Messi's smile: historical images of the Qatar 2022 final 1:10
This World Cup final was a game that seemed to defy understanding, convention and any attempt to describe it.
How could the sound in the stadium be captured when Lionel Messi lifted the World Cup trophy?
Or the calm with which Kylian Mbappé scored a penalty to equalize after extra time?
Argentina, world champion by the hand of Messi!
This was the best ending in history
It was, while the world seemed to make up its mind in an attempt to sum it all up, simply the best finale ever.
“Best World Cup final ever,” Usain Bolt tweeted alongside photos of himself in an Argentina jersey at Lusail Stadium.
“We are out of breath up here.
It was an incredible final.
It was a pleasure to be here.
I've never seen anything like it and I don't think I'll ever see anything like it again.
It was amazing," said former England international Alan Shearer on the BBC.
Messi's penalty and Ángel Di María's first-half goal seemed to have settled the tie in regulation time, but Mbappé scored two late goals, one from the penalty spot, in as many minutes to give France an equalizer and force the extension.
With both teams feeling the effects of the brilliant finish, Messi looked to have scored the winner in the 108th minute in what would have been a Hollywood finish.
This game is a beautiful evil curse.
I love it so much make it stop," actor Ryan Reynolds tweeted just after Messi's goal made it 3-2 for Argentina after extra time.
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But Mbappé, once again, responded with an equalizer from eleven steps to take the game to penalties.
"Ok if I'm having a heart attack it's because I'm watching this #FIFAWorldCup," Serena Williams tweeted.
Fans celebrate victory in Qatar 2022 9:59
"What a game man.
If anyone still doesn't think this is the best sport ever…” former Arsenal midfielder Cesc Fabregas tweeted as players lined up to take penalties.
Kingsley Coman of France saw his penalty kick cleared away by Emiliano Martínez, who was named the tournament's best goalkeeper, and Aurélien Tchouaméni deflected his shot away before Gonzalo Montiel secured Argentina's third world title and first since 1986.
Telemundo commentator Andrés Cantor simply repeated: "Argentina is world champion," hugging his co-commentator Claudio Borghi and his voice cracking with emotion.
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The photos showed the streets of Buenos Aires awash in blue and white as people came out to celebrate.
The president of Argentina, Alberto Fernández, tweeted: “Thanks to the players and technical team.
They are the example that we should not give up.
That we have a great people and a great future.”
Even Brazil, the great rival of La Albiceleste, sent congratulations.
“Happy with the victory of the Argentine neighbors.
Great game from Messi, who deserved it a lot, and from Di María.
Congratulations to the players, the Argentine coaching staff and my friend @alferdez," Brazilian President Lula da Silva tweeted along with an emoji of the Argentine flag.
The albiceleste celebration from intimacy 0:26
Former England striker Michael Owen tweeted: “Congratulations Argentina.
Surely the best ending ever?
Messi puts the top hat on an incredible career, but think of Mbappé, a hat-trick in a World Cup final and he goes home empty-handed."
This will be the 2026 World Cup
French President Emmanuel Macron, who traveled to Qatar for the final, tweeted: "Les Bleus made us dream."
He appeared on the pitch afterwards and comforted Mbappé as the 23-year-old stared off into the night.
French Prime Minister Élisabeth Borne also tweeted: “Thank you Les Bleus!
We have trembled with all of you, only to the end.
Thank you for this journey, thank you for making us dream, thank you for this exceptional game."
World Cup Qatar 2022