentina vs France. World Cup final. Photo by Juan MABROMATA and Gabriel BOUYS / AFP)

Argentina vs France: FIVE things to know about the World Cup final

Argentina vs France in the World Cup final presents many intriguing subplots. Here are five to share with your mates.

Argentina vs France in the World Cup final.

Messi vs Mbappe. Argentina vs France. World Cup final. Photo by Juan MABROMATA and Gabriel BOUYS / AFP)

Sunday’s World Cup final between Argentina and France is the climax of a feast of football in Qatar. For the final time, here is a preview of five things you need to know.

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World Cup final: Five things to know

Messi making his World Cup swansong

This will be Lionel Messi’s last World Cup match. It’s the 1003rd of his entire career for club and country, during which he’s scored 791 goals and provided 350 assists. 96 of those goals were scored for Argentina, with 11 of them coming in World Cups. If he gets a goal in the final, he’ll be the first player in history to score in every round of a single edition of the tournament. There are not enough superlatives for this man.

World Cup final: Lionel Messi is the GOAT and here’s proof

World Cup Lionel Messi
Messi after putting Argentina 2-0 up against the Netherlands. More drama was to come. Photo by FRANCK FIFE / AFP)

Mbappé is the heir to Messi’s throne

Kylian Mbappé, Lionel Messi’s PSG teammate and also scorer of five goals at World Cup 2022 so far, is bidding to make some unique history. In the 359th appearance of his career (club and country), 23-year-old Mbappé is on a quest to become the youngest player to get on the scoresheet in multiple World Cup finals.

Kylian Mbappé: These ridiculous numbers don’t make sense

World Cup final 2022
The irrepressible Kylian Mbappe. Photo by Antonin THUILLIER / AFP)

Griezmann is the best creator

No player at World Cup 2022 has created more chances for teammates than the 21 supplied by Antoine Griezmann. He’s also got a higher expected assists value (xA) than any other player (3.5). He created both goals against England in the quarterfinals.

Argentina vs France: Who makes our best combined 11?

Argentina cannot afford to trail at the break

France have never lost a World Cup match they’ve been leading at half-time (W25 D1). That is a sobering statistic and amazingly impressive. That being said, Argentina’s miserly defence has only conceded six shots in their six games leading up to the final. It’s just so hard to call.

World Cup final 2022
Argentina players ecstatic after their penalty shootout win over The Netherlands. Photo by Kirill KUDRYAVTSEV / AFP)

Didier Deschamps: Born leader and football royalty

France’s manager captained his country to World Cup glory in 1998 and then European Championships success in 2000. He’s a two-time Champions League winner as a player too. Now, he’s bidding to become the first manager since Vittorio Pozzo in the 1930s to manage a country to two successive World Cup triumphs.

What a spectacle we’re in for on Sunday. Who you got?

Meanwhile, you can get more insights, analysis and love for the beautiful game from James Freemantle

Also keep up on daily football trivia via football stats nerd foodball_za.