Lionel Messi World Cup trophy Argentina 2022Getty

WATCH: Messi lifts World Cup trophy for Argentina as thrilling penalty shootout victory over France delivers ultimate prize to GOAT

  • Albiceleste win first global crown since 1986
  • Talismanic captain guides them over the line
  • Perfect end to iconic international career

WHAT HAPPENED? The Albiceleste got the better of defending champions France in a thrilling Qatar 2022 showpiece, with Messi scoring twice in 120 minutes and in a penaltyshootout after a stirring fightback from Les Bleus and hat-trick hero Kylian Mbappe had taken the game all the way. The seven-time Ballon d’Or winner has now completed his remarkable medal collection, while emulating the achievements of fellow countryman Diego Maradona from 1986, with emotion pouring out of the modern-day icon as he got his hands on football’s ultimate prize in the Middle East.

THE BIGGER PICTURE: Messi had stated before a final showdown with France that said fixture would be his last for Argentina and, having earned 172 caps and recorded 98 goals for his country, he is now ready to walk away from international football with the perfect ending written to his stunning sporting fairytale.

WHAT NEXT? Messi, with league titles and Champions League crowns captured at club level, now has Copa America, Finalissima and World Cup winners’ medals with Argentina and will go down in history as the best to ever do it - with the Golden Ball also captured at Qatar 2022.