The final of the FIFA World Cup sees a blockbuster clash as Lionel Messi’s Argentina take on the Kylian Mbappe-starrer France on Sunday night. Argentina had defeated Croatia 3-0 in the first semi-final of the tournament with goals from Messi and Julian Alvarez, while France had also registered a convincing 2-0 win against the high-flying Morocco in the other knock-out clash.
This will be Argentina’s second appearance in the final of the World Cup in the past three editions; the Messi-led Argentina had also reached the title clash int he 2014 World Cup, where they faced a 0-1 loss to Germany. France, meanwhile, are the current champions at the tournament and will be aiming at becoming the first team to successfully defend the title since Brazil.
As both sides meet for the titular clash at the Lusail Stadium in Qatar, let’s take a look at their head-to-head stats:
Argentina vs France Head-to-Head record
Both sides will be locking horns for the 13th time in football history. Argentina hold the edge over France, having won six out of 12 times in their meetings, with France winning three; the other three matches have ended in a draw. France, however, had won in their last meeting that incidentally came in the World Cup knock-out stages at the previous edition (2018).
Matches played – 12
Argentina won – 6
France won – 3
Draw – 3
Argentina vs France Head-to-Head record at FIFA World Cup
The two teams have met each other thrice at the tournament; Argentina had held a perfect record over France up until their previous encounter in 2018, where the latter had registered a dramatic 4-3 victory, thanks to a brilliant brace from a 19-year-old Kylian Mbappe. The match took place in the Round of 16 stages of the tournament, and France eventually went on to win the title.
Matches played – 3
Argentina won – 2
France won – 1
Draw – 0
The race for the golden boot has stiffened as all 4 players in the top-4 – Kylian Mbappe, Lionel Messi (5 goals each), Olivier Giroud and Julian Alvarez (4 goals each) will take part in the final of the FIFA World Cup. The last time a player from the winning team won the Golden Boot was in 2002 when Brazil’s Ronaldo scored 8 goals throughout the tournament, steering the country to a fifth World Cup title.
Argentina have a chance to become the fourth team to win three or more World Cup titles. While Brazil hold the record with five, Germany and Italy are tied with four. Additionally, the Messi-led Argentina can also become the first South American country to win the title since Brazil in 2002.
If Messi produces another Player of the Match performance in the World Cup final, he will end the campaign with five PoTM trophies to his name – the most by a player in a single edition. Messi will also become the player with most appearances in the World Cup (men’s) when he takes the field for the final. The Argentina captain is currently tied with Lothar Matthaus with 25 appearances so far.
France can become the 3rd team to defend the World Cup title. Italy were the first to do so when they won successive titles in 1934 and 1938; Brazil, then, repeated the feat in 1958 and 1962.
Didier Deschamps can become the only second manager in the history of the game to lift the World Cup trophy twice; Italy’s Vittorio Pozzo was the first to reach the feat (1934 and 1938). Additionally, Deschamps can be first to win the World Cup title as a player and two titles as manager.