The players of the Argentina national team celebrate qualifying for the World Cup final after a 0:3 victory over Croatia (Instagram)
The 2022 World Cup could not have had a better script for its final match.
On one side stands Lionel Messi, who is looking for the ultimate glory in his fifth and last World Cup, hoping to do what Diego Maradona did and bring Argentina the World Cup after 36 years, and on the other, Kylian Mbappe, the prodigy who celebrated with France winning the previous World Cup and now, two days ago The 24th birthday, wants to lead it to a second wave in a row that will equal Brazil's achievement from 60 years ago.
And all of this is of course happening in Qatar, which dominates Paris Saint-Germain - the French champions where the two stars play.
We will leave the conspiracy theories to others.
They have been collaborating for a year and a half.
Messi arrived in the City of Lights as the best player in the world and towards the end of last season he saw Mbappe receive the contract of his dreams and in fact declared by PSG as its most important player - the face of the club.
Seemingly, a shift change: the greatest footballer in history passes the baton to the best footballer today.
But Messi didn't say the last word, and now it's him and Mbappe head to head.
First of all for the coveted World Cup and then also for the title of top scorer of the tournament (and maybe also his MVP).
Five were absent from the training of the French national team, Dembele: "We are not afraid of the virus"
The halachic aspect of the World Cup: "Advance the lighting of Hanukkah candles to 16:55"
Pele the healthy: the records that Messi can break in the World Cup final
"Mentally Olivier Giroud is stronger than most footballers in the world"
In the 2018 World Cup, Kylian Mbappe won by knockout (Photo: GettyImages)
On the eve of the final, both stars have five goals at the 2022 World Cup, although the advantage lies with Messi who has netted three times to Mbappe's two.
In this tournament, Messi has already become the record scorer for Argentina in World Cup games (11) and in the final he will make his 26th appearance and will be the sole record of appearances in the World Cups, but he was not yet the top scorer.
The last Argentinian to do so was Mario Kempes, who scored a brace in the home final against the Netherlands in 1978, finishing with six goals and leading the Albiceleste to their first win.
Guillermo Stabila finished as the top scorer in the first World Cup in 1930, and his eighth goal then was in the final, but it was not enough for Argentina who then lost 4:2 to Uruguay.
The flea obviously prefers Kemps' script, and if he scores one goal in the final, he will also equal Pele with 12 goals in fifth place in the all-time scorers list.
Mbappe currently has nine goals in the all-time table, but will have plenty of opportunities to move up the rankings and probably also challenge Miroslav Klose's record of 16 goals.
If he ends up as the tournament's top goalscorer, he will be the second Frenchman in history to achieve this feat.
The previous one was Geist Fontaine who scored 13 goals in six games in 1958.
More in Walla!
How do you turn a plastic package into a flower pot?
In cooperation with the Tamir Recycling Corporation
They also celebrated together in Haifa.
Lionel Messi with Kylian Mbappe (photo: Maor Alxalsi)
After failing to score in the quarter-finals and semi-finals, Mbappe must have been happy to receive assistance from Messi, who scored 15 goals for him during their time together at PSG, including a 3-1 win in Haifa in the Champions League.
On the other hand, the Frenchman prepared 11 goals for his friend, including the double in 2:7 against Maccabi Haifa at Parc de France.
And what happened in the three meetings between them to date?
Mbappe won in all of them.
He did it 1:1 at Barcelona in the round of 16 of the Champions League in 2020/21 and Messi equalized, then starred with a hat-trick in the 1:4 of Paris Saint-Germain in the second leg, after a Messi penalty.
And of course before that there was the pair and the assist in France's 3:4 in 2018.
Six goals and an assist for Mbappe, two goals for Messi.
What will happen this time?
FIFA World Cup
World Cup 2022