FIFA World Cup 2022 final, Argentina vs France: Statistical preview
The stage is set for an epic clash between France and Argentina that will decide the winner of the FIFA World Cup 2022 in Qatar. In the semi-finals, France took an early lead against a spirited-looking Morocco before completing a 2-0 rout. Meanwhile, Man City forward Julian Alvarez scored a brace as Argentina annihilated Croatia to rally into the final. Here's the statistical preview.
Here's the head-to-head record
This would be the fourth WC meeting between France and Argentina. Argentina won two of the previous three, losing their only game in the R16 stage in 2018 (3-4). Overall, this would be the 13th meeting in all competitions. France have won just three of the previous 12 (D3 L6), with the most recent being their 4-3 win at the 2018 WC.
Argentina seek their third WC honor
Argentina will compete in their sixth World Cup final, with only Germany (8) participating in more. Argentina will look to win the trophy for a third time along with 1978 and 1986. However, a defeat would see them with the joint-most World Cup final defeats in history (4, level with Germany).
Argentina's run in the 2022 WC
Argentina made a resounding comeback post the shocking 1-2 defeat to Saudi Arabia in their opening fixture. With the 36-match unbeaten streak snapped up, Argentina downed Mexico 2-0, followed by a 2-0 win over Poland to conclude atop Group C. In R16, Argentina beat Australia, while the Albiceleste prevailed against the Netherlands in penalties. Argentina then overcame Croatia to reach the final.
Can France defend their crown?
France started their campaign with an emphatic 4-1 win over Australia. Kylian Mbappe's second-half brace helped the 2018 winners pip Denmark 2-1. Didier Deschamps' men then suffered a shocking 0-1 defeat to Tunisia but concluded atop Group D. Mbappe starred once again as France overpowered Poland 3-1 in R16. France prevailed 2-1 against England, while they crushed Morocco 2-0 in the semi-finals.
France seek history at Lusail Stadium
France have reached successive WC finals, winning the edition in 2018. Overall, they will partake in their fourth WC final. The Blues beat Brazil in 1998 and lost to Italy in 2006. France are also the first nation to reach successive World Cup finals since Brazil in 2022. They are the first European side to reach consecutive WC finals since Germany in 1990.
Messi and Mbappe can unlock these feats
Lionel Messi, who has earned 25 caps in the WC, will break a tie with Germany's Lothar Matthaus to become the most capped player in the tournament. Messi (11) is one short of equaling Pele's goal tally in the WC. He will become the joint-fifth highest goal-scorer. Meanwhile, Mbappe (9) is one shy of equaling Thomas Muller's goal tally in the competition.