- Epic final encounter taken in with France
- Spot-kicks required after 120 minutes
- Inter star was down for Argentina's fifth
WHAT HAPPENED? At the end of an epic final showdown with France, with 120 minutes failing to separate the two sides in a 3-3 thriller, spot-kicks were required in order to determine a winner. Kingsley Coman and Aurelien Tchouameni ended up fluffing their lines for Les Bleus, allowing Gonzalo Montiel to fire home from 12 yards and give Lionel Messi the trophy he craved most. Inter striker Lautaro had been down to take Argentina’s fifth penalty and was unable to shift himself from that spot despite being eager to replace Sevilla right-back Montiel in the pecking order.
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WHAT THEY SAID: Lautaro has told TyC Sports: “The coach and I met to decide the penalty kick takers, he started listing names, and I obviously told him that I wanted in. I’m a striker and do it for my club, and also for the national team when Messi and Leandro Paredes aren’t on the pitch. It happened in Copa America for instance. In the end, he compiled the order, and I ended up being fifth. I asked Gonzalo Montiel to take the decisive one, but we couldn’t change it.”
THE BIGGER PICTURE: Argentina scored all of their penalties in a nerve-shredding shootout, as Messi, Paulo Dybala, Leandro Paredes and Montiel converted from the spot. Emi Martinez was once again the hero when it came to keeping opponents out, with the enigmatic goalkeeper able to distract French shooters with his antics between the sticks.
IN THREE PHOTOS:Getty
WHAT NEX? Lautaro endured a tough time at Qatar 2022, as he struggled with a niggling injury and missed several golden opportunities in front of goal, but he is now a world champion and should be applauded for having the confidence in himself to step up and take a penalty under the brightest of spotlights.