They are four in a handkerchief.
And for them, the grand final on Sunday (4 p.m.) is not just about collective glory, but also an opportunity to inscribe their name in individual World Cup legends.
A "match within the match" which adds a little more relief to this already mountainous France-Argentina: Lionel Messi, Kylian Mbappé, Olivier Giroud and Julián Álvarez are all very serious candidates for the title of top scorer in the competition.
Assists then minutes played in case of a tie
The two friends of PSG, Mbappé and Messi, whose performances will undoubtedly be the most scrutinized on the ground, currently dominate this ranking with five units each.
Messi has scored in five of the Albiceleste's six games, remaining silent only against Poland (0-2).
Mbappé, for his part, had marked his world with his two doubles against Denmark (2-1) and especially against Poland (3-1), also scoring a goal against Australia (4-1) but remaining mute in quarter and half.
Their attacking comrades follow closely, with 4 goals for Olivier Giroud and Julián Álvarez, double-scorer in the semi-final against Croatia (3-0).
Currently, despite this double tie, the ranking favors the Argentines: Messi is first, Mbappé second, Álvarez third and Giroud fourth.
The reason ?
Fifa's decision criteria: “If two players are tied, the one with the most assists will win.
If two or more players are still tied, the one who has played the fewest minutes will win.
against 2, but 93 additional minutes played, Messi is currently ahead of Mbappé.
Giroud and Álvarez are tied for assists (0) but the Argentinian, who was hired late by his coach Lionel Scaloni, played 19 minutes less than the Frenchman.
A successor to Just Fontaine?
Unless there is a miracle or a hell of a performance, the first pursuers have a priori little chance.
On the French side, Théo Hernandez, Aurélien Tchouaméni, Adrien Rabiot and Randal Kolo Muani are 1 goal away, like Enzo Fernández, Alexis Mac Allister and Nahuel Molina on the Argentinian side.
Neither country has won a World Cup gold boot in a long time.
Argentina has only two, Mario Kempes (1978) and Guillermo Stabile (1930).
France… only one: Just Fontaine, author of his 13 World Cup goals during the 1958 edition.